The late Thangam E Philip was a role model who inspired her students to dream, to work and to reach for the stars. As one who was fortunate enough to be her student in the 1974 batch at the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Mumbai, it gives me immense satisfaction to be asked to write the foreword to her posthumous book, Thangam Pbilips Vegetarian Recipes for Healthy Living.
There are various reasons to adopt vegetarianism: ethical, medical, environmental, religious, political, cultural, aesthetic and economic are some that spring readily to mind. However, to my teacher, it was essentially a way of life.
In the hunter-gatherer state of early evolution, a meat-based diet was normal to human beings. But with the advent of agriculture, cereals and vegetables began to play a predominant role in our diet. This is especially true of every variation of Indian cuisine. In fact, even in those Indian cuisines that place a lot of emphasis on meat and fish preparations, vegetarian dishes have been given equal importance.
The socio-historical reasons behind this phenomenon and the medico-economic reasons that should make vegetarianism a way of life are presented with great clarity by the author in her Introduction. This section also contains very useful directions on how to prepare different types of vegetables for the table, and the recipes are a delight both to the palate and the eye.
With all love and respect to a great teacher and connoisseur of good food, who wrote the two-volume Modern Cookery for Teaching and Trade, a classic work on the culinary arts that serves as the standard textbook, I present this book, Thangam E Philip's last work.
Introduction to Vegetarianism
Roots and Tubers
Cereals and Millets
Nuts and Oilseeds
Other Foods with Medicinal Properties
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