Packshot of Sanjana Feasts by Sanjana Modha
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A book that is both current but also deeply rooted in tradition. It’s unapologetic about the cross-over of cultures, it’s bright, vibrant and dynamic
Vivek Singh, Cinnamon Club

Sanjana Feasts: Modern vegetarian and vegan Indian recipes to feed your soul

Sanjana Modha
Status: supporters list closed
Publication Date: 05.09.2024
  • Packshot of Sanjana Feasts by Sanjana Modha
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  • Little Book of Masalas
    Little Book of Masalas£30.00107 Pledges

    A booklet containing eight recipes for homemade masalas, so good you'll want to use all the time. Printed in full colour on high-quality recycled paper, in the style of a bound pamphlet.

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    Be the ultimate boss in your kitchen with this gorgeous Sanjana Feasts inspired apron, exclusive to Unbound.

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    Watch & Learn - Silver£35.004 Pledges

    Gain access to five exclusive video tutorials of Sanjana creating recipe favourites from the book.

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    Gain access to ten exclusive video tutorials of Sanjana creating recipe favourites from the book.

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    Get the audiobook, narrated by Sanjana herself.

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  • Live Cookery Class
    Live Cookery Class£165.004 Pledges

    A 1:1 live online cookery class with Sanjana where she will teach you, step-by-step, to make one of the recipes from the book. LIMITED TO 4.

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  • Live Cookery Class with a Friend
    Live Cookery Class with a Friend£315.002 Pledges

    A live online cookery class for you and a friend with Sanjana, where she will teach you, step-by-step, to make one of the recipes from the book. LIMITED TO 2.

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A book that is both current but also deeply rooted in tradition. It’s unapologetic about the cross-over of cultures, it’s bright, vibrant and dynamic
Vivek Singh, Cinnamon Club

Sanjana Feasts is a collection of dazzling recipes of modern Indian diaspora vegetarian and vegan food.

Sanjana Modha’s flavourful and vibrant recipes are rooted in her Indian heritage, East African family background, and Yorkshire childhood. This book showcases the varied ingredients and unique combinations that are authentic to Sanjana’s upbringing, and includes signature dishes such as Ruffled Biryani, Madras Mac and Cheese with Naan Crumbs, Desi-inspired French Bread Pizza and Sticky Toffee Gulab Jamun, as well as delicious Indian classics.

Inside, with a photograph for every dish, you will discover new ways to infuse bold flavours into your everyday meals, and follow helpful step-by-step guides for technique-led recipes, like how to create layers for the flakiest paratha of your life.

Sanjana Feasts will inspire you both to incorporate the mouth-watering flavours of a new generation into your everyday cooking, and to raise your game in the kitchen with her tips for the classics.

BUT FIRST, CHAI

Bring your stretchy pants and leave your shoes at the door.

‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ is the foundational mantra of our hospitality. This Sanskrit phrase carries the meaning ‘Guest is God’ and it’s taken very seriously. Just as offerings of food and drink are brought to temples as a means of worship, it is customary to treat those who visit our homes with the same generosity and warmth. From the host’s perspective, this is simply a way of appreciating the presence of their guest. To acknowledge the journey another soul has taken to be with you at that very moment is regarded as an act of true compassion. So, we will begin at the beginning.

“Chai?” I asked my mother as she looked up from the till in our shop. The first time I ever switched on a stove was to make chai. It was for my mother – an avid tea drinker and somewhat of a chai masala connoisseur. I was eight years old and had taken it upon myself to impress her with my tremendously grown-up skills. How hard could it be? I’d seen the classic pan on a stovetop method a hundred times before. I knew it had to be boiled a while after adding milk to cook off the flavour of raw milk. I knew this would also give the spices time to infuse. She tentatively wrote the instructions on the back of an empty paper bag, the kind we used for weigh-out sweets in the shop. Grabbing the handwritten square of paper bag emblazoned with the 90s ‘Trebor Bassett’ logo, she shot me a bemused look. Did she think I couldn’t do it?

