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bjaypee
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Joined: 01 Aug 2001
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Found this interesting article on the web ; which should make Badagas especially from Meekery Village very happy !

'A tasty way to talk' by SARAH McNEILL

in TIMEOUT (Australia) datelined October 7, 2006

In the small tribal village of Meeckery in southern India, Stephanie Dodd discovered that the best way to communicate with her non-English speaking host family was to cook with them.

"I would share kitchen chores with the women and help them prepare the family meals," she said. The food was simple, seasonal, aromatic and vegetable-based and Stephanie began to write down the recipes that had been passed down from generation to generation.

The 22-year-old UWA student from Nedlands was part of a group of eight young Australian volunteers working in India on a 10-week project with Australian Volunteers International.The students lived and worked with the Badaga people in the village.Stephanie got the other students to write down recipes and based on ventures into local markets,attending local festivals,weddings and funerals, she planned to compile a book that would capture the essence of regional India.

On her return from India, Stephanie became involved in the Young Achievement Australia (YAA) business skills program, representing UWA. The timing was perfect. As part of the program,the group of 11 students had to form a company
with a board of management, create a product,design a business and marketing plan and sell the product.

The company, Royal Industries, adopted Stephanie's idea and compiled, produced and is now selling the cookbook, called Tantric Feasts: Connecting through Cooking in Southern India .The company's marketing director, 21-year-old Jeanette Koh of West Perth, prepared every recipe in the book and had photos taken by May-Lyn Zamojski, a Year 12 student at Perth Modern School who is taking an elective in photography.

The group designed the layout, produced and printed it themselves and were surprised and delighted at its initial success its first run of 100 copies sold almost immediately.Each book comes with a packet of three spices sambar, garam masala and black mustard seeds provided by Kongs in Broadway, Nedlands. For novices to Indian cuisine it is an inspiring way to tackle the simple but tasty recipes.They range from breakfast dishes like kitcheri, that according to the book "provides both nourishment for the body and due to its spice combination, also benefits digestion", to peppery rasam soup that is reportedly good for clearing up colds, chicken masala and besan ke laddoo, a sweet chickpea fudge.

Many of the recipes are attributed to the cook from whose kitchen it came and Stephanie has included plenty of interesting details and anecdotes about the southern Indian way of life.

"I felt positively naughty when learning to eat the Indian way," she wrote of her first "hands-on" Thali experience, eating rice and curry off a banana leaf without cutlery.She describes festivals,the markets and the friendly eighbourhood "tea-uns".

It has been a community project that has spread from the enthusiastic and hospitable villagers of Meeckery to the equally enthusiastic students and their company, Royal Industries. The book with its accompanying spices costs $20 and 10% of the proceeds will be returned to Meeckery, to help the community with its development projects.
The book can be ordered through Jeanette Koh on 0422 163 606 or is available through the UWA Coop Bookshop.

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