Book Review: ‘Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes’ by K.M. Mathew

A book of recipes to entice the taste buds!

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Book Title: Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes
Author: K.M. Mathew
Publisher: Penguin eBury Press
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-0143453123
Date Published: Jul. 24, 2023
Price: INR 441

Mrs. K.M. Mathews Finest Recipes by K.M. Mathew Book Cover

Book Review

Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes,” released by Penguin Random House in India, is a unique compilation that exhibits the renowned Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s culinary talent. This comprehensive collection includes her most cherished and adored recipes, which have thrilled people worldwide. Mrs. Mathew’s culinary talent has left an unmistakable impression on the food world.

Mrs. KM Mathew, commonly known as Mrs. K.M. Mathew, was a writer who immortalized Kerala’s particular culinary history. She presented readers with regional dishes that had hitherto been exclusive to Kerala kitchens, such as sticky sweet jackfruit ada, prawn Pappas, and beef pattichu varathathu. Mrs. Mathew, born in Polavaram, Andhra Pradesh, on March 22, 1922, had a childhood characterized by many relocations within Tamil Nadu due to her father’s career. Despite growing up in a Malayali Christian home, her exposure to Tamil culture profoundly impacted her. She got a letter from KM Mathew, a suitor from the prominent Kandathil family, after studying at The American College in Madurai. They married in 1942 and raised their family in Chikmagalur, where KM handled the family coffee farm. Mrs. Mathew’s enthusiasm for cooking flourished despite her discouragement throughout their stay in Bombay when she attended culinary lessons and investigated local cafes.

Mrs. Annamma Mathew’s food column, launched in a Kerala newspaper in 1953, promoted Kerala’s culinary tradition to a larger audience. Over the following five decades, she published hundreds of recipes in Malayala Manorama and Vanitha magazine, becoming a recognized recorder of Kerala food. Her dishes are still appreciated and utilized in Malayali homes today, helping to preserve and make Kerala’s culinary traditions more accessible. Mrs. Mathew was instrumental in moving recipe transmission from oral tradition to written record, broadening the scope of Kerala’s culinary expertise.

The book is divided into 10 chapters, each dedicated to a different sort of food. Thangam Mammen’s prologue highlights Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s devotion and dedication to the culinary arts. Readers will find a treasure trove of gourmet pleasures meticulously handpicked from Mrs. Mathew’s broad repertory within the pages of this book. Each recipe exemplifies her unshakable commitment to culinary perfection and her love of exhibiting her beloved Kerala’s rich flavors and traditions.

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As readers turn the pages of this book, they will not only discover a plethora of amazing recipes, but they will also receive insight into Kerala’s cultural legacy and culinary customs. Mrs. Mathew’s persistent dedication to conserving and sharing her culinary skills has elevated her to prominence in the food industry.

Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes” is a worthy monument to Mrs. Mathew’s extraordinary contributions to the culinary world and a great resource for anybody looking to go on a delightful journey filled with the original flavors of Kerala. It demonstrates the ability of food to bridge divides, bring people together, and create enduring memories.

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