100 books like My Bombay Kitchen

By Niloufer Ichaporia King,

Here are 100 books that My Bombay Kitchen fans have personally recommended if you like My Bombay Kitchen. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food

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?

This book immediately swept me up in its glorious evocation of Sicily: the island's ancient history, the ways of its people, and above all the flavors of the sun-kissed land. In gorgeous prose, American-born Mary Taylor Simeti combines the illuminating insights of an outside observer with a passion for her adopted homeland. The recipes range from the cucina povera that sustained most of Sicily's inhabitants over the centuries to the ornate court cuisine that developed in the 16th century. We also journey to Sicily's convents, where the nuns became famous for their wondrous confections with fanciful names like "Virgins' Breasts" and "Chancellor's Buttocks."

By Mary Taylor Simeti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This gem is more than just a cookbook. Walk through history with Pomp and Sustenance author Mary Taylor Simeti as she shares the secrets and eccentricities of Sicilian cuisine. Straddling the East and West, Christian and Muslim, land and sea, this Mediterranean island is a place of unique convergence. Nowhere is cultural convergence more evident than in Sicily’s regional culinary traditions and food culture. Simeti narrates this centuries-long journey, with wit and humor, making this historical cookbook a joy to own and use. 
More than just history, Pomp and Sustenance is filled with wonderful recipes. impressive in their style, scope,…


Book cover of Mourjou: The Life and Food of an Auvergne Village

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?

Few visitors to France venture to the Auvergne, the sparsely populated, south-central region where until recently most of the now-aging population still spoke the medieval language known as Occitan. Englishman Peter Graham moved there in 1978 and became captivated with the land and its inhabitants. Mourjou communicates his love for this little-known region and its hearty food. Graham collected extraordinary recipes that can't be found in other books about French food (an eggy pudding made with buckwheat flour, ham, Swiss chard, and prunes; a charlotte made with chestnut flour, chestnut cream, pumpkin, and quince). He intersperses recipes with beautifully crafted essays that dive deep into the region's history and culture, chronicling a way of life that is rapidly disappearing.

By Peter Graham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When cookbooks describe well-known traditional recipes, they usually provide some sort of introduction or background to the dish. All too often one would like to know more, but it is only too rarely that such matters are discussed at length. For most cookbooks are obliged to give priority to the quantity of recipes they include, and cannot afford to be as comprehensive or discursive as they would like to be. In this book, each chapter covers a different dish at the length it deserves, mentioning its origins, etymology, geographical spread, folklore and even appearance in history and the arts, and…


Book cover of Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes, Through Darkness and Light

Zuza Zak Author Of Amber & Rye: A Baltic Food Journey: Estonia - Latvia - Lithuania

From my list on travelling through food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some people travel through food–they seek out authentic foods when they are travelling, visