Quick Cookbook Review: Made in India

The problem I have with a lot of cookbooks these days is that they either contain “easy” recipes that I could have come up with myself or consist almost entirely of photos of yoga pants-clad women laughing at salad. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a funny salad as much as the next woman and I wear yoga pants at least four days a week (mainly because I do yoga in them, rarely because I’m too lazy to get dressed), but this is not necessarily what I’m looking for in a cookbook. This, however, is not one of those books.

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I love Indian food and I always knew there had to be much more to it than the rather limited selection on offer in most Indian restaurants here in Europe. There is, and this book, written by Meera Sodha, proves it. The emphasis is on home cooking, so expect fewer elaborate meat-based curries, and more fresh and colourful vegetable-based dishes for every day of the week. The book is full of appealing recipes with clear instructions, entertaining anecdotes and beautiful photography. Meera’s family originally hails from Gujarat, then moved to Uganda in the 1950s before being chased out by notorious dictator Idi Amin and finally settling in Britain. These influences also shine through in certain recipes such as her matoke plantain curry: an interesting fusion of East-African and Indian culinary traditions. This book was a birthday present from my parents and although I usually cook bookless, I can’t wait to use it. I’m particularly excited about making my own parathas, naans and chapatis (this time hopefully with more success than last time I tried !); creating my own chutneys; using more whole spices in my cooking and finding new ways to fill both my tummy and my tiffin with delicious Indian fare!

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15 thoughts on “Quick Cookbook Review: Made in India

  1. The colourful cover of this lovely book already says a lot on how joyful your cooking sessions are gonna be ! Not to mention the pictures of the family making food together and showing their techniques! Great present from your parents, and I love the idea that the Indian family also opted for fusion-style recipes as you said, the mix between Indian and East-African cuisine must be something quite unique! I wish you a happy birthday (if it was these recent days) and a great time discovering the wonders of this cookbook! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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    1. What a lovely comment, Sophie! Merci! My birthday was on the 19th of May, but I only celebrated it recently because I was still WWOOFing (working on organic farms in the UK) at that time. And you’re right, Indian and East-African fusion must be very interesting. It’s not something people would associate with one another very easily, I think, although there are a lot of similarities in the way both cuisines use a lot of warming spices.

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      1. Yes, I’ve read almost all your posts of when you were WWOOFing in UK ( I had no idea you could do that in Europe to be honest, we always hear about WWOOFing in New Zealand or Australia, but I’m not too informed on that field of activity). I especially liked your post about when you were making sausages! You said before you were from the Netherlands, but I’m impressed how good your English is (I guess going to UK often helps a bit…!). And because your blog’s name is in French, I originally thought you were from Quebec, hehe! Anyway, you’re full of surprises, and I enjoy reading your blog a lot, so I’m looking forward to reading about your cooking experiences based on your new Cookbook (if you ever post about that). Cheers !!

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      2. Oh, but WWOOFing is really good fun, I think you can do it almost every country 🙂 ! Spending a lot of time in another country is certainly a good way of learning a language (I guess I should go to France more often to polish up my French! 🙂 ), but I work as an English translator so writing in English is more or less my job, haha. Thanks for your comment! Seeing that people like you read and enjoy my posts really motivates me to keep going! 😀

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      3. Aaah that makes sense, I was wondering what kind of job you had in order to be able to travel so often (I guess sometimes you bring a little work to do). I have lived in China for 7 years and totally agree about the good way of learning a language. Actually, I am currently considering adding “translator” to my panel of activities. I know it can get very time-consuming but I may start it as an addition to my current job and see how it goes before I change my professional like orientation.

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      4. If you don’t mind the financial insecurity of it, it’s probably one of the most independent jobs you can have. You’re entirely free to work when and how and where you want to (provided you’re able to work with deadlines). I don’t particularly love translating, but the lifestyle suits me and I like being my own boss (can’t stand other people telling me what to do, haha). So, long story short: yeah, try it! Unless your current job is much more fun. What is your current job?

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      5. I work at managing my husband’s pharmacy. It’s a small business that allows me some free hours at time, and i’d like to use them to make money with another job without leaving my workplace. Pharmacist was not at all my original studies. When I was living in China, I was a Business trainer and consultant (with no boss either, hehe) specialized in improving the working process of local Chinese manufacturers with their foreign customers (so, very very far away from my current job, haha! But love and marriage made me do this weird choice of working in a pharmacy lol)

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  2. Hahaha. I totally agree with you, a little too many people in their yoga pants everywhere these days. I love cook books like this, I mean a real cook book like this. Thanks for sharing the review and let us know how it goes with your own parathas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right! I was a little worried there was something wrong with me, but Meera’s recipe is totally foolproof. Hmm, now you made me crave chapattis again, haha. And thanks for the compliment! And also: Yes, that’s right, I’m based in the Netherlands (most of the time anyway), how about you?

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