Journalist_artist_historian_researcher_blogger_storyteller. Bala began his career with Times of India, Mumbai and later took up assignments in national newspapers in the Sultanate of Oman and United Arab Emirates. Widely travelled. Now works at a publishing house in Toronto, Canada. Lives in the city of Brampton, west of Toronto. Co-author of "Spice & Kosher: Exotic Cuisine of the Cochin Jews" *2013), the parent book of the Spice & Kosher Ebook Series. Was Joint Editor of 'Rhapsody Lane: A Selection of Works by Flower City Writers", published in 2015.
Rice is a vital part of life; embedded in the consciousness of the Cochin Jews, with its spiritual and religious connotations and its association with life cycle events. The grain is kosher and not forbidden for Cochinis (as they are called in Israel) even during Passover, under a religious dispensation! The grain takes many incarnations in Cochini kitchens throughout the day - at every meal.
Festivals meant many kinds of sweets for the Jews of Cochin from India's lush Malabar coast where they lived joyfully for 2000 years. From ultra-sweet egg yolk strings to golden-brown dumplings, nut brittles, coconut puddings, stuffed crepes and other jewel-like confections, it's a continuous celebration with sweets the Cochinis describe as ’sublime’. They continue to make them in Israel today.
For 2000 years, the Jews of Cochin from India's Malabar coast adhered to dietary laws of the Hebrew Bible. Coconut milk-laced, spiced, aromatic dishes of grain, vegetables and permitted meats and fish became quintessentially kosher and Jewish. Coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper and coconut dominate their cuisine. The Cochinis in Israel still serve/enjoy the same traditional Kerala fare.
Spices, mainly the 3 Cs - cardamom, cinnamon, cumin - with coconut, coriander and pepper dominate the cooking of the Cochinim (as the Jews from Cochin are called in Israel). The Cochinim, who lived on the Malabar coast of southwest India for over 2000 years, adapted local produce to develop wonderful dishes. This E-book is first of 4 books in the Spice & Kosher series related to Cochini cuisine.