Meena Eashwer hails from a TamBrahm family in Kerala (better known as Palakkad Iyers or Palghat Iyers). She learnt to cook at the tender age of 16, when she found herself in the culinary deep-end soon after her marriage!
That was a time when she did not even know whether milk was added to curd, or curd to milk, for making curds!
She easily admits that the first time she made Sambar on her own, way back in 1944, it looked and tasted like nothing on earth. But today, at 90 plus, she has come a very long way from that stage! She brings over 75 years of experience, cooking for her 5 kids, in-laws, friends and relatives.
All distilled into this easy to follow book of recipes. While most of the dishes are from Tamil Nadu and Kerala Cuisines, there are a few recipes from other regions of India, too.
“Inevitable” she points out, “given the background of my cosmopolitan family - my three daughters-in-law hail from Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra, one of my sons-in-law is a Mangalorean Christian, and the other a Palakkad Iyer”.
And she herself has lived in Palakkad, Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Delhi, Nanded, Karimnagar, Bidar... “Don’t forget Rangoon and Colombo, in my early years”, she adds.