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

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

by Meera Sodha

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Overview

Following 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 feel-good food and full of flavor.

Indian cuisine is one of the most vibrant vegetable cuisines in the entire world, and in Fresh India Meera leads home cooks on a culinary journey through its many flavorful dishes that will delight vegetarians and those simply looking to add to their recipe repertoire alike.

Here are surprising recipes for every day made using easy-to-find ingredients: Mushroom and Walnut Samosas, Oven-Baked Onion Bhajis, and Beet and Paneer Kebabs. There are familiar and classic Indian recipes like dals, curries, and pickles, alongside less-familiar ones using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Enjoy showstoppers like Meera’s Sticky Mango Paneer Skewers, Roasted Cauliflower Korma, Daily Dosas with Coconut Potatoes, and luscious desserts like Salted Peanut and Jaggery Kulfi and Pistachio Cake

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

Praise for Made In India:

"The recipes are unpretentious and were immediately promoted by my family of critics into must-makes for the monthly dinner rotation, new staples for a season of chill and damp." —Sam Sifton, The New York Times

"This book is full of real charm, personality, love, and garlic. Bring on the 100 clove curry! Not to mention fire-smoked eggplant, chicken livers in cumin butter masala, and beet and feta samosas. There's so much to be inspired by." —Yotam Ottolenghi

"I want to cook everything in this book." —Nigella Lawson, Nigella.com

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250123848
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: 05/15/2018
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 729,031
File size: 30 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Meera Sodha is a top-ten bestselling cookbook author in the UK. She is a voracious home cook, writes a regular column for Associated Press, and has been published by Food52, Borough Market, and The Guardian. Her first book, Made In India, was named a book of the year by theTimes and the Financial Times, and was runner up in Food52's The Piglet cookbook competition, beating out J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab. She lives in London.
When not traveling around India, collecting recipes, Meera Sodha chefs, writes, and lives in London. Made In India is her first cookbook.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

HELPFUL WEIGHTS MEASURES

Ingredients vary in size and potency, but this is a good rough guide if you're substituting whole spices for ground, scaling up recipes, or don't have a pair of scales on hand.

GENERAL

1 teaspoon = 1/3 of a tablespoon = 5ml 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 15ml

RICE LEGUMES

Appetites will vary (so plan accordingly), but as a general rule allocate 4 tablespoons of dry rice per person. As for legumes, allow ¼ pound of the dried variety per person, or a generous ¾ cup of cooked.

SPICES

You might find the following measures helpful if grinding whole spices:

BLACK PEPPER

1 teaspoon of peppercorns = 1½ teaspoons of ground pepper

CARDAMOM

Approximately 12 pods = 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

CORIANDER

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds = 1¼ teaspoons of ground coriander

CUMIN

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds = 1¼ teaspoons of ground cumin

FENNEL

1 teaspoon of fennel seeds = 1¼ teaspoons of ground fennel

MUSTARD SEEDS

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds = 1½ teaspoons of ground mustard

NUTMEG

½ a nutmeg = 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

CITRUS FRUIT

1 lime = roughly 2 tablespoons of juice I lemon = roughly 3 tablespoons of juice

GARLIC

1 fat clove of garlic = 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic

ONIONS

1 large brown onion = approximately 7 to 8 ounces

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

GF GLUTEN-FREE

DF DAIRY-FREE

VE VEGAN

Traditionally, Indians eat a couple of different dishes for lunch or dinner. Dotted around the table you might find one or two curries, a dal, some rice, and maybe a pile of chapatis. If you're lucky, you'll also get a tray of chutneys and a side of raita too. We tend to focus the meal not on one central "hero" dish, but around a few smaller ones, so you get a lot more flavor and texture.

This wonderfully varied way of eating has evolved over many centuries, and has in part been made possible by the amount of time Indian women have spent in the kitchen. But given our busy lifestyles, we all like a bit of simplicity when it comes to cooking during the week, which might mean a one-pot dish cooked in half an hour or making something in the same time it would take to order takeout. So I've written this book in a way that will satisfy different levels of time and enthusiasm. You can either combine a few different dishes or just cook one thing for dinner.

There are no rules, but I've made some suggestions in the introductions to each chapter, or under the recipes themselves, for what will go with what. Where you see "Serves 4 as a main course" you shouldn't need anything else alongside except some rice or bread, but where you see "Serves 4 as part of a main course" you might want another dish to go with it.

