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Ammini Ramachandran is a freelance writer, cooking teacher and author of "Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy" (iUniverse 2007).

Her work has been published in Flavor & Fortune, Gastronomica, and Heritage India. She was a presenter at the 10th annual Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival -- Rise of Asia -- at the Culinary Institute of America in 2007 and her recipes appear in "The Flavors of Asia" published by the Culinary Institute of America. She has contributed articles to Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism, Storied Dishes, Sacred Waters, and Food History Primer.

Her website, Peppertrail, introduces readers to her home state of Kerala’s cultural and culinary traditions through articles and recipes. The site’s Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts section is a preview of her cookbook on Kerala’s vegetarian cuisine. The latest addition to the site, Treasures from the Past, explores India's ancient culinary history though articles, stories and recipes.

Ramachandran has taught Indian cooking classes at Central Market Cooking Schools in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, in Boulder, Colorado. She has made presentations at The New York Women's Culinary Alliance, Queens Library System, American Institute of Wine and Food in Dallas, the Houston Culinary Guild and Culinary Historians of New York.

Before becoming a freelance writer she was a financial analyst in international banking. She has a B.Sc. in chemistry and MBA in finance. Ramachandran is a member of the culinary historians of New York.

Pongal is a typical Indian food made with rice.

There's something particularly delicious about humble ingredients cooked together in a pot and served up. All it involves is mingling an eclectic collection of

Golden yellow plantain chips are part of the Onam feast in India. Credit: R.V. Ramachandran

Thousands of years ago, pioneers among the central Malayo-Polynesian-speaking populations are believed to have traveled across the Indian Ocean and brought plantains, water yams

When planning a summer gathering, try one of these delicious summer drinks from India instead. Credit: R.V. Ramachandran

In the outermost reaches of southwestern India, the soundtrack of summer has a deeper bass and a heavier beat than the rest of the

Horse gram is a staple in some Indian cuisines.

The two comfort foods I missed most when I first came to the United States revolved around legumes: muthira upperi (horse gram stir-fry) and

Saffron Almond Milk. Credit: R.V. Ramachandran

In tropical south India, our pantry had shelves running the length of walls that stored all types of basic provisions. Large brass containers held

Chef Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo restaurant in Austin, Texas. Credit: courtesy of Iliana de la Vega.

Sometimes traditional and inventive are mutually exclusive concepts in classic global cuisine, but one Texas chef has found a way to translate traditional Oaxacan

Gulab jamun. Credit:R.V. Ramachandran

The plethora of colors, shapes and sizes of Indian sweets are bewildering. Taste, color and shape often vary from region to region, but gulab

Neyappam prepared in appakara as an offering for the gods in Indian Hindu temples. Credit: R.V. Ramachandran

Up on a tall peak of the Western Ghats mountain range in India called Sabarimala, a Hindu shrine lures hundreds of thousands of pilgrims