East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing

Flatiron: Macmillan. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781250750730. $35. COOKING
For Sodha, author of the Guardian’s popular “New Vegan” column, developing plant-based recipes means bringing creativity to each dish. With that in mind, she presents an exciting collection of inventive recipes that she’s come to love over the years. Many recipes, such as piccalilli spiced rice, were previously featured in her column, while others, like roast green beans and broccoli with sesame sauce, were inspired by her travels. Through it all, Sodha ensures that each dish is practical in terms of sourcing ingredients, cooking with minimal prep during busy week nights, and satisfying even the pickiest carnivore. While each chapter, from curries to condiments, is a winner in its own right, the section on rice dishes sets itself apart with its innovative approaches to the common ingredient, such as autumn pilau with squash, lacinato kale, and smoked garlic. Illustrations of fruits and vegetables by Forsberg add a touch of fun throughout.
VERDICT As in her column, Sodha presents low-effort, high-reward cooking. Home cooks, especially those looking to incorporating more vegetables into ordinary meals, will be won over by her personable advice and reassuring voice.
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