Retired Gynaecologist. Born in the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin in Kerala; was Specialist Associate Professor at Calicut Medical College, when she volunteered for duty in Israel during the Yom Kippur War, serving at Telashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan; Later became Deputy Head of Department at Barzilai Medical Centre in Ashkelon, where she now lives. Twice honoured for meritorious service, Dr. Sassoon now devotes her time to her hobbies - cooking, sports and folk dancing.
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.