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Indian food at home - live chat with Meera Sodha (Mon 7 July 1-2pm)

(60 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 23-Jun-14 14:28:03

The best Indian food is cooked (and eaten) at home.

Real Indian food is fresh, simple and packed with flavour. In her new book, Meera Sodha introduces Britain to the food she grew up eating every day. Unlike the stuff you get at your local curry house, her food is fresh, vibrant and surprisingly quick and easy to make.

In this collection, Meera serves up a feast of over 130 delicious recipes collected from three generations of her family: there's everything from hot chappatis to street food, fragrant curries, to colourful side dishes, and mouth-watering puddings. Made in India will change the way you cook, eat, and think about Indian food, forever.

Meera will be joining us on Monday 7 July so add your questions for her between now and then and do join us on the day

MeeraSodha Mon 07-Jul-14 13:53:41


Hello Meera I too love indian food and would love to try making a meal for the family. Can you suggest a menu (vegetarian and fish please but not seafood) that would be exciting and interesting but not so complicated I would have to spend the entire day cooking it.

Hello cpk43

For a simple veggie/ fish menu I might suggest you start with chilli paneer, followed by a coconut and coriander fish, steamed in a parcel) or a coconut fish curry and saffron shrikhand with passion fruit to finish. (Shrikhand is a lovely thick saffron yoghurt dessert.) (All these are in my book!)

MeeraSodha Mon 07-Jul-14 13:56:06


I love the dark brown dip they serve with samosas and things in restaurants. It tastes a bit like HP sauce but nicer! What is it and how can I make it?

Hello Nanny June

The dark brown dip is tamarind chutney (imli chutney). It's lovely and super easy to make if you can get your hands on some tamarind paste (from Sainsbury's) and some pitted dates. Just whizz together with ground cumin, salt, chilli and water. (There's a recipe for this in my book).

MeeraSodha Mon 07-Jul-14 14:00:29


Like a couple of the previous posters I am interested in gluten free recipes and would love to know if I can make a masala dosa this way? Also on masterchef the other week they were making them and had lots of trouble with the pancake bit - are they very tricky?

Hello! Dosas are gluten free (they are made using soaked rice and urad dal or matpe beans). They are also a bit tricky and involved (but delicious and so arguably worth the effort..).

The key to a successful dosa is to leave the dosa batter overnight to ferment then use a seasoned non-stick pan to cook them. I am working on a quick dosa recipe and still tinkering but when I've perfected it i'll post it here on my blog

MeeraSodha Mon 07-Jul-14 14:03:14


Hello Meera, thank you for coming to talk to us. I adore coconut in all its forms but especially in savoury dishes. Are there any savoury coconutty recipes in your book (the more coconutty the better)? I'd love to make something that uses it in a form other in sauce if that makes sense (like how shredded coconut is used in peshwari naan).

Thank you


You are a lady after my own heart! I love coconut sauces too and have a few coconut recipes in my book. There's a coconut fish curry recipe (from Kerala), a caramelised onion, egg and coconut curry recipe and a vegetarian recipe for cauliflower, cashew, pea and coconut curry. Feast yourself!

MeeraSodha Mon 07-Jul-14 14:10:02


Hi Meera! When I order pilau rice from my local Indian take-away, it comes yellow and has a certain flavour. Ordered it from a different take-away and it came white with random coloured grains.... so which one is it?! And what exactly is pilau rice and how could I make it at home?

Hello Sarky,

Pilau just means that the rice is cooked in flavoured stock. It's a very broad definition - so there's no right or wrong. We (Indians) use the absorption method to cook rice so the grains take on the flavour of the broth they're cooked in rather than boiling and throwing out the water.

To make a home cooked pilau you can cook your rice in stock or create a stock with spices and salt (I like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper). There are recipes in my book and a lamb pilau recipe here

To make a restaurant style pilau (coloured grains) you can soak a pinch of saffron in a tablespoon of hot milk or water and drizzle over the grains at the end. Hope that helps!

MeeraSodha Mon 07-Jul-14 14:14:42


Whenever I attempt a homemade curry, I end up with a stomach ache half an hour after eating it. I think I make it too oily. Any suggestions how I can reduce the amount of oil? I don't even add oil!! I think it must be from the coconut milk.

Hello Muddyboots

I am sorry to hear this. You really don't need much oil at all to make a curry. I think you could use just two tablespoons to fry your ingredients at the beginning like your onions, ginger and garlic.

As for coconut milk, you should aim to make sure it's so hot it starts bubbling before you eat your curry but that rule only tends to apply with fresh coconut milk and not canned.

I wonder if it might be worth removing single ingredients at a time when you're cooking to see what's giving you a bad tummy?

As a side note: hot ginger tea (grated ginger squeezed into hot water) with hot water and honey is great for an upset tummy and i'm sure you'll know mint tea is a soothing digestive tea as well.

LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 07-Jul-14 14:18:45

Thank you so much to Meera for coming in and showering us with her cooking wisdom! And now we're hungry for some reason...

granin Mon 07-Jul-14 14:55:06

Thankyou Meera - can i use chicken in the coconut fish curry instead (should have said i'm allergic to fish)? i love the sound of the caramelised onion one too

kiligran Tue 08-Jul-14 21:08:58

Have just bought Meera's book off Amazon. Can't wait for it to arrive [ smile ]