The best Indian cookbooks will guide you to India’s rich and diversified culinary culture. Indeed, when it comes to colorful, tasteful, and bold-flavored dishes, scrumptious Indian cuisine is what everyone will immediately think of.
Indian cuisine is vibrant, making it impossible for first-timers to resist the attraction of delicious dishes here. Indian culinary culture always brings a distinct color that you can hardly find in other places. The dishes here will make every visitor feel surprised and interested.
Today, without even setting foot in India, you can fully enjoy the food and the wonderfully beautiful culture of this country. You can refer to some of the world’s best Indian cookbooks to which authors have dedicated themselves!
Characteristics Of Indian Culinary Culture
Indian culinary culture has a unique beauty that you may not have known. Find out some unique features of Indian food right below:
Overview Of The Indian Culinary
With rich flavors, diverse ingredients, and long history, no one can deny that Indian cuisine is unique and worth exploring. Everyone knows that Indian dishes are not only diverse in ingredients but also very focused on spices.
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The food in India reflects the perfect combination of diverse cultures. Through the ages, they have contributed to the overall development of the national cuisine. Every Indian kitchen has a different way of preparing dishes.
The cooking method of each Indian region is different. It depends on the local culture, the geographical location, such as near the sea, desert, or hills, and the harvest season of ripe fruits and vegetables.
Indian Cuisine Is Influenced By Religion
India is a country that highly appreciates religion. As the birthplace of four major religions, the philosophies and ideas of these religions have a profound influence on people’s eating habits.
Fasting is a nutritional method that appeared in India for the purpose of spiritual purification. In India, this custom continues to be maintained and developed. Hinduism is not mandatory but encourages vegetarians, so many Indians avoid eating meat.
India Cuisine Is All About The Spices
The most characteristic thing about Indian cuisine is the use of spices in cooking. Dozens of different spices are used to create powerful stimuli for both sight, smell, and taste. Currently, India is the leading spice producer in the world.
The basic Indian spices are cardamom, turmeric, basil, black mustard seed, paprika, chili pepper, cumin, cashew nut, mint, and so on. These ingredients are also found in yummy Indian soups, sweet desserts, toothsome main dishes, and side dishes.
Everything you need to know about Indian cuisine is right here!
6 Traditional Dishes That Make India Cuisine Famous
In addition to the rich, diverse, and unique culture, Indian dishes are also extremely attractive with traditional flavors, natural flavors, and spices. Let’s see how interesting the dishes here are!
We are all familiar with the world-famous Indian curry dishes when it comes to this country. Curry can be said to be the national soul in Indian cuisine. The dish can be made from many different types of meat, such as curry as the main seasoning ingredient is indispensable.
Indian cuisine has many different famous types of curry that you should try, such as eggplant Masala cooked with Curry, or Baingan Masala, chicken dishes like Chicken Curry, medium spicy Korma, Vindaloo, and Kadhai.
For those who love sweetness, this cake cannot be ignored. A cake made from fermented wheat flour, deep-fried, fragrant with the smell of greasy butter. A special feature of this dish is that the seller’s quick hands draw on the spiral cakes on the pan of boiling oil beautifully.
The people of India make gulab jamun from a paste whose main ingredient is milk. This milk is traditional Indian milk, so the cake is also called fried milk cake.
Fried milk cakes, after frying, will be soaked in sugar water with a little rose flavor and some other spices. When enjoyed, the cake is crispy and has a moderate sweetness along with the rose scent that will make it more appetizing.
A traditional Indian dish not to be missed. Naan is made from flour and dry yeast. Once molded, the cake is cooked, or cheese is added. It can be combined with any other Indian filling.
Naan has a bland taste, in the process of kneading the dough, without any other spices added. Therefore, it has become one of the most palatable Indian side orders that go well with many kinds of Indian main dishes.
India is famous for its spicy and fatty dishes. And the most famous street food of India is Chaat, which will make you spicy to the point of tearing your tongue when enjoying it.
With simple ingredients, only deep-fried flour, onions, coriander, potatoes, chili, and a mixture of Chaat Masala spices create a spicy, crispy, and palatable dish.
