100 books like Indian Cooking

By Madhur Jaffrey,

Here are 100 books that Indian Cooking fans have personally recommended if you like Indian Cooking. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Frances Kuffel Author Of Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

From my list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to cook and it’s difficult to find something beyond chicken and salad when you’re trying to lose weight.  Over the years I’ve assembled a cookbook library that covers many topics (interested in how the Georgians ate green beans? I can help you out!), many of them as off-topic from weight-loss as my cookie cookbook collection. But I still return to what I call “abstinent” favorites, simply because they are so tasty.

Frances' book list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance

Frances Kuffel Why did Frances love this book?

This big compendium of recipes is comprised of ethnic, vegetarian meals the Moosewood staff makes on their day off. If you’re craving Chinese or Russian, this is your motherlode. You may have to tinker with the recipes that have too many carbohydrates (use rice instead of noodles) or skip them altogether, but you’ll find gems you keep going back to. (Mine has bookmarks for Cheese and Nut Dessert Balls from India and Moroccan Stew.)

By Moosewood Collective,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its opening in 1973, Moosewood Restaurant has been famous for creative food with a health conscious, vegetarian emphasis. Each Sunday diners have been offered a new ethnic or regional cuisine, deliciously adapted from traditional recipes. In this cookbook, each of Moosewood's 18 collective members who prepare and serve its meals has contributed a chapter on his or her regional or ethnic speciality from Northern Africa to China and Japan, from Scandinavia to the Caribbean and from the south of France to the Southern USA. Each chapter includes a cultural history, characteristic ingredients and cooking styles, and a tantalizing array…


Book cover of The Grains Cookbook

Frances Kuffel Author Of Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

From my list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to cook and it’s difficult to find something beyond chicken and salad when you’re trying to lose weight.  Over the years I’ve assembled a cookbook library that covers many topics (interested in how the Georgians ate green beans? I can help you out!), many of them as off-topic from weight-loss as my cookie cookbook collection. But I still return to what I call “abstinent” favorites, simply because they are so tasty.

Frances' book list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance

Frances Kuffel Why did Frances love this book?

This was published in 1988, before anyone had heard of quinoa, and yet there it is: seven pages of the “new” grain.  These are homey recipes using barley, bran, and oat bran buckwheat, cornmeal, grits and hominy, millet, oats, different kinds of rice, semolina, amaranth, triticale, and, yes, about fifty pages of healthier wheat.  

By Bert Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Grains Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published posthumously, The Grains Cookbook is Bert Greene's tribute to the healthy grain with over 400 delectable recipes. Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club's HomeStyle Books, The Quality Paperback Book Club, and Better Homes & Gardens Family Book Service. Winner of a 1988 IACP/ Seagrams Food and Beverage Book Award. 95,000 copies in print.


Book cover of The Classic Vegetable Cookbook

Frances Kuffel Author Of Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

From my list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to cook and it’s difficult to find something beyond chicken and salad when you’re trying to lose weight.  Over the years I’ve assembled a cookbook library that covers many topics (interested in how the Georgians ate green beans? I can help you out!), many of them as off-topic from weight-loss as my cookie cookbook collection. But I still return to what I call “abstinent” favorites, simply because they are so tasty.

Frances' book list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance

Frances Kuffel Why did Frances love this book?

Spear goes through the vegetable (and vegetables-that-are-really fruits) table alphabetically, explaining ways to steam, roast, boil, cut, blanche, and dress the plain vegetable, as well as recipes that use the vegetable in fancier ways. I’ve got to get an artichoke and finally learn the finesse.

By Ruth Spear, Grambs Miller (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Classic Vegetable Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gathers recipes for mixed vegetable dishes, rice, stocks, and sauces, as well as vegetables from asparagus to zucchini


Book cover of The Modern Tagine Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Moroccan One-Pot Meals

Frances Kuffel Author Of Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

From my list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to cook and it’s difficult to find something beyond chicken and salad when you’re trying to lose weight.  Over the years I’ve assembled a cookbook library that covers many topics (interested in how the Georgians ate green beans? I can help you out!), many of them as off-topic from weight-loss as my cookie cookbook collection. But I still return to what I call “abstinent” favorites, simply because they are so tasty.

Frances' book list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance

Frances Kuffel Why did Frances love this book?

These are one-pot meals that have extremely clean ingredients. Many of the recipes will call for couscous, which is a high-gluten marriage of wheat and semolina wheat, so you may want to put that rice cooker to work. Other than that, this is tasty, spicy, soul-warming food not always available in a big town like Missoula, Montana.

By Ghillie Basan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Modern Tagine Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These hearty one-pot meals, flavoured with fragrant spices, are cooked and served from an elegant, specially designed cooking vessel, also called a tagine. In Ghillie Basan's collection of deliciously authentic recipes you will find some of the best-loved classics of the Moroccan kitchen.

