Saturday, December 26, 2009

A book, A quest, A recipe


Ladies Coupe was the book our book club - This Book Makes Me Cook - chose to read for December. Anita Nair's story is about journeys - a train journey for Akhila, our middle-aged heroine who's on a quest to discover some answers for her life. But also a journey through her past, and through the lives of her other co-travelers. Through the life stories of the women in her Ladies Coupe, Akhila seeks to find answers to her dilemmas.

The book's well written, and even though I don't agree with most of Akhila's (and by extension, Anita Nair's) view of life the book never got boring. It moves at an even pace, the train journey happily coinciding with the life stories of these six women.

Picking a recipe from the book was easy. For when the train stops at a station midway, Akhila and one of her travelling companions venture out to have the soft, lacy appams.

If you have been following the wishlists I create every year, appams have been on my to-do list for a really long time. I love eating them every chance I get but I knew I had to learn to make them because, for some strange reasons, all restaurants pair them with stew and I love them with sambar. They looked so tough to make though.

So a few months back, I asked Srivalli and she pointed me to her ever-green appam recipe. I immediately realized I was ill-equipped to deal with this one for (i) They are way too soft and delicate and I was scared I'd never make them; (ii) I had no idea where to find coconut water (the water from brown not green coconut, and not coconut milk! and (iii) I did not own an appam pan. But for Srivalli's encouragement, I would have given up with idea altogether. But she would remind me every once in a while. And finally, I got my vegetable guy to break open a coconut and pack me the water to take home, bought an appam pan and get set to make this delicious pancake.

Srivalli's recipe works like a dream. The appams were so nice even I can't believe it was my first time making them. End of a quest for me too, just like Akhila!

Want to know where other members' quests led them?
Sweatha made cutlets, one food that always reminds me of train journeys.
Bhagyashri made aubergine fritters.
Also, don't forget to stop by at Sheba's for a lovely review.

Next month, the club is reading it's first non-fiction ever. The book we picked is Madhur Jaffrey's "Climbing the Mango Tree". Please leave a comment here if you would like to join us and I'd get back to you with details.

4 comments:

Ann said...

Your appams will beat my appams clear out of the ballpark....=)
Lovely!

Srivalli said...

Simmy, true to what you say! you have reached the end of your quest. How wonderful your appams look! Needless to say next time I am going to try it with sambar..:))..

Haddock said...

That Appam is perfect.
Real lacy.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow Appams!! I love them.. Eat them ever so often at Trishna!