Among all the fascinating Indian beverages, masala tea can be considered the most famous and signature drink of this country. The process of making a cup of masala tea is quite sophisticated and complicated with many steps.
Which Are 14+ Best Indian Cookbooks You Should Buy In 2023?
Just by taking a quick look at the list below, you can tell 15 great titles and authors that will convey Indian cuisine through words and pictures:
- Best Timeless and Authentic: Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery, by Madhur Jaffrey
- Best With Easy Recipes: Best Ever Indian Cookbook: 325 Famous Step-By-Step Recipes for the Greatest Spice and Aromatic Dishes, by Mridula Beljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain, Manisha Kanani
- Best For Chefs: Dishoom: The First Ever Cookbook From The Much-Loved Indian Restaurant, by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, and Naved Nasir
- Best With Photos: Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, by Nik Sharma, and John Birdsall
- Best Travel-Inspired: Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook, by Maneet Chauhan, and Jody Eddy
- Best South Indian: The Essential South Indian Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Into South Indian Cuisine and Culture, by Srividhya Gopalakrishnan
- Best East Indian: The East Indian Kitchen, by Michael Swamy
- Best For Curry: Curry Easy, by Madhur Jaffrey
- Best Instant Pot: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast, by Urvashi Pitre
- Best Traditional and Creative: Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook, by Richa Hingle
- Best Healthy For Home Cooking: Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Everyday Family Meals. Effortlessly Good For You, by Chetna Makan
- Best For Modern Indian-American: Indian-Ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family, by Priya Krishna
- Best Slow Cooker: The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes, by Anupy Singla
- Best For British-Indian Recipes: British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Cooking Volume 1, by Mick Crawford
- Best Vegetarian for Beginners: Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day, by Meera Sodha
14+ Best Indian Cookbooks In 2023: Bring Indian Cuisine Into Your Kitchen
I believe you are very excited to know what these beautiful books contain. Immediately go through the author, content, and why you should buy these books.
1. Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery, by Madhur Jaffrey
(Best Timeless and Authentic)
Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery is an immortal Indian cookbook that you should never ignore. This is an updated and revised edition of the acclaimed Illustrated Indian Cookery, making it more complete and engaging.
Author Madhur Jaffrey has written over a dozen cookbooks, and she is also very popular on TV as an actress, food, and travel writer. She is also known as a person bringing Indian cuisine to the western hemisphere.
It must be said that this is an essential reference book on Indian cuisine. It’s full of information about beans, bread, rice, and vegetables, as well as bold Indian spices like ketchup, chutney, and pickles, plus meat, fish, and chicken dishes of India.
Filled with basic information on ingredient choosing-method, preparation techniques, and suggested menus, this cookbook will show you how to make various Indian dishes, from classics to novelties.
- An updated and revised edition
- All the methods are easy to follow
- A wide range of spices easily be found at any grocery store
- Make you look like an expert cook
- There should be more recipes and pictures
2. Best Ever Indian Cookbook: 325 Famous Step-By-Step Recipes for the Greatest Spice and Aromatic Dishes, by Mridula Beljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain, Manisha Kanani
(Best With Easy Recipes)
Referring to Indian cuisine, surely no one does not know the famous Best Ever Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar, the award-winning cookery writer and also the best-selling author of more than 25 Indian cookery books.
With Rafi Fernandez, an excellent Indian author, Shehzad Husain, and Manisha Kanani, a freelance home economist and photographer majoring in Indian cuisine, they created this masterpiece cookbook together.
This book includes 325 easy recipes with step-by-step instructions. All dishes are authentic and vividly illustrated by pictures. Inspired by today’s Indian cuisine, packed with expert tips to help you cook successfully.
Traditional ingredients are easy to find, and classic cooking methods are easy to follow. Some of the popular recipes from the book are tasty Indian first courses, curries, main dishes with meat, seafood, simple Indian desserts, and even more.
- Written by the award-winning cookery writer
- 325 quick and detailed-instructed recipes
- Helped you understand Indian cooking
- Provide many useful expert tips
- Some illustrations may not be close
3. Dishoom: The First Ever Cookbook From The Much-Loved Indian Restaurant, by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, and Naved Nasir
(Best For Chefs)
Dishoom: The first ever cookbook from the much-loved Indian restaurant by Shamil Thakrar is the book that won the title of the Sunday Times Best Seller. Let’s take a trip to Bombay with photography, food, and stories!
