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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Food Literature- Book review

How The Banana Goes To Heaven (Paperback)
by Ratna Rajaiah

Ratna Rajaiah is good, stylish writer with deep insight towards minute details. Her book is written with meticulously researched information, which she collected during her weekly columns in the Sunday edition of the ‘New Indian Express’, tracing back the history and the nutrition value of each ingredient. This book is like a food bible, where every food item is personified exposing its health and medicinal secrets, its origin, some anecdotes, some facts and finally a recipe.

Take the example of ‘White Pumpkin’ now I am not too fond of this ingredient and wouldn’t even touch it with a yard stick but the author arouses my interest by addressing this vegetable as ‘The Goddess Gourd’ and goes on to say “The white Pumpkin is not only a popular offering to the gods in Hindu ceremonies but is also considered effective in warding off evil spirit and evil eye- the very reason why it is often seen hanging outside newly built houses and buildings” An interesting information which will henceforth make me notice a Pumpkin if I see one.

There are many other secrets revealed in the pages as you go along with her exploring the traditional fare and, BTW, did you know that ‘White Pumpkin’ is used to treat various kinds of nervous disorders and mental illness? I didn’t. She writes: “One well-known Ayurvedic preparation made from it is used for the treatment of epilepsy and even insanity” She goes on to talk about its other medicinal and health benefits and how it is used to cure many other diseases.

Interesting to note: “The ash made from burning the seeds and the peel of white Pumpkin is mixed with coconut oil and is used to promote hair growth and as a treatment for dandruff” hmmmn!

Small wonders roll out from every chapter, unfolding the secrets of different ingredients, as we begin to understand the nutrients of various food items used in our everyday cooking. Every new chapter begins with a food quote on that particular ingredient, tuning your mind in the receptive mood. The book is packed with information on vegetables, grains, oils and also on vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, etc.

For a food lover like me, this book is a treasure, packed with so much information that I would recommend to everyone to have one copy of their own for regular reference PLUS one more to gift your loved ones whose health and well-being, you really care…..

Also Cross posted my review at flipkart

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