Chef Shankar Krishnamurthy’s new pandemic-inspired e-book ‘The $1 Cookbook’ digs into innovation and frugality in home cooking
Last year when the world shut down and we were forced to stay indoors and make do with whatever was available, Hyderabad-based chef Shankar Krishnamurthy realised how important it was for everyone to stay motivated, eat well and make cooking a fun but learning experience. Finally, he came out with an e-book titled The $1 Cookbook – Home Flavours, Simple Holistic Cooking.
Chef Shankar had been toying with the idea of a recipe book for long but it was the lockdown that gave him the right perspective. While taste and presentation are his top priorities, he says, “I had to also keep in mind that resources are limited. It could be a dinner for two, or a family dinner, I wanted my recipe book to be simple, easy to understand and most of all ingredients should be easily available.”
Another important factor that Shankar wanted to keep in mind was the cost of preparing each dish. “The ingredients needed to make the dishes in the ebook shouldn’t cost more than $1 per person. This, assuming that everyone has a few ingredients with them. And even if they need to buy an ingredient — especially the sauces — they can be used multiple times in other dishes. I have not used anything fancy. The whole idea is to simplify cooking, not complicate it or make anyone run to a fancy supermarket,” says chef Shankar.
These parametres in place, chef Shankar decided to finalise the dishes for a global cuisine with local ingredients. From the over 30 years of experience as a chef and an entrepreneur, he says experimenting with ingredients to suit local habits have made it easier to select the dishes on the ebook.
As a restaurateur, he opines, “Sometimes the most humble ingredient or the most inexpensive vegetable can fetch us the highest price on the menu in fine dining restaurants. It is with this thought, that I gave myself a budget. It could be a one-pot meal, a dish with accompaniments, ensuring a full one-time meal.”
The simple recipes in the ebook come with variations like chickpea and cottage cheese in Thai red curry and drumstick with mushroom in Thai green curry which easily draw one attention. Then there is a yoghurt vegetable vermicelli, perhaps chef Shankar’s version of curd rice.
The 50recipes have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Each recipe portion serves four.
‘The $1 Cookbook’ can be found at shankar krishnamurthy.academy