After a mad dash up two flights of stairs, I pulled out the ingredients from the cupboard, my heart walloping as I thought about how freaking perfect this chai was going to be. Tea leaves, mum’s homemade chai masala, sugar and milk from the fridge all lined up like a battalion of toy soldiers ready to go into combat. This was it, my moment to prove I could make chai like all the aunties do. I filled our fatigued stainless steel chai pan with an unspecific amount of water and lit the stove. The crackle of the ignition reminded me of my morning Rice Krispies popping as soon as milk was poured on. Next, I added two teaspoons of black tea leaves and one teaspoon of chai masala. The steam began to waft, level with my nose and not under it, for I was a solid 4”5. Once it boiled, I added half a cup of milk and probably too much sugar. The water ceased to boil as the heavy cloud of milk rippled through it like a tornado. It looked right to me. As the tan-coloured liquid began to bubble at the edges, I knew it was show time. This is the moment it could all go wrong. You see, chai takes no prisoners when it comes to the boiling stage. If you take your eye off it for a moment, it can overflow and turn mum’s shiny cooker into a basin of brown sludge. I moved the dial on the old Hotpoint back and forth, causing the tea to rise and fall in sync with the intensity of the flame. It climbed higher towards the top of the pan as the flame roared louder, and then retreated into position when lowered. The tension mounted as I repeated the rise and fall action, suspicious it was controlling my breath. Inhale, exhale. In retrospect, making chai is a great prompt for practicing mindfulness. The chicken-shaped egg timer clucked to say my ten minutes were up and judging by the colour of the tea, it was ready. Gas off. The Forever Friends mug I picked out for Mother’s Day was of course, my drinking vessel of choice. A tea strainer went on top and I grabbed the pan handle with the sansi (pan holder). It took all my focus to pour the chai without spilling a drop. I could smell sweet cardamom, followed by the spicy ginger and black pepper that always ambushed the back of my throat. It was perfect.

As I meandered down the corridor, taking care to tread carefully down the stairs, I thought about how proud my mother was going to be. I got halfway down before a tiny wave of tea shimmied up the side of the mug and on to my thumb. The burn was well and truly felt. Not one to be put off my mission, I continued down the remaining steps and appeared into the shop. I handed over the mug like it was a very hot trophy. It was still too warm to drink so I sat on the step and told her all about my epic tea saga, being sure to leave out the details of my battle wounds so she wouldn’t say no to me making it next time. After a what felt like hours, she finally took a sip. I held my breath and looked on with eager eyes. “That’ll do, Poppet”, she said.

Tea making is more of a ritual than it is a recipe. There’s a process to it that’s simple and sacred. For Indians, it is not only the quality of the tea that matters, but also the masala blend and cooking process that determines the deliciousness of the cup. How one likes their tea is deeply personal and unique to them. In the West we may ask a guest if milk and sugar are required. With regular masala chai, both are a given, unless a sugar-free cup is requested for health reasons. These days it’s common to use plant-based milks as a vegan alternative to dairy milk. I find oat milk, almond milk and rice milk are all great options.

When making chai masala at home, there is no need to pre-toast the spices in a dry pan. Since this encourages the spices to release their natural oils, the aromas will simply dissipate as they sit in the jar. The heat from the spice grinder will also encourage the spices to develop. It’s best to make chai masala in small batches and to use it within 3-6 months. Store it in an airtight container, preferably somewhere cool and dark.

I’d like to welcome you by offering up a selection of my favourite styles of chai, including Ginger Chai, and a few other tealess hot drink options like Masala Coffee and Spiced Hot Chocolate infused with orange and fennel seeds. Make them for guests and of course, for yourself. Mind your thumbs.

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Updates

"A book that is both current but also deeply rooted in tradition"

What a whirlwind couple of months it’s been. The cookbook is in the final stages of production and a sneak peek has been sent out to subscribers who have pledged for their copy - I do hope you’ve enjo...

11.03.2024
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