East by Meera Sodha – a Cook Book Review

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Contents

East by Meera Sodha is full of tasty, meat-free recipes. With straightforward instructions and easily available ingredients, this is the perfect cookbook for everyone, whether you’re an avid recipe follower, or a more adventurous cook!

Review summary of East by Meera Sodha

4.5/5

Author: Meera Sodha

Genre: Cookbook

Editor’s rating: 4.5/5

 Whilst there are some vegetarian recipes in this meat-free cookbook, they can generally be easily veganised (swapping tofu for paneer for example).

The remaining recipes in East are vegan, with many of them based on Meera Sodha’s weekly column in The Guardian.

There are recipes to suit every occasion, including family-friendly meals, and the book is broken down into sections based on the main ingredient. These include pulses, curries, tofu and noodle dishes. This makes it easy to find a recipe to make, whether it’s to match the ingredients you have, or to satisfy a culinary craving!

With the vast majority of ingredients readily available in large supermarkets, any slightly more unusual ingredients can be found online or in Asian or Oriental grocery stores.

Meera Sodha’s recipe instructions are very easy to follow and are also accurate. If she says the sauce will be ready after simmering for 7 minutes, she’s always spot-on! This means that even the most inexperienced cooks can follow the recipes and produce a tasty and delicious meal! 

So, if you want to produce dishes that taste authentic, with relatively short ingredient lists and straightforward instructions, then this really is a great book. It is packed with recipes that you will find yourself going back to time and again.

Pros

Cons

Let’s take a closer look at those pros and cons.

Simple Lists of Ingredients

There are some great cookbooks out there, but some have ingredient lists as long as your arm that assume you have access to a vast larder of herbs, spices and exotic food products. That also often suggests a level of complexity to the meal too.

East by Meera Sodha is not like that. The vast majority of ingredients are readily available. She also provides a glossary of food items near the back of the book which tells you more about individual ingredients which is very helpful.

Authentic Tasting Dishes

I know that cuisines are prone to appropriation, although perhaps, like languages, that helps our cooking repertoires to grow and we then come to appreciate the originality and complexity of certain dishes.

To my untrained palate, the recipes in Meera Sodha’s East have an authentic taste and feel and her approach makes it easy to produce dishes that you may otherwise have veered away from.

Suitable for all Skill Levels, from Novice to Expert

Because of the ingredients, together with simple, straightforward and comprehensive instructions, you can’t really go wrong with these recipes. Really.

No eggs please, we're vegan!

OK, I was joking when I said you could stick the egg pages together so you don’t have to look at them. However, as a vegan, my preference is always to have a vegan, fully plant-based cookbook to look through.

It’s not much of an issue to be honest. There are loads of vegan and veganisable (I think I’ve just made up a word) recipes. Just call me picky…

My conclusion on East by Meera Sodha

This is one of my absolute favourite meat-free cookbooks – the many splashes and stains on the pages of my copy of this wonderful collection of recipes from all over the the East are testament to that (I have always been a messy cook…)

There aren’t any ‘dud’ recipes here – everything I have made has turned out really well due to the simplicity of the ingredient lists and comprehensive, straightforward instructions. 

Because of the wide variety of recipes represented in this book, I have ventured into cuisines that I had previously thought to be complex – the Sichuan recipes are an example of that, with Meera’s Mushroom Mapo Tofu and Kung Pao Cauliflower now regulars in our house.

Other favourites include the Chickpea Flour Chips with Chilli Sauce; Black Dal; Honey (I use Maple Syrup) Soy and Ginger Braised Tofu; and Sprout Nasi Goreng. I could go on but there are too many to mention. It really is chock full of great things to cook.

I would hate to be without this in my cookbook collection, and strongly recommend it to everyone. It makes a great gift too and has been a welcome present to many friends and family members.

Where can you buy East by Meera Sodha?

I love bookshops and so any books bought through my site come from local, independent bookstores across the country, facilitated by Bookshop.org. I hope you will support them too. You can find out more by using the link below.

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