Paati’s Rasam

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Paati’s Rasam
by Janaki Sabesh and Dhwani Sabesh
Publisher: Karadi Tales (2022)

“Colours returned to my rainbow” is a phrase from the book that aptly describes how the book makes you feel.

Paati’s Rasam written by Janaki Sabesh and Dhwani Sabesh caters not only to the younger generation, but is also for adults to appreciate. It probably is walk down memory lane for all adults reminiscing the nostalgia of their childhood, through food.

As Indians, most of us, cherish meals that were made in our family kitchens during summer holidays, weekends, festivals etc. And it is the simple memories of hot rasam rice, or dal chawal that eventually builds the core memories of adults.

Reading this beautiful book makes us realise how we are connected to the simple pleasures of life. And how that one specific meal will always be close to your heart.

Malli is in search of the rasam her Paati made, beautifully touching upon the close bond the two had. After Paati passes on, for Malli, no rasam could match up to the flavour of her Paati’s rasam. It is a true reflection of how some flavours are so distinct in our head that nothing can replace them.

During her journey to recreate the same rasam, the book does not deviate from the authenticity of making rasam. The narration is simple yet so effective that one feels that they are standing in the kitchen while the rasam is made in the eeyachombu.

Through the cooking process, the book also touches upon the nurturing relationship of grandparents with their grandchildren. It reinforces the belief that no matter how much times passes; some relationships are irreplaceable.

The illustration in the book adds to the beauty of the story, and the authenticity of the Indian kitchen. The story ends with the recipe of the rasam, and the simplicity shines through. It also makes the reader crave for hot rasam on a pile of rice with a dollop of ghee. Paati’s rasam is a beautiful mist read for kids (and adults), which brings back all the fond childhood memories coming right back.

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