Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Southern Flavours - Chandra Padmanabhan,Cookbook Review & Carrot Payasam Recipe

Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
I will think twice now when I say I cook South Indian food,really.There are so many varieties spanning all the 4 states of South India that I should be eating humble pie now,or should that be humble Dosa:).When MySmartPrice sent me the book Southern Flavours by Chandra Padmanabhan for a review,I was in for a pleasant surprise.So many recipes from all 4 states of South that I couldn't help notice but the comparisons between each.

Southern Flavours is a collection of the authors' favorite recipes from her previous three bestselling cookbooks,which explores the cuisine of Andhra Pradesh,Kerala,Tamilnadu and Karnataka with samples from each state and community.
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
About the author - Chandra Padmanabhan is the author of three best selling cookbook titles - Dakshin,Southern Spice and Simply South.The last one won the author the international Gourmand award for Second best vegetarian cookbook in 2009.

The book begins with a wonderful note about the vessels/utensils required to cook some of the dishes mentioned in the book.Detailed descriptions about Idli thattu/rack,Paniaramchatti and Dosa Tava/pan helps the reader get an idea on how to use these,especially useful for people who have no idea how a paniarachatti looks like!

Basic recipes are covered in the first section which includes three methods for cooking rice-in the microwave,on the stove top and in a microwave.Recipes for Sambar,rasam,kuzhambu and poriyal podi from scratch follow.I'd especially love to try the poriyal podi and sprinkle it over simple poriyals which would elevate the simple poriyal to a gourmand one!
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes are useful for people like me who think what side-dish to cook for rice other than 'just sambar and rasam'!There are 25+ recipes for curries which include Podi potta parippu Sambhar from Tamilnadu,Sheela Auntie's Pulusu from Andhra Pradesh,Kaay Hulli from Mangalore,Theeyal from Kerala and many more.
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
Poriyal and Kootu section is also very similar with recipes from all over the South,Beetroot-Carrot-Urulakizhangu Poriyal from Tamilnadu sounds delicious,so is the Sagalay from the Saraswath community of Karnataka.Though I am not a fan of Okra,the picture of Guthi Bendakkai from Andhra looks delectable.One recipe I've bookmarked to try here is the Urulaikizhangu Saagu from Karnataka.
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
I found it amusing that there is not a single rice recipe from Kerala,really?No Ghee rice or Veg Biryani?Apparently not.Usual recipes feature in this one,Curd rice,Puliogaray,Thenga Sadam and the likes.I liked the recipe for Kothamalli-Pudina Sadam,would be definitely trying it out soon.
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
The snacks section has to be my favorite,yes!Recipes for Mangai thengai pattani Sundal,Masala Oothappam,Goli Bajay,Medu vadai,Kaikari Bajji,Urulaikizhangu Bonda and more are featured Urulaikizhangu bonda :)

Sweets/Dessert section,though has limited recipes.Akkaravadisal,Paal Mithai,Tengai kadalamaavu Barfi sound interesting.There is also an Accompaniments section which includes recipes for Chutneys,Thuvayals and Pachadis.I loved the recipe for Summa Kuzhambu from Chettinad,sounds a lot like rasam but quick and instant.
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review
Since it was the festive weekend I decided to try out the unusual Carrot Payasam.I've never had it before so it was an interesting addition to our festive meal and was delicious.The lovely orange colour of the payasam comes from freshly grated carrots.
Carrot Payasam|Southern Flavours Book Review Carrot Payasam


Full-cream milk - 1 litre
Saffron strands - 1/2 tsp[I skipped this and added saffron strands just for garnish]
Grated carrots - 1 1/4 cups
Cashewnut & Raisins - 1/2 cup[the original recipe uses almonds]
Sugar - 1/2-3/4 cup


Heat 1/4 cup of the measured milk and soak saffron in it for 30 minutes.I omitted this step as I completely forgot about it :)
Place 1/4 cup water in a heavy based pan.Add carrots and cook over moderate heat for 7-8 minutes till tender.
Add remaining milk and simmer over low to moderate heat for 15-20 minutes till milk thickens a little.Stir in the almonds/or cashewnut and raisins(fried in 1 tsp ghee)and sugar and simmer till payasam has a thick,pouring consistency.
Refrigerate and serve chilled.I served it warm and it tastes as delicious as it is cold.


  1. sad to note no recipes from kerala....the book cover is really good

  2. seems very interesting book. thanks for sharing. payasam looks creamy and yummy

  3. Excellent and yummy looking payasam.

  4. payasam looks tempting and delicious.

  5. i have this book and a few recipes i tried. carrot payasam is looking delish.


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