Try the sumptuous Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios, and the tangy Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives and Thyme. Also included are less traditional but equally delicious recipes for beef and fish - try Beef Tagine with Sweet Potatoes, Peas and Ginger or a tagine of Monkfish, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Black Olives. Hearty vegetable…


Book cover of Feast: Food of the Islamic World

Mary Taylor Simeti Author Of Sicilian Summer: An Adventure in Cooking with my Grandsons

From my list on food catering to the plate, the eye, and the mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an American living and cooking in Sicily for almost sixty years, I have soaked up Sicilian cuisine and culture both through research and by osmosis, delighting in discovering how the food I was preparing reflected the island’s position in history and geography, a meeting point for almost all the civilizations of the Mediterranean. My first book, a memoir of my life here entitled On Persephone’s Island, was followed by Pomp and Sustenance. Twenty-five Centuries of Sicilian Food, the first book on Sicilian cuisine to be published in English. Six more books on different aspects of Sicilian food and culture, in English or in Italian, have followed.

Mary's book list on food catering to the plate, the eye, and the mind

Mary Taylor Simeti Why did Mary love this book?

Feast is indeed a feast, served to the eye and the mind as well as to the palate. This Lebanese food writer has traveled from Senegal to Indonesia and to all the Islamic countries in between to gather recipes that are almost painfully tempting, lushly illustrated, and amply annotated. Reading it, one discovers how we in the West impoverish our idea of Islamic food when we equate it only with that of the Middle East.

By Anissa Helou,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Sunday Times Book of the Year (Bee Wilson)

A sweeping culinary journey across the Islamic world, and a celebration of its most iconic recipes.

A diverse and rich culinary tradition has evolved in every place touched by Islam, always characterised by deliciousness and fragrance, a love of herbs and the deft use of spices.

Anissa Helou's Feast represents an extraordinary journey through place and time, travelling from Senegal to Indonesia via the Arab, Persian, Mughal or North African heritage of so many dishes. This exploration of the foods of Islam begins with bread and its myriad variations, from pita…


Book cover of Classic Indian Cooking

Manju Malhi BEM Author Of Easy Indian Cookbook: Over 70 Deliciously Simple Recipes

From my list on easy peasy cooking with easy to find ingredients.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up as an Asian girl in the UK has its ups and downs. I was bullied at school but sought solace in cooking and learning from my mother about Indian cuisine. Now in my adult life, I’ve been awarded the British Empire Medal for cooking services to the community during the pandemic. A straightforward approach to cuisine has won me fans globally and a TV series broadcast to over 80 million viewers cooking British dishes for an Indian audience. After writing 6 books on the subject of easy cooking, I hope you like the choices on my very personal list which are dog-eared and spice stained with overuse and love. 

Manju's book list on easy peasy cooking with easy to find ingredients

Manju Malhi BEM Why did Manju love this book?

I interviewed Julie about her book many years ago for BBC Radio and I remember that time that I was so impressed with her details and historical background to the dishes she featured. Even the glossary was informative, but above all, the recipes were versatile and easy to follow. The book inspired me to cook beyond my comfort zones and allowed me to experiment further.

By Julie Sahni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Classic Indian Cooking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This extraordinary cookbook is a complete course in Indian cuisine. When it was first published it was hailed by both Jane Grigson and Elizabeth David, who said of it.. 'This is a marvellous book. Julie Sahni tackles the daunting task of presenting the multiple, complex traditions of Indian cookery to the English-speaking world and brings it off triumphantly.' Illustrated throughout with explanatory line drawings it introduces all the basic spices and special ingredients so fundamental to Indian food, then explains the techniques employed in using them. So brilliant a teacher is Julie Sahni that it is immediately obvious that Indian…


Book cover of Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India

Didi Emmons Author Of Vegetarian Planet

From my list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily.

Why am I passionate about this?

Thirty-two years ago, I got my start as a chef by cooking in a shoebox cafe in Boston that played with curious Asian ingredients. Ten years later, after using lots of Asian cookbooks, I was incorporating Thai and Vietnamese cooking into my menus at the restaurant I was running. A few years after that, I opened and ran a Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge (unfortunately, after major success, it burned down after a year). After this, the tourism board of Malaysia sent me on a four-week trip to write about the street food for FoodArts magazine. It is these experiences that greatly influenced my interest in Southeast Asian cooking.

Didi's book list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily

Didi Emmons Why did Didi love this book?

This is a glossy cookbook published first in India and then in 1994 by an Australian division of Harper Collins. I’ve made many, many recipes in this book and it’s opened my eyes to the meat-free, texturally complex cuisine of South India. The careful but dynamic mix of ingredients such as mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried coconut, dal, and cumin seeds used in tempering dishes brings the food to life. I recommend this book to the curious and adventuresome home cook who enjoys shopping at Indian markets. The recipes are solid and for the most part easy once you become familiar with its cuisine and techniques.

By Chandra Padmanabhan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dakshin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dakshin" in an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "south." It symbolizes what this Indian cookbook is all about - the best and most delicious of South Indian vegetarian cuisine.

Filled with tempting recipes and beautiful photographs, Dakshin: Vegetarian Cooking from South India presents the finest cooking from the region. Drawn from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, and the union territory of Pondicherry, the recipes in this vegetarian cookbook bring traditional South Indian cooking within reach of any cook in any kitchen.

