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.
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!