I’ve been looking forward to this book for ages. Both Meera Sodha’s previous books, Made in India and Fresh India are real favourites in my kitchen, and I am a devout follower of her ‘New Vegan’ column in the Guardian. I love Meera’s food, and her approach to it: it is personal, vibrant, achievable and engaging: every recipe is like a smile. And she has a real, relaxed infectious charm. As ever, reading her recipes, I feel I want to cook everything: Mushroom Bao; Sweet Potato Momos; Shiitake Pho with Crispy Leeks; Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry (which I have actually cooked, and it made me very happy); Aubergine Katsu Curry. I could go on. And on. I also happen to love the idea of her Salted Miso Brownies, and was touched to get a mention for a version of my No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream; you’d be surprised how often recipes are used or built on without credit. This book is such a gift to the interested everyday cook, vegetarian, vegan or (as in my case) neither. And it gives me great pleasure to leave with you a timely recipe (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) - the enticing Summer Pilau with Tomato, Coconut and Cashews.
East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing by Meera Sodha (Fig Tree, £20)