Rakesh Ragunathan’s next cooking workshop features dishes dating back to the 16th century
TWO months after his Chettinad workshop at cookbook author Meyyammai Murugappan’s house, Rakesh Ragunathan is back again. The TV show host and food blogger (Puliyogare Travels) will be focusing on Thanjavur in a workshop at his own house next week, where recipes dating back to the period of 16th-17th century will be showcased. Ragunathan will be accompanied by historian Chitra Madhavan, who will talk about the temples in the region.
Around four recipes (“cannot cook more due to time constraint”) are on the agenda for the event, some of them that took pride of place in the royal kitchens of Maratha rulers. “While cooking, I shall also talk about how I came across the recipe for the same and about the household where I found them,” he says. For example, he learnt the Goliyachi Ras from an old lady who belongs to the tribe of the Thanjavur Marathas. “The recipes in the Thanjavur region have a distinct flavour of native spices and ingredients that were introduced in this region for the first time when the Maratha warriors started to settle here. The recipes I will be showcasing have originated from that period,” he shares.
Goliyachi ras is nothing but deep fried raw banana balls that are cooked in a tangy sweet sambhar made with spices native to Maratha region. Kumbakonam Kadappa is neither a sambhar or a kurma, but the potato-based curry pairs well with staples like idli and dosa. The other two are poori payasam and poori ladoo, specials of Ragunathan’s great grand mother (they hail from Thanjavur). “In these, the pooris are made with fine rava and dunked in saffron, flavoured badam kheer and topped with nuts,” he reveals, adding that at the three-hour workshop, the participants (to comprise from youngsters to senior citizens) will be given recipe sheets, where they can find more information about the dishes in detail.
Rs 1,500 per head.