Best Indian cook book?
September 2, 2014 1:34 AM   Subscribe

Best Indian cook book with an emphasis on veg published in UK?

Obviously "Indian" covers a huge variety of different cuisines but I'm after a good general book for an experienced, confident cook who doesn't know much about the topic. So strong on the basics but also with a wide range of recipes, both in terms of style and cuisine. It doesn't have to be entirely vegetarian but it shouldn't be too meaty (although fish is fine). It should be published in the UK or use British temrs/measurements.
posted by ninebelow to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Madhur Jaffrey is the go-to writer for Indian cookbooks. I have one of her other books and it's easy to follow. All of her books will have a big vegetarian section, but this one is all veggie:

Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian Cookbook

or, for more general:

Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery
posted by nevan at 2:15 AM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Probably hard to do worse than cookbooks by Madhur Jaffrey; Indian Cookery is probably among her best known books and has been through several reprints.
posted by Mr. Six at 2:15 AM on September 2, 2014

Best answer: I second the world vegetarian cookbook - it's immense and has a wide range of recipes.
posted by winna at 3:43 AM on September 2, 2014

Best answer: Jaffrey is certainly the authority - if you're looking for authenticity and history, you can't go past her (also recommend her "The Curry Bible", though may be too meaty for your tastes).

Hooooooooowever. That tradition sometimes (often) comes at the expense of optimisation. Her recipes often have unnecessary faffing about (derail: and she's always like "Cook the onions for five minutes until golden and brown" WTF KIND OF MAGICAL ONIONS ARE YOU USING LADY? DO YOU COOK THEM IN A POTTERY KILN? TRY 15/20 MINUTES GODDAMNIT!) Ahem.

Don't get me wrong, I own many of her cookbooks, and they are great, and I use them a lot. But I don't know if I would recommend them to someone dipping their toes in Indian cuisine; they are a bit fussy. Also, they have jack shit in the way of pictures (esp world vegetarian, which is like 500 pages of closely typed text), which I really strongly disfavour (this seems to be an American vs UK/Aus thing though; I understand the expectation in US is that "serious" cookbooks don't have a lot of pics. Fie, I say!)

Indian Vegetarian Feast has had some good reviews, as has Prashad

Dakshin is an undisputed classic, and one of the few books that captures a genuine and wide variety of southern Indian food (my personal favourite). You must like lentils, a lot, to get the most out of this book, which thankfully I do.

Hansa's book, though aging is also very popular.

For me, Dakshin is what I would recommend to you, though only with the warning that it covers only one region of India.
posted by smoke at 4:15 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If your friend isn't averse to watching recipes or reading online, I'd recommend Manjula's Kitchen, for which she'll need a set of cup measures, available widely in the UK in any cookshop or supermarket.
posted by essexjan at 4:37 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Manjula's Kitchen, as above!
posted by dowcrag at 9:46 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all, really helpful answers.
posted by ninebelow at 11:25 AM on September 2, 2014

Lord Krishna's Cuisine is quite good.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:44 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding Lord Krishna's Cuisine. It's encyclopedic.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:49 PM on September 2, 2014

My go-to Indian cookbooks are:

A Little Taste Of India (no spectacular or unusual recipes but all of them work perfectly and have very clear instructions).

The Grand Trunk Road Cook Book (lots of unusual and regional dishes, though you might need to do some detective work on ingredients).

Online check out Nimmi & Paul for Christian Keralan cuisine; and Kamala's Corner for South Indian (Tamil nadu) cookery.
posted by girlgenius at 5:30 PM on September 3, 2014

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