Meera Sodha, author of “Made in India,” “Fresh India” and the vegan columnist at the UK’s “The Guardian,” has just released a new cookbook, "East." In this work the British Indian looks beyond India to East Asia and South East Asia.
The cookbook is a collaboration between Sodha and the home cooks and chefs she met on her culinary journey east. It features 120 vegan and vegetarian recipes gleaned and inspired by stops from Bangalore to Beijing. There is a Mushroom Bao, Pumpkin Malai Kari, Silken Tofu with Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles, Brussels Sprout Nasi Goreng and Salted Miso Brownies.
The London-based Sodha writes that her creativity was compounded with vegan restraints and she found ways to push vegetables from playing the supporting role to the center of the table. As a self-confessed person who loves vegetables, Sodha took two years to bring it all together to toss up dishes like Sweet Potato Momos and a no-churn Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream.
Because she was determined to make it practical, the book is helpfully listed into chapters likes “Tofu,” “Rice,” “Salads,” “Curries” and “Noodles” – among the main kind of foods found in Asia.
The book’s USP might well be its propensity to use easy to find ingredients and quick cooking dishes that don’t lack for flavor.
Given the huge rush to the home kitchen by a populace grounded by the pandemic and the growing clamor for plant-forward, environmentally responsible foods, “East” might have timed it just right.