This book would have been a best selling memoir had it been written by a high end celebrity chef from Food Network but the stories told by this author about her childhood in Kerala are no less in terms of captivating the imagination.
September 16, 2010
Three hundred plus pages of history, heritage and mouthwatring vegetarian recipes
Ammini Ramachandran has organized the book impeccably. Each of the ingredients is listed, with a description of the item, where to find it and what type of recipes would use it. A number of the ingredients also include a description of the historical and/or spiritual aspect of it. As with most cookbooks, the chapters are divided to include like recipes -- rice, curries, snacks, etc., but unlike most cookbooks the reader is treated to the significance of the food in the Indian culture. This collection of goodness is more narrative than most cookbooks so I found that the appendices aided in easily locating the delicious recipes.
Mystic Living Today
Food & Wine Hot Spots
"Few cookbooks in English have covered Kerala Vegetarian cooking, similar to the food served at Udupi, with much depth or authenticity. Last year Ammini Ramachandran came out with a book that fully explains the magic behind this seductive cooking. "Cookbooks that present cuisines against a backdrop of culinary history and culture have always fascinated me" she writes. Happily for us, she has created one herself"
Patricia Unterman in the San Francisco Examiner
July 24, 2008
The Flavors of the Malayali Kitchen
"I Like this book not just for Ramachandran's practical-minded approach but for her enthusiasm, which translates into thoughtful, encouraging instructions".
Winnie Yang in The Art of Eating
Spice Girl - Plano author hits the culinary publishing A-list See Page 105 of May 2008 issue.
No one was more saurprised by the glowing New York Times review of her self published cookbook last summer than Plano author Ammini Ramachandran. Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts also made Saveur magazine's 100 favorite list as an example of self publishing trend. Ammini is on the map now.
Dotty Griffith in Modern Luxury Dallas Magazine
Tenth Annual Saveur 100
"Ammini Ramachandran, a Texas based food writer with roots in the Indian state of Kerala, has self published an authoritative cookbook cum memoir, Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts, on that region's elaborate, nuanced cuisine..... It is a testament to the power of the DIY ethic".
Nthelie Jordi in Saveur Magazine
The subcontinent meets the West
The subcontinent meets the West in a book that mixes history, Indian culinary flavours and western cooking methods. A native of Kerala who has lived in the United States for almost forty years, Ammini Ramachandran has created a charming book to appeal to both cooks and historians.
The Cookbook Store, 850 Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4W 2H1
You don't need to cook to enjoy this one!
"What a delicious read! I have a wonderful collection of cookbooks and the ones I enjoy most are the ones that read like novels. They include stories about the food and people who make the dishes. Even if I never get around to cooking anything included, I appreciate the flavors and tales behind the delicacies shared. This is one of those books".
Tammy Petty Conrad in Reader Views
December 22, 2007
Holiday Cookbook Roundup
"Along with many recipes with rich contextual descriptions, the book includes a culinary history of Kerala, an important stop in early spice trade between Europe and the Far East, which had tremendous influence on the foods and flavors there. Deeply flavored curries, chutneys and pickles, puddings and pancakes, savory snacks, and sweet treats are all included – this book is not only vegetarian bliss, it's an important resource documenting the foodways of a heretofore too-little-known region".
Mary Margaret Peck in Austin Chronicle
December 14, 2007
You say bastardization, I say evolution
"The book shows a deep-rooted passion for cooking and tradition. When you read the book - or cook one of its recipes - you are transported to hot and humid India".
In Globe and Life, Canada
November 28, 2007
"When Plano resident Ammini Ramachandran moved to the United States in 1970, she brought with her a rich culture and Eastern flavor that she’s sharing in her very first book, “Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts.” The book features vegetarian recipes that have been passed through generations in India".
Liz McGathey, Plano Insider
November 5, 2007
Top 3 Indian Cookbooks of 2007
"My second pick is a book that I endorsed called, "Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy by Ammini Ramachandran. It is a book that is for the armchair reader as well as the serious cook. I love her writings and the depth that she provides in all the recipes and the text. The book reflects the author - it is quietly elegant".
Monica Bhide in A Life of Spice
October 30, 2007
Coconuts and Curry Leaves
There’s a world of Kerala food beyond ‘ishtoo’ and it’s a delicious one, discovers Vidya Heble.
Vidya Heble in India SE, Singapore
August 7, 2007
A Culinary Heritage
In conversation with Ammini Ramachandran, author, cookery expert and part of the royal family of Kochi.
