Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu


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Alamelu Vairavan, a native of South India, has lived most of her adult life in the United States. Over the years, she has developed a deep interest in promoting healthy cooking and eating to the American public using spices, legumes and Indian cooking techniques.

Alamelu has co-authored, with her neighbor and friend Dr. Patricia Marquardt, two books on South Indian cooking: Art of South Indian Cooking (1997) and Healthy South Indian Cooking (2001, 2003, 2007) Hippocrene Books Inc, N.Y. The second Expanded Edition of Healthy South Indian Cooking was released in October 2008.

She has also contributed several recipes to the American Dietetic Association cookbook, Cooking Healthy Across America (2004, John Wiley, N.Y.)

As a culinary instructor, Alamelu offers classes teaching the public easy ways to prepare and enjoy healthful foods using legumes, spices and herbs. Her classes have been offered through community education, hospital and university outreach programs and the Chef Series at Waukesha Culinary Arts Program in Wisconsin. Alamelu also offers "wellness programs" for corporate employees.

She has been featured on numerous national and regional TV shows including appearances on PBS, Discovery Channel, Fox and CBS programs. Alamelu has also been a feautured guest in many radio shows in several states. In April 2009, Alamelu presented a culinary workshop at The James Beard Foundation, New York.

Her books and recipes have been featured in magazines and newspapers including USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Enquirer, Los Angeles Times, Wisconsin Woman and India Today. Los Angeles Times has referred to her recipes as, "coconut-infused curries, brilliant vegetable dishes", and has noted "what could be complex becomes relatively simple in Vairavan's approach".