This book was created by the co-founded Dishoom, the most successful Indian restaurant group in the UK. Shamil Thakrar skillfully brought Indian restaurant standard dishes to your kitchen.
This cookbook is an excellent choice for chefs. You’ll be led on a lengthy tour, discovering the simple joys of Bombay cuisine. That’s thanks to the stunning realistic photos and incredibly fun stories to share together.
- Likened to a love letter to Bombay with food and stories
- Bring the restaurant’s dishes into the home kitchen
- Gorgeous photos and illustrated pictures
- Give a pleasant feeling to read and enjoy
- A bit too many images that may overwhelm the recipe content
Try to test some Dishoom recipes and see how they turn out!
4. Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, by Nik Sharma, and John Birdsall
(Best With Photos)
This is a simple cookbook full of inspirational Indian dishes. The authors give 100 easy recipes along with 70 beautiful photos. Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food is listed as the best cooking lesson in many magazines.
Nik Sharma and John Birdsall are two great authors, food writers, and photographers who make this book a success with their Indian culinary background and artistic eye. The book focuses on creating rich flavors through the delicate and correct use of indispensable Indian ingredients.
Reading this book is a vivid, captivating and fascinating sensation. It even received a 2019 James Beard Nomination for Best Cookbook Photography.
- Detailed instructions about the essential seasoning
- Full of mouthwatering easy-to-make Indian recipes
- Contain excellent food photography and fine art
- Quietly expressive yet approachable for home cooks
- Some ingredients are not really common
Discover how Nik uses foods to connect the classic and modern things!
5. Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook, by Maneet Chauhan, and Jody Eddy
Many good book awards have gone to Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook enough to understand the influence and quality of this book.
Co-written by Maneet Chauhan – a James Beard award-winning chef from India, and Jody Eddy, an American author who loves bold Indian cuisine, the book is a blend of history and culture with interesting personal experiences of the authors.
Going through each page, you will enjoy the rich flavors of chaat in each region with beautiful scenery. More than 80 most iconic, scrumptious, and easy-to-make recipes are waiting for you to bring into the kitchen.
- Written by the famous award-winning chef
- Guide you to regional variations of chaat
- Take you on a trip through eastern to western India
- Show off the riches and diversity of Indian cuisine
- Full display colorful pages with beautiful pics
- The ingredient list may be a bit complicated
6. The Essential South Indian Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Into South Indian Cuisine and Culture, by Srividhya Gopalakrishnan
(Best South Indian)
The Essential South Indian Cookbook is about the diversity and complexity of Indian culture, which influences the diverse flavors of food. South India has the richest traditions of all, and Srividhya Gopalakrishnan will help you bring them into your kitchen.
With the author being a genuine Indian who loves to create new recipes and explore traditional food, you will be introduced to unknown dishes and deeply research the fascinating recipes of South India and ingredients.
This book consists of 3 essential parts: 75 unique and mouth-watering South Indian recipes, Southern taste studies of the diverse history of the states in South India, and finally, an Authentic Indian Kitchen filled with tips for choosing the authentic and necessary spices.
- Learn about the history and most prosperous tradition of South Indian
- Create new recipes and explore traditional food with the author
- Introduce 75 unique South Indian recipes
- Provide useful tips and tricks on spice selection
- Suitable for both vegetarian and non-vegetarians
- Easy to read with good structure
- Detailed guidance covered the best recipes
- Some ingredients are a bit hard-to-find
7. The East Indian Kitchen, by Michael Swamy
(Best East Indian)
The East Indian Kitchen is a book that explores a topic that few have explored before: the richness of eastern Indian cuisine. You will get to know the people, Indian culture, and each recipe’s origin.
Written by Michael Swamy, a chef, food stylist, food writer, and travel photographer, the book offers not only authentic Indian recipes but also interesting cultural touches with vivid glossy images. It will be an enjoyable experience to read this cookbook.