From sambars and rasams, to cooling desserts and sweet treats, Dakshin takes you through the…


Book cover of Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

Leslie Karst Author Of Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RBG

From my list on food memoirs about transformative personal journeys.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, when my best friend and I would experiment together with recipes from the Time-Life Foods of the World cookbook series and then gorge on the delectable results, I’ve been enamored of food and cooking, a love which eventually led me to pursue a degree in culinary arts (while simultaneously spending my days as a research and appellate attorney). In addition to Justice is Served, I also write the Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 

Leslie's book list on food memoirs about transformative personal journeys

Leslie Karst Why did Leslie love this book?

Madhur Jaffrey—the actress/author/celebrity chef whose cookbooks opened up to an entire generation of Brits and Americans the wonders of Indian cuisine—taught me to cook Indian food. And then this beautiful memoir taught me to appreciate the history and culture from whence her recipes spring. A heartfelt and vivid tale of growing up in northern India under the shadow of the coming world war, Climbing the Mango Trees is the story of family, spicy cauliflower (and yes, mangos, too!), and the ability of food to evoke memory and unite us all. 

By Madhur Jaffrey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Climbing the Mango Trees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

'I was born in a sprawling house by the Yamuna River in Delhi. When I was a few minutes old, Grandmother welcomed me into the world by writing 'Om', which means 'I am' in Sanskrit, on my tongue with a little finger dipped in honey. When the family priest arrived to draw up my horoscope, he scribbled astrological symbols on a long scroll and set down a name for me, Indrani, or 'queen of the heavens'. My father ignored him completely and proclaimed my name was to be Madhur ('sweet as honey').' So begins Madhur Jaffrey's enchanting memoir of her…


Book cover of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking

Darra Goldstein Author Of Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore

From my list on cookbooks for armchair travelers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been thinking and writing about food ever since I spent a year in the Soviet Union many decades ago and discovered that food is a wonderfully immediate way to enter into another culture. My first cookbook led to a stint as a spokesperson for Stolichnaya vodka when it was first introduced to the US—a fascinating exercise in cross-cultural communication during the Cold War. In 2001 I founded Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, which deepened my interest in culinary cultures around the world. Cookbooks aren't just about recipes. For me, the best ones include personal stories and history that transport you to other realms.

Darra's book list on cookbooks for armchair travelers

Darra Goldstein Why did Darra love this book?

Until picking up this book I knew nothing about Parsi food, a distinctive way of cooking practiced by the descendants of the Zoroastrians who fled Persia for India around the 8th century. And what a cuisine it is! This book engages all your senses, immersing you in the aromas, colors, and tastes of Parsi kitchens. Niloufer King's descriptions are beguiling, her language deft as she evokes dishes like the "wobbly" cauliflower custard of her childhood and its "trembling delicacy," or a hot green chutney that is "raucous" rather than refined. King brings family and friends to life through anecdotes that reveal the long history and continuing evolution of this distinctive manner of cooking.

By Niloufer Ichaporia King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Bombay Kitchen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Persians of antiquity were renowned for their lavish cuisine and their never-ceasing fascination with the exotic. These traits still find expression in the cooking of India's rapidly dwindling Parsi population - descendants of Zoroastrians who fled Persia after the Sassanian empire fell to the invading Arabs. The first book published in the United States on Parsi food written by a Parsi, this beautiful volume includes 165 recipes and makes one of India's most remarkable regional cuisines accessible to Westerners. In an intimate narrative rich with personal experience, the author leads readers into a world of new ideas, tastes, ingredients,…


Book cover of Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

Ananya Devarajan Author Of Kismat Connection

From my list on young adult featuring Indian American characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I specialize in writing Young Adult Fiction with an emphasis on the Romance genre, and my debut novel, Kismat Connection, releases from Inkyard Press and HarperCollins in Summer 2023. Growing up as an Indian American, I remember searching for bits and pieces of my identity in the media. Most of the time, I wouldn’t find any representation at all—so it wasn’t long before I decided that if I couldn’t find the representation that I so desperately wanted to see, I’d have to make it myself. Kismat Connection was born from this moment in my life, and it will forever serve as the foundation for my career in publishing.

Ananya's book list on young adult featuring Indian American characters

Ananya Devarajan Why did Ananya love this book?

This is a young adult romance novel featuring Radha Chopra, a world-renowned Kathak dancer, who gives up her love of dance when a family betrayal comes to light. Radha is instantly a protagonist to root for, a strong, independent, and fierce Indian woman that we so rarely see in contemporary Western media. Nisha Sharma champions such genuine desi representation in this story, and it is absolutely a must-read for all—but especially for passionate and creative Indian American teenagers. 

By Nisha Sharma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Radha was on the verge of winning the world's biggest kathak dancing competition when a family betrayal shattered her dreams, and her confidence. Now, she's made a deal with her mum: study dance for a year at the Princeton Academy of Arts and Sciences and then leave that world forever. But if she's not a dancer, what is she? Could learning to cook - a way to connect with her absent father - become her new passion?
Jai, captain of the academy's Bollywood Beats dance team, is putting his hopes of going to medical school on hold because money is…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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