Cookbook Review: Fresh India

Fresh India, Meera Sodha

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 flavour.

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 flavourful 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.

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 the Times 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.

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

Pistachio and Almond Cake with Saffron Icing

Pistachio and Almond Cake with Saffron Icing, Meera Sodha

Photo by David Loftus

This is a rich cake for a celebration.

Serves 6

1 cup ground pistachios

1 cup ground almonds

3/4 cup self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or finely ground seeds from 6 pods)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (plus extra to grease)

3 eggs



a big pinch of saffron

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons pistachios, roughly chopped

a small handful of dried edible

flowers (e.g. marigolds or rose petals)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line an 8- to 9-inch cake pan with lightly greased parchment paper.

Put the pistachios, almonds, flour, baking soda, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon zest, milk, and melted butter. Mix again, then beat the eggs in one by one until they’re incorporated. Transfer to the cake pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, then leave to cool.

To make the saffron cream, place a tablespoon of just-boiled water into a small bowl with the saffron and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes (the longer the better). Put the confectioners’ sugar and butter into a bowl, and beat until smooth, light, and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, along with the saffron in its soaking liquid. Mix until just incorporated and keep in the fridge until needed.

When the cake has completely cooled, spread the saffron cream over the top and scatter over the pistachios and edible flowers.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books.

One comment

  1. I am a huge fan of Indian cuisine and though I am not overly adventurous in the kitchen this is one book I would definitely use and the first recipe would be this cake!! Gotta have this book.

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