- Introduce recipes and style of cooking
- Give a glimpse of the history of East Indian cuisine
- A whole new perspective that few books have before
- An enjoyable experience to read
- May not cover all the east Indian recipes
- Some recipes may not be easy to follow
8. Curry Easy, by Madhur Jaffrey
(Best For Curry)
It is impossible to miss the fragrant Indian curry when it comes to India! Once again, Madhur Jaffrey brings us a collection of new and exciting curry recipes that are easy to make and don’t take as many hours in the kitchen as many people think.
The book introduces a variety of spices and the correct ingredients for each dish. You are provided with more than 175 curry recipes with simple, clear, and easy-to-follow instructions. Each recipe is also illustrated with color photography for added fun.
This book is suitable for both beginners and experienced cooks, as every curry recipe idea is built to be quick and easy, full of Indian flavors without much effort.
- Collection of 175 new and exciting curry recipes
- Every recipe goes with detailed instructions
- Both beginners and experts can enjoy the recipes
- Colorful realistic photography displayed
- You can hardly find a “normal” curry recipe in this book
9. Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast, by Urvashi Pitre
(Best Instant Pot)
The quick and convenient cooking style via instant pot has become more and more attractive recently. Indian Instant Pot Cookbook is a bold combination of traditional Indian dishes with instant pot to create the easiest, fastest, and most unique dishes.
Young chef Urvashi Pitre delivers great Indian instant pot cooking ideas whether you are a novice to Indian food or someone who loves trying new things. Thanks to carefully selected and minimized ingredients, the recipes in the book become a lot easier.
The book consists of 3 main parts: 50 Authentic Recipes, Indian Food Made Easy, and Expert’s Guide. You will be guided through all the tips and tricks to get the most out of your instant pot to serve you touching genuine Indian cuisine.
- Guide how to use your instant pot for Indian food properly
- Keep all the steps simple and quick to make
- Show you how to speed up cooking
- Provide a list of required materials and equipment
- Many tips and tricks to take advantage of your instant pot
- May not very appreciate by experience cookers
Make some butter chicken quickly in an instant pot with Urvashi Pitre!
10. Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook, by Richa Hingle
(Best Traditional and Creative)
Plant-based recipes inspired by Indian culture and regional and local cuisines. This is a popular cookbook for vegans by the author of the famous vegetarian website VeganRicha.com – Richa Hingle – the award-winning recipe developer, blogger, and photographer.
This book will take the vegetarian lover from many mouth-watering kinds of Indian bread to rich curries. You also have snacks, desserts, and fascinating Indian breakfast menus. The seemingly impossible formulas are now suitable for people with gluten and lactose allergies.
You’ll also learn to add more protein to your meals and try new spices. The popular and novel Indian flavors and, most importantly, are so easy to make, are sure to become your new favorite simplified recipe design with many helpful tips.
- Written by the award-winning recipe developer
- Influenced by many local cultures and cuisines
- Suitable for people with gluten and lactose allergies
- Add more protein to your meals
- Many helpful tips to simplify the recipe
- Some dishes may not have illustrated photos
Find the detailed review tour of Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen right here!
11. Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Everyday Family Meals. Effortlessly Good For You, By Chetna Makan
(Best Healthy For Home Cooking)
Chetna’s Healthy Indian has 80 budget-friendly family recipes for your everyday meal. Chetna Makan loves to try new techniques and challenge herself. She created this book with such a passion: “healthy food does not need to be boring and bland”.
You will be introduced to the most healthy and delicious dishes with straightforward methods like fresh salad choices from the Indian kitchen. The ingredients are minimized so that you can easily find some everywhere.
With this cookbook, you can enjoy the pleasing, nourishing, and comforting flavors without spending much time and effort.
- 80 recommended family recipes for everyday cook
- Healthy, fresh, and easy-to-follow recipes
- Straightforward methods and minimum ingredients
- Comfort flavors to nourish your health
- Require minimum time and effort
- The multi-step recipe may be a challenge for beginners
Chetna is sharing a quick view about her cookbook Chetna’s healthy Indian!
12. Indian-Ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family, by Priya Krishna
(Best For Modern Indian-American)
This is one of the Best Cookbooks of Spring 2019; It proves that food writer Priya Krishna has put a lot of effort into this. Each dish is her unique creation incorporating Indian flavors that her mother passed on to her during her childhood years.
