Says Brami Jegan about her blog featuring recipes from Jaffna:
‘My Tamil Kitchen’ is a project in which I combine that which is sacred to me: identity – my mother’s delicious recipes – cooking with love – self expression – resistance. My mother comes from Manippai in Jaffna – a town in northern Sri Lanka – so her recipes are that of Jaffna Tamils. In time I hope to learn how to make dishes from aunties and uncles from other parts of Sri Lanka.”
An important part of, and inspiration for, the My Tamil Kitchen blog, is Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils. This cookbook, first published in 2003, has sold 6000 copies all over the world.
Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils came to be as part of Nesa Eliezer and her friends’ fundraising efforts in Melbourne for projects aiding war affected Tamils in Sri Lanka. Nesa approached another member of TEWO (Tamil Eelam Tamil Women’s Association) and some other friends for recipes. The result was a collection of 175 easy to make dishes.
‘Tamils love their cuisine and wherever they go they relish the memories of it and try as far as possible to inculcate a love for it in their children.” – Nesa Eliezer
In the early years, the profits from Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils, supported Malar Cholai Home and Sencholai Girls’ Home. After the war, when these homes had been destroyed, proceeds from the sales of the book began to support other women’s projects in northern Sri Lanka.
“This wonderful cookbook is not only a must have in my home, it is an inspiration and a reminder that I must never forget my identity”- Brami Jegan