There are so many wonderful Indian cooking resources out there, plenty amazing Indian cookbooks and also so many not so good cookbooks that I regret buying them. No, I am not going to give names of the bad ones, but I want to recommend you some Indian cookbooks that are worth buying, maybe you are like me a self-taught home cook and need some recipes inspiration or you struggle finding Indian recipes that taste good, maybe you want to learn new skills and cooking techniques or maybe you are looking for a gift idea.
Here are some of my favorite Indian cookbooks, tried and loved in my kitchen:
Cuisines of India: The Art and Tradition of Regional Indian Cooking, by Smita Chandra and Sanjeev Chandra
The book covers a large variety of well-written recipes (more than 120 recipes, both vegetarian and non vegetarian) from various parts of India, both traditional cuisine as well as the modern fusion cuisine. There are recipes from South India, North Indian Moghlai cuisine, and also recipes from Goa or Bombay, that are having an European influence.
Cuisines of India is more than a cookbook, the authors Smita Chandra and her husband Sanjeev Chandra, also explains how history and invasions shaped local dishes and methods of cooking, there are fine anecdotes about ingredients, and people as well.
Indian Cooking, by Madhur Jaffrey
Madhur Jaffrey published many superb cookbooks, and I’ve found this one, Indian Cooking, to be exceptional, a must have book, as it covers everything – there are chapters on meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, pulses, chutneys, and pickles as well.
Beautifully represented recipes (more than 100 detailed recipes), with easy to follow instructions and cooking methods, with suggestions for substitutions if you can’t find one of the ingredients.
Friendly for the beginners in Indian cooking, Indian cooking book will guide you successfully in the fine art of cooking Indian food.
Another excellent basic cookbook for Indian cuisine, From Mom with love: Complete Guide to Indian Cooking and Entertaining, it offers simple, easy to follow and clear recipes with mouth watering pictures, a glossary explaining ingredients, a list of ingredients to have on hand and special equipment needed, suggestions for meals that freeze or keep well, suggestions on when to serve a dish and what accompaniments go well with it, and many more.
shares her recipes to everyone and especially newbies who want to try Indian cooking without too much of hassle.
The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes, by Anupy Singla
With minimal preparation time, Anupy Singla offers 50 healthy, easy and authentic Indian, mostly vegetarian, recipes to let your slow cooker work for you. The recipes are very well organized, with great photos and background explanations, each recipe being clearly explained and easy to follow.
Ideal for today’s busy schedules, The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes translates the art of cooking into simple and fast steps that anyone follows can cook decent Indian food.
Even though Chandra Padmanabhan has done a fantastic job of writing the recipes with precise ingredient lists and measurements, I wouldn’t say that Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India is for everyone. South Indian food is complex and requires great skills and knowledge of cooking methods. For novice, the recipes may be complicated to prepare and time consuming.
However, it’s a fantastic book with a wide variety of dishes with authentic South Indian taste.
Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi
A Vedic cookbook (no garlic or onions are used), where the author, Yamuna Devi, a devotee of Krishna, covers only the Hindu vegetarian cuisines. A fantastic and heavy book with more than 500 simple and tasty vegetarian recipes (most of them North Indian), with multiple variations for each recipe type, and with detailed directions and information on cooking techniques.
I highly recommend Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking to anyone who has a passion for Vedic Indian cooking and for cooking vegetarian in particular. For non-vegetarians, these recipes will give you some excellent side dishes ideas.
660 Curries, by Raghavan Iyer
The author, Raghavan Iyer, gives great information on the ingredients and how to prepare them (a big appreciation for the detailed recipes for masalas, that very few Indian cookbooks give), detailed explanations of technique, but also some history of India and stories with fine humor, that increase the cookbook experience.
If you love cooking authentic Indian food, then this book is definitely indispensable!
These are, as of now, the cookbooks that keep me inspired. I will add more, for sure, as time goes by.
What about you? What are your favorite Indian cookbooks?