When I'm cooking during the week, I'll often cook a standalone dish, like a rice packed with vegetables, or a curry, soaking the rice before I start cooking. In the fridge I'll always have a few different pickles and some yogurt to make raita with. But when the weekend hits, I love to take my time and make a couple of things, or cook a big batch of dal to last a few days.

With any cuisine, the big question is always how to hang it all together so it makes sense. For that reason I've included a few menu suggestions, which you'll find here.

I've also included symbols for all gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan recipes, which are marked on each page with the abbreviations shown to the left.

CHAPTER 2

TEN WAYS TO RAISE YOUR GAME IN THE KITCHEN

01 TASTE AS YOU GO

02 GET SOME BALANCE

03 NOT ALL CHILES ARE CREATED EQUAL

04 ALWAYS WASH YOUR RICE

05 COOK YOUR ONIONS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE

06 EMBRACE FAILURE

07 PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

08 GROUND SPICES ARE FINE

09 EAT WITH YOUR HANDS

10 SHARE YOUR FOOD

01 TASTE AS YOU GO

Taste as you go, from beginning to middle to end. This is the simplest but best piece of advice my mother ever gave me. That way you'll learn what you like and what you don't. It will also give you a better understanding of the personalities of the ingredients you're dealing with and how they change with time, heat, and when mixed with other things. Soon you'll be able to create great food without a recipe.

02 GET SOME BALANCE

Most Indian home cooking is balanced. One ingredient shouldn't be vying for your attention more than any other. Often people think the chile should be the hero, but that's rarely true, and especially not when it comes to fresh vegetables. Let them take center stage and allow the other ingredients to act as backing vocals.

03 NOT ALL CHILES ARE CREATED EQUAL

Chiles and ground chile vary hugely in potency. I (almost) always use the same slim Indian green chiles and buy the same brand of Kashmiri ground red chile too. I've got to know my chiles and spices intimately so there are never any nasty surprises and I can judge how much to use.

04 ALWAYS WASH YOUR RICE

Washing rice helps to remove a lot of the starch that can make rice sticky and, at worst, gloopy. The best way to wash your rice is to put it in a bowl and pour water over it. Swirl it around and pour off the starchy water, repeat until the water runs clear, then pour in fresh water to soak-30 minutes in cold water is perfect, but 10 minutes in warm water is fine if you don't have that long. If you wash your rice through a sieve it's not as easy to tell how "clean" it is. Washing and soaking rice is the first thing I do in the kitchen before cooking, so I can have dinner and rice ready at the same time.

05 COOK YOUR ONIONS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE

Make sure you cook your onions for long enough. Try taking things a little further next time you cook them (without burning them) and you'll see what I mean. They are in so many recipes, and it makes all the difference.

06 EMBRACE FAILURE

With Indian food, if you go too far with one ingredient or another, you can usually recover. Too much chile or salt? Add tomatoes or coconut or double the recipe to dilute it. Or embrace messing up: chefs say this a lot, but it is true-don't worry if you mess up, as you'll learn from it.

07 PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

These days we expect to dip into any cookbook, from Korean food to Georgian, and be able to cook something perfectly first time around. The truth is that sometimes it takes a while to build up proper skills. I've now been making chapatis for years, but initially they were wonky. Over time my hands found a rhythm with the rolling pin and I got a feel for the dough, and now my chapatis are both round and pillow soft, like my mum's. If at first things aren't perfect, keep going.

08 GROUND SPICES ARE FINE

Ground spices are fine but only if they're fairly fresh. If you're planning to use some dusty old spice that has been festering at the back of the cupboard, don't expect it to taste of anything. If you're buying freshly ground spices, buy the best you can afford and change them regularly. Whole spices last longer because their oils are kept intact, but you'll need to invest in some time in the form of a pestle and mortar, or money in the form of an electric spice grinder.

09 EAT WITH YOUR HANDS

Everything tastes better when eaten with your hands (with the exception of soup). "Why would you want to taste the metal of a fork first?" my mum asked me. Good question, Mum.

10 SHARE YOUR FOOD

There's no greater joy than to eat around a crowded table with friends and family at home.

CHAPTER 3

STARTERS SNACKS

No Indian mother ever taught her child not to snack between meals.

In India, snacking is not a dirty word. This probably has something to do with the fact that snacks are predominantly freshly made by real people right in front of you. In England and the U.S., most snacks tend to be processed. Packets of things made by machines, with ingredients called E107 rather than "chickpeas."

