S.Meenakshi Ammal is a pioneer in cook book writing in India. Way back in 1951, when cook books were not an accepted or popular genre in Indian publishing, she charted a new path by coming out with the first volume of her legendary “Samaithu Par” in Tamil. Literally meaning “cook and see”, this book was meant to be a guide to young brides who were Setting up home on their own. This book was immediately lapped up, and there was a lot of demand for more such guidance. In line with this, Meenakshi Ammal came out with two more volumes of Samaithu Par. The second volume dealt with more recipes, while the third volume focused on various festivals and the preparations for these festivals.
More than 50 years later, her books still command a lot of popularity. In recent years, her grand daughter-in-law, Priya Ramkumar, has kept the flag flying with the release of two more volumes covering more dishes.