Neeti Jaychander in Madras Plus, Economic Times, India
August 4, 2007
Translating India, Sometimes Fluently
"Instead of trying to cover all menu bases that an editor might insist on, Ms. Ramachandran is free to concentrate on unorthodox categories, including amazingly diverse “curries” (sauced vegetable combinations), pickles and preserves, breakfast specialties, rice dishes associated with sacred observances and temple or rite-of-passage offerings. Other books have ably explored India’s far southern territory, but Ms. Ramachandran reveals amazing range and depth in Kerala’s Hindu vegetarian traditions. And American home cooks should find her introductions to ingredients, techniques and equipment accessible".
Anne Mendelson, in The New York Times
July 18, 2007
FLAVOR by the Book- Cookbook Sends A Love Letter To Kerala, India
"Ammini Ramachandran, a daughter of Kerala, has captured her home’s many flavors in "Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy." Rachmandran self-published this beautiful, passionate book, bringing all the threads of geography, religion, tradition, and personal history together to present the food of this fertile region".
Theresa Curry, in The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia
July 18, 2007
"Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts, comes with a treasure trove of information even for a non-Malayali". -
Liffy Thomas in Newindpress.com.India
July 8, 2007
Food Writing India and the World
"Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts - Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy, by Ammini Ramachandran is more than a cookbook. Through it Ramachandran a food writer of Kerela origin based in America, has shattered several stereotypes; that community cookbooks are self published black on white with recipe after recipe and no space wasted on frivolous things like anecdotes. That South Indian food ends at idli, dosa, vada, sambhar. And most importantly that Kerela cuisine is seafood based and non vegetarian".
Rushina Munhaw Ghildiyal - Book review in 4th Dimension Woman, Mumbai, India
July 2, 2007
"Very rarely do you find a cookbook that interweaves the history of cuisine with the traditions and culture in which it is celebrated. Let’s just say, Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts will add a little spice to your slice".
Britney Porter, Plano Profile Magazine
July 1, 2007
Kitchen Arts & Letters
"Remarkably detailed and vivid survey of southern Indian vegetarian food and culture by Kerala-born Ramachandran. Notes on ingredients, cooking methods, festivals, and more take up the first ninety pages of this 300+ page book, and thereafter the recipes still seem to have to fight for room on the page next to the author's observations. This is the kind of introduction so many cuisines need. b&w photos".
2007 Spring -Summer New Titles List, Kitchen Arts & Letters, New York
"Ramachandran's Kerala may be a different place now, but she has preserved a picture of an idyllic place, where meals speak volumes". -
Robin Asbell in Essential Welness, Minneapolis
"Possibilities for some new taste combinations are definitely reachable and offer an exciting prospect!"
June 27, 2007
"The cookbook Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts by Ammini Ramachandran provides an amazing collection of exquisite Southern Indian vegetarian cuisine from Kerala".
"This book surpassed all my expectations, with over 300 pages of content, which included not just recipes, but the history, rituals, festivities, and anecdotes related to all aspects of cooking and eating in the part of Kerala that Ammini knows best".
May 4, 2007
"Ammini Ramachandran catalogues and describes dishes that are hardly known outside specific homes and regions in Kerala. Some of these dishes are traditonally prepared only once a year, to commemorate festivals or rituals that are on their way to extinction, taking their culinary associations with them. It also has a lot to offer those who do not identify with Kerala, its heritage or its culture. It will take you through a splendid culinary journey “which combines the heartiness of spices, the interplay of sweet and acidic tates, and the fiery heat of chillies.” It does it without playing to the gallery, and with an endearing directness that leads you into the author’s world".
April 12, 2007
"For all of us Malayalees, Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts is a must have treasure. And for non-Malayalees, this book is a neatly organized tour to the culture and cuisine of God's own country. You will enjoy the ride as Ammini guides you through Kerala's history and heritage, society structure, seasonal festivals, and on top of all, irresistible varieties of precious, exotic recipes handed down from one generation to the next".
March 26, 2007
"Ammini has pulled off a seemingly impossible feat in Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts, a new addition to the stellar lineup of traditional Indian cookbooks: She has preserved the originality of her traditional family recipes, and made them accessible to those outside the tradition, without overwhelming the reader with tedious detail. The book also provides a very engaging account of the kitchens, culinary customs, and festivals and celebrations of Ammini's family. A world that is now almost extinct rises vividly from the pages and for a brief while, you forget the harried and hurried pace of your existence".
March 19, 2007
Indian Food Rocks
"It's the perfect kind of book to curl up with and experience Kerala cooking at its best. Ammini writes with a lot of passion and attention to detail. Most recipes are accompanied by a snippet of history or a personal anecdote".
March 14, 2007