How the Banana Goes to Heaven
Did you know that a couple of bananas a day can lower your blood pressure? That nineteenth-century saliors used to eat potatoes to fight scurvy? That Ayurveda considers rice the perfect healing food? That George Bernanrd Shaw was a brinjal-loving vegetarian? That turmeric could have anti-carcinogenic properties? That urad daal is an aphrodisiac?
Ratna Rajaiah takes a walk down memory lane, only to find it redolent with the aromas of her mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens, and lined with the spices and condiments of her youth. Pausing often, she meets old culinary friends – coconuts and chillies, mangoes and jackfruit, ragi and channa dal, ghee and jaggery, mustard seeds and curry leaves – and introduces us to almost forgotten joys, like the sight of steaming kanji or the scent of freshly cut ginger.
Taking detours, she shares recipes for old favorites (often with a surprising twist!) and reveals delightful slivers of trivia and fascinating nuggets of gastronomic history. Delving deep, she discovers that traditional fare is much more than comfort food (many local ingredients are health-giving and healing too!) and that much of what the West is discovering about herbs and spices has been known to our ancestors for centuries. An unabashed and wonderful ode to the blessings of simple, traditional vegetarian food.