I wrote a Cookbook & won an Award!!!


Well, it is quite late in the day to announce it, being close to a month since this bit of news was out. Fact is, late last year, I wrapped up co-writing a book on Iyengar cookery titled Why Onions Cry: Peek into an Iyengar Kitchen with Vijee Krishnan. Iyengars are a community scattered mainly mainly across Tamil Nadu in India that worships Lord Vishnu. Their religious beliefs and practices inspired their food to a great extent. Every article of food is considered ‘prasadam’ ie. an offering of the Lord.

The book focuses on lunch and dinner items served as part of a typical Iyengar meal that is traditionally served on a banana leaf. For those of you who’ve never had a full course Iyengar meal, one is served as many as 15-20 items! The book talks in detail about the various ‘courses’ of an Iyengar meal and the varieties served therein. While some dishes are commonly known, there are many that are not so common and some that one may not even have heard of.

The recipes included in the book are those that have been handed down the generations, mainly from Vijee’s grandma and mother-in-law. While the recipes are true to the roots, some modifications have been made to suit the wider gamut of vegetables, ingredients and spices available today, compared to just a handful available in the early 20th century.

The book is under production currently and should be out in the market hopefully by March.


The book has been adjudged the best vegetarian cookbook from India for 2011 by an organisation called the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards. Headquartered in Spain, Gourmand is one of the premier organisations that celebrates and awards the best in the global cookbook publishing world and those who “cook with words”.

After winning the India title, the book has also been shortlisted among the final 6 contenders for the The Best vegetarian Cookbook in the World title. Look up page no.10 in Gourmand Magazine no.18 (December 2011 issue): http://www.gourmand-magazine.com/subscribe-and-download/

Gourmand judges cookbooks across 58 categories (40 categories for cookbooks and 18 for books about wine). Winners are awarded during a global Cookbook Fair organised each year in March that brings everyone from the cookery publishing world under one roof, including cookbook authors, publishers, food photographers and writers. The next edition of the fair – Paris Cookbook Fair 2012 – is being organised at Paris in March 2012.

In an effort to give a fillip to vegetarianism the world over, in November 2011 Gourmand put together a list of some of the best vegetarian cookbooks published till date from 40 countries. Why Onions Cry: Peek into an Iyengar Kitchen led the list of the five best books from India. You can find the book listed right at the bottom on page no.8 of Gourmand Magazine November 2011 issue.


Buy the book from Amazon.in

Buy the book from Prism Books


After dozens of times interviewing people as during my stint as a journalist, it felt quite strange to be on the other side of the table. The news of the Gourmand Award got covered in the Chennai supplement of The Economic Times (December 30, 2011):

ET Madras Plus 30.12.2011

The same also appeared in The Times of India in Chennai, Coimbatore and Bangalore:

TOI 30.01.12

Another article in The Hindu Business Line



29 thoughts on “I wrote a Cookbook & won an Award!!!

  1. Pingback: AMTI – Maharashtrian Dal/Lentil Curry « foodiliciousnan

  2. Hey, I just read Aval vikatan & read abt the “cookbook”, congrats.
    Do you konw how to buy thro online.I am in washington dc,usa.I wanted to ordre thro online.


  3. Pingback: I’m a Versatile Blogger! « foodiliciousnan

  4. Congrats on your achievement !
    Could you give us the recipe for the Karuveppilai kuzhambu , that you mentioned in Aval Vikatan ? Thanks .

  5. Congrats…love to follow ur updates by email..would love to get a copy of this book… let me know when if it is available in the market….


  6. Pingback: Banana-Chocolate Layer Cake and some Celebration! « foodiliciousnan

  7. I read your co-authors interview in vikatan. from that time i have been looking for this book since there was no mention about the release date. Found your blog luckily.
    Can you tell me the stores where it will be available in Chennai or the ISBN of the book. I am visiting chennai next month and would love to pick it up. Please email them to me too.

  8. I’m so Sorry Srividhya, Meena, Niru, JVN Rao, Vani and Nagarajan S. We had some trouble publishing the book and the launch got forever postponed. We’re trying to untangle it all and get the book into the market soon. Hope your wishes and interests remain with us always. Do wish us luck, because we really need the support of our eager would-be readers! Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Eggless Ferrero Rocher Cake with Nutella-Mascarpone Frosting to ring in 2014 & to celebrate the launch of Why Onions Cry | foodiliciousnan

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