Tuesday, April 22, 2014

'Spice & Kosher' book on Cochin food featured in Asian Jewish Life

By Bala Menon

The latest issue of Asian Jewish Life (Issue 14, April 2014) has featured the book "Spice & Kosher - Exotic Cuisine of the Cochin Jews" by Dr. Essie Sassoon, Bala Menon and Kenny Salem. The special 'India Issue' has spread the feature across four pages and  has published three of the unique Cochin Jewish recipes from the book.

The recipes covered are the famed Polappam & Chikkiyathu (a type of crepe made with black gram and semolina and which is a breakfast dish unique to the Jews of Cochin) Chicken Pastel (an ancient Cochin Jewish dish, mentioned in Dutch documents from Kerala of the 17th century), and the Chukunda (tiny baked/fried rice balls which were a popular treat for children during the festival of Shavout).
AJL Editor-in-Chief Erica Lyons says in an editorial, "...Also looking at the beauty of Jewish culture from Cochin, we have Bala Menon who has contributed recipes from Spice & Kosher ... (the book) is much more than a cookbook; it is a walk through history and a snapshot of Jewish life."
Other articles featured in the issue include one on the legendary David Sassoon of Bombay by Dr. Shalva Weil, a Passover story "A Cup of Tea" by Sophie Judah, an interview with artist Siona Benjamin and an article by Michael Bender of Florida about his impressions on Cochin. There is also an interesting article on the supposed fascination in India with Hitler by Navras Jaat Aafreedi.
 All articles in the issue can be read online at: http://asianjewishlife.org/

Asian Jewish Life is a quarterly publication "designed to share regional Jewish thoughts, ideas and culture and promote unity. It also celebrates our individuality and our diverse backgrounds and customs." Asian Jewish Life is a registered charity in Hong Kong. AJL operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, a US organization.