Saraswat cuisine has uniqueness and individuality of its own, in the name of recipes, ingredients, style of preparation, distinctive occasion for such preparations, and, of course, the flavour and taste.
'Rasachandrika' is one of the classics among cookery books in Marathi. Generations of housewives have begun their culinary career by reading and following this book.
Now the secrets of Saraswat cookery would be available to a much wider readership through this English edition. Housewives will find in the book a large of recipes in an easy-to-follow manner.
A special feature of this book is a short but important section on home remedies which have made a life of many a housewife much more trouble-free.
The Saeaswat Mahila Samaj was founded on September 6, 1917. The publication of the first edition of Marathi Rasachandrika was undertaken during its Silver Jubilee year and it was brought out on October 30, 1943. Only a thousand copies of this edition were printed which were sold out within a month.
Several members of the Samaj made additions and alterations which were incorporated in the future editions. The fact that the Marathi Rasachandrika went into its ninth edition evidently shows it popularity among the Saraswats as well as other communities. The Saraswat Mahila Samaj is very grateful to all the members of the Samaj and other friends for their contribution to this book.
The metric system of weights and measures was introduced in 1958 in this country. So this was introduced in the cooking section from the seventh Marathi edition onwards. This conversion was done by Smt. Shalini G.Sirur and Late Smt. Shreemati M. Nadkarni.
As the book was found to be so popular it was translated in Hindi and published in 1958.
The late Smt. Kalyanibai Samsi had the idea of publishing the English edition of Resachandrika as far back as twenty years ago, but the project did not materialise at the time. So it was decided to publish it this years when the translation has been fully completed.
The English translation of the cookery section has been done by Smt. Mira G. Hattiangadi and Smt. Neela C. Balsekar. The simple remedies given in the Home Remedies Section and Some Useful Hints originally furnished by Smt. Hira Nadkarni have been translated with necessary has been translated by Shri Mangesh Rao Sujir.
The Saraswat Mahila Samaj is grateful the renowned artist Shri P. G. Sirur for the painting of a Saraswat kitchen in 1940s no the front cover done by him free charge for the first Marathi edition of Rasachandrika published in 1943 and to Shri Nandan Ballwalli for the inside coloured photographs.
Editing of this book with corrections, translation-modifications and changes wherever necessary have been carried out by Smt. Sarala B. Kalthod and SmL Kunda M Kagal. Also Smt. Shalini G. Sirur and Smt. Shaila S. Hemmady have assisted.
Our thanks are due to all the above mentioned persons as well as 'to Shri Sadanand and Smt. Ninnala S. Bhatkal, to Shri Ramdas G. Bhatkal and Shri Raghunath N. Gokarn of Popular Prakashan and to several others for their valuable advice and help in bringing out the first edition in response to the great demand from the younger generation which is more conversant with English than Marathi.
We are glad to mention that, as we hoped, all 2000 copies of the first edition of English Rasachandrika printed in June, 1988 were received with tremendous enthusiasm and appreciation. Hence, we are glad to bring out the second edition to meet the increasing demand.
In this edition we have added a few more typical and popular Saraswat recipes which were not included in the previous editions of Rasachan- drika so far. Also, the proportion of chillies in the curries has been reduced taking into consideration the diet consciousness of the present generation. Improvements in some recipes have also been incorporated.
Thanks to the sincere efforts and unstinted co-operation of all the members of Managing Committee of The Saraswat Mahila Samaj, we are proud to present to you this revised second edition, which we hope will be received with greater enthusiasm.
Cooking is an art and both men and women should be proficient.in it as it becomes a necessity in this age of small families and self- reliance. Although cooking is so essential, the importance given to this art is much less than to that given to others and the enthusiasm to teach it, is utterly lacking.
This book was, therefore, written by my mother-in-law, the late Smt. Ambabai Samsi, to make up for just this lack of enthusiasm. Both she and the rest of us hoped fervently that the book would be published in her lifetime, so that she could see the utility of it, but unfortunately this was not to be as she passed away very suddenly on December 17 ,1938, without being able to see the publication of this book.
I had also hoped that it would be published at least before her first death anniversary, but although the manuscript was ready, it had to be edited, which took some more time. The editing was done with the help of Smt. Indirabai Kallianpurkar, Smt. Apamabai Jathar, and Smt. Rukmabai Tallur to whom I am greatly indebted for their help and their willingness to spare their valuable time.
My mother-in-law also wished to include a section of home remedies in this book. This idea was fully supported by two mem- bers of the Saraswat Mahila Samaj, namely, Smt. Sitabai Padbidri and Smt. Kamalabai Dongerkery. The actual writing of the home remedies was a team effort by many friends but the methodical arrangements of the matter and preparation of the glossary was done by Dr. Smt. Girijabai Heble.
Finally I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Saraswat Mahila Samaj, who undertook the responsibility of publication.
This book is the result of long perseverance and intense hard work on the part of my revered mother-in-law and the enthusiastic follow-up-by the members of the Saraswat Mhila Samaj. I feel very happy, therefore, to present this masterly work to the readers.
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