Reading this cookbook gives you the joy of cooking and the fun of learning about modern Indian cuisine through Priya’s funny and easy-to-understand stories. The recipes influenced by the Indo-American style are incredibly creative and accessible to all.
The book offers a bunch of vibrant Indian evening meals with vibrant, colorful illustrations of famous pop artist Maria Qamar. The results are often very successful and the preparation is delightful, especially given the shortened implementation time.
- A beautiful and lively cookbook to enjoy
- Bring out the most practical and full of flavor recipes
- Inspiration from modern Indian-American cooking
- Merge with the Indian flavors of the author’s childhood
- Funny and relatable stories throughout
- You can feel this cookbook is a bit oversimplified
Tries to make Indian-ish baked potatoes in the Indian-ish cookbook with author Priya Krishna!
13. The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes, by Anupy Singla
(Best Slow Cooker)
The slow cooker is also a recent popular cooking appliance for its convenience. The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes offers unique ways to prepare great Indian dishes by slow cooker using this cooking technique.
Cookbook author and journalist Anupy Singla present 50 recipes with true-to-life color illustrations that make them easy to visualize. These recipes are specially designed for long cooking cycles, taking advantage of the slow cooker’s ability to retain food moisture.
Especially for those who fear Indian food high in oil and saturated fat, these recipes will minimize this compared to the traditional way of cooking. You will also learn how to prepare, combine and store key ingredients easily.
- Unique ways to cook by a slow cooker
- 50 recipes with vivid color pictures
- Minimize the oil and saturated fat compared to the traditional recipes
- Taking advantage of slow cooker to retain food moisture
- Learn how to prepare, combine and store key ingredients
- There would be great if more recipes included
14. British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Cooking Volume 1, by Mick Crawford
(Best For British-Indian Recipes)
British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Cooking will guide you on how to cook the food of your beloved High Street Indian restaurant. You can reach all the recipes from crunchy Indian Bread and Korma to Vindaloo and Starters.
Mick Crawford cleverly combines British and Indian ingredients in quick but re-created recipes with delicious flavors. You will also have videos of chefs cooking in restaurant kitchens with the Kindle version.
The book also recommends specific ingredients available in every store. The food you make is guaranteed to be as good as the best Indian restaurants you have ever been to. This is an excellent book with lots of tips and suggestions on how to improve your Indian cooking.
- Introduce High Street Indian restaurant’s food
- British and Indian ingredient combinations
- Provide videos of chefs cooking in the restaurant
- The ingredients are available in all stores
- Many tips and tricks to improve your cooking
- The guidance is a bit short; it should be more detailed
- Only available on Kindle
15. Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day, by Meera Sodha
(Best Vegetarian for Beginners)
If you need a quick vegetarian idea for today’s meal, buy Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day. Even a beginner can easily make the 130 super easy Indian menus for vegetarians found in this book.
The multiple-time best-selling author, Meera Sodha, offers a whole new perspective on Indian food. All the fantastic Indian dishes in this cookbook suitable for a vegetarian eating plan are healthy, fresh, and flavorful. Everyone can make them at home effortlessly.
This cookbook focuses on the familiar and classic vegetarian Indian recipes with easy-to-find fresh, seasonal ingredients such as curries, dals, and pickles. You certainly won’t want to miss any of the recipes in this book.
- 130 classic and straightforward Indian vegetarian recipes
- Ideal for everyday vegan home cooking
- Easy-to-find ingredients which are fresh and seasonal
- Result in healthy, fresh, and palatable dishes
- Some recipes use a bit more starch
Why not try some healthy recipes in Fresh India Cookbook right now?
There are many interesting things about Indian cuisine that you do not know. Please feel free to consult with me by these below Q&A:
My Top Pick
Here are the cultural highlights of Indian food and 15 of this year’s best Indian cookbooks. It can be said that Indian culinary culture is a mirror reflecting the people’s social life and unmistakable spirit.
Especially, with Best Ever Indian Cookbook: 325 Famous Step-By-Step Recipes for the Greatest Spice and Aromatic Dishes, you will be rewarded with a diverse culinary background with a unique blend of spices.
Therefore, do not forget to buy the typical books on Indian cuisine that I have introduced to you. And also, do not hesitate to like and share this article with all Indian food lovers.