That's not to say the other sort of snacks aren't available in India. Big companies and main street chains selling processed and fast food have moved into Indian cities, trying to tempt Indians away from the streets and into shopping malls. However, by and large, Indians from bankers to street kids are wobbling their heads at this sort of stuff, and the man on the street still reigns supreme, with his upturned fuel can, selling his freshly made snacks with his dubious health-and-safety credentials.

He is often just one man, with one pan and one dish. His stall won't have a name or be listed; he will be known by a name such as "the pav bhaji wallah at Tolly roundabout" or "the egg bhurji man on Churchgate opposite the school." But he may have had his patch for the last thirty years, serving the same thing, like his father before him and possibly even his father before him. And you can taste every single day of those thirty years that have made the dish you order a thing of utter perfection.

My favorite snacks are the ones that pack an almighty punch and leave you feeling like you need to sit down. They are the ones I love to make for myself, my family, and hard-core Indian-snack enthusiasts. They will take you on a roller coaster of flavors, tastes, and textures from first bite to last; majestic snacks like blackened sweet corn chaat (see here) or new potato and chickpea chaat (here). Then there are those snacks which everyone loves and are irritatingly addictive: beet shami kebabs (here) and Darjeeling momos (here). There is the cheela (here), the ultimate fallback, the gold champion of a snack, a pancake into which you can throw anything, made with every Indian's favorite pantry ingredient, chickpea flour. And finally, there are those snacks that I would eat a lot more of, if only they weren't deep-fried. I can't contemplate a life without papadums, samosas, or onion bhajis, so I have created some recipes (here, here, and here) where you don't have to deep-fry.

You might be wondering why I've been talking about snacks all this time and haven't once mentioned starters. This is because starters don't exist in Indian home cooking. You can, however, use every one of the recipes in this chapter as a starter.

HOMEMADE PAPADUMS WITH TOMATO MASALA

(masala papad)

GF DF VE

I love a tower of restaurant papadums and a parade of chutneys as much as the next woman, but they can be overly greasy and salty. These papadums are neither, and you can make them at home in huge, family-sized rounds. Or, if you're not into sharing, you can make lots of small, canapé-sized rounds using a cookie cutter. These are made with chickpea flour because I prefer the flavor, so don't be surprised if these end up a little thicker than the ones you're used to.

Makes 4 big sharing papadums (enough for 8 or more)

FOR THE TOMATO MASALA
Chop the tomatoes very finely, then do the same with the red onion, green chiles, and cilantro. Place in a serving bowl with the salt and lime juice, stir to mix, and refrigerate until needed. (The longer it sits, the tastier it will be.)

To make the papadums, preheat the oven to 300°F and line a couple of baking pans with lightly oiled foil. Place the chickpea flour in a large mixing bowl, and add the nigella seeds, black pepper, salt, cumin, and ground red chile. Mix thoroughly, then add the oil and work through with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the middle of the mix. Little by little, add ½ cup of water, mixing as you go-you may not need it all. Knead the dough until it comes together into a ball; it will be slightly tacky to the touch. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Lightly flour a clean surface and split the dough into 4 balls (about 4 ounces each). Take the first ball, flatten between your palms, and coat both sides in flour. Roll it into as big a round as you can, 10 inches in diameter if possible, adding a little more flour if it starts to stick. It's not easy to get papadums round, but if you don't manage it, they will look rustic (to use real estate agent terms).

When rolled, place on the oiled pan and repeat. You may need to cook them in a couple of batches, in which case cover the dough and roll it out just before baking, so it doesn't dry out. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and hard when you tap them.

To serve, place the papadums on large plates and use a slotted spoon to spoon over the tomato masala, leaving the liquid behind. Or serve the masala in a bowl next to the papadums.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Fresh India"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Meera Sodha.
Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

TITLE PAGE,
COPYRIGHT NOTICE,
DEDICATION,
INTRODUCTION,
HELPFUL WEIGHTS MEASURES,
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK,
TEN WAYS TO RAISE YOUR GAME IN THE KITCHEN,
STARTERS SNACKS,
ROOTS, SQUASHES, TUBERS, OTHER THINGS,
GLORIOUSLY GREEN,
EGGPLANTS,
SALADS,
PRESENTATION SKILLS,
EGGS CHEESE,
LEGUMES,
RICE,
MENU IDEAS,
BREADS,
PICKLES, CHUTNEYS, RAITAS,
DESSERTS,
DRINKS,
HOW TO MAKE ...,
INDIAN HEALTH REMEDIES,
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIERS,
THANKS,
INDEX,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,
ALTERNATIVE CONTENTS,
SEASONAL CONTENTS,
COPYRIGHT,

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