Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day

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"The tastiest, liveliest, spice-infused fare this side of the Sabamarti river." —Guardian

Meera Sodha's cookbook Fresh India is a celebration of India's love of vegetables! Though her family is from Gujarat, in western India, Sodha grew up in a small farming village in Lincolnshire, UK, surrounded by fresh vegetables. She grew up eating dishes her mum adapted to the seasonal produce. Following on from her bestselling Made in India, Meera Sodha reveals a whole new side of Indian food that is fresh, delicious and quick to make at home. These vegetable-based recipes are proper feel good food, and full of flavor. Sodha's mission:

My aim with the book is not to preach or to write only for vegetarians: it is to inspire you to cook a different, fresher, vegetable-lad type of Indian food. To honor the seasons and what grows in the fields, and also to celebrate the way that hundreds of millions of Indians sea, and the Gujarati way of thinking. 

Why Gneiss Spice recommends this book: Indian recipes can be daunting for a new cook. These recipes are simple to follow, use mostly common ingredients and focus on fresh vegetables. It's lighter Indian food, vegetarian, yet still filling enough to be a main course! Each recipe is marked as GF (gluten-free), VE (vegan) or DF (dairy-free), and it easy to browse. And Sodha has a genius "alternative contents" with labels such as "from the pantry" and "great first-timer recipes" and "under 30 minutes."  

Whether you are vegetarian, want to eat more vegetables or just want to make great, modern Indian food, this is a book for you.

Here are a few recipes we've tested with our summer produce:

  • Spinach, tomato + chickpea curry (quick dinner)
  • Beet shami kebabs
  • Gardeners' Question Time pilau (filled with greens)
  • Green bean subji
  • Rhubarb + ginger chutney 
  • Carrot halwa with garam masala pecans (reminiscent of carrot cake)

To cook all of the recipes in this book, you will need the following spices. *Indicates spices used most often. 

  • ajwain
  • amchur
  • asafoetida
  • bay leaf
  • cardamom (ground)*
  • cardamom (pods)
  • chili flakes
  • cinnamon (sticks)
  • cinnamon (ground)
  • chaat masala
  • clove (ground)
  • cloves (whole)
  • coriander (ground)
  • coriander (seed)
  • cumin (seed)*
  • cumin (ground)
  • fennel (seed)
  • fenugreek (seeds)
  • garam masala*
  • ginger (ground)
  • kashmiri chile* - Lots of this! Referred to it as "red chile" in this book.
  • mustard (black seed)*
  • nigella*
  • nutmeg (whole)
  • pepper (black)* - Grind fresh!
  • peppercorns (black)
  • rose petals
  • sesame seeds (tan)
  • saffron
  • sea salt
  • star anise
  • turmeric*
  • vanilla extract

Other items you may not have in your pantry: tamarind paste, Eno fruit salt, fresh curry leaves, kasoori methi, lime pickles, chana dal, hard paneer, chick pea flour. For many of these ingredients, she notes them as optional if you don't have access to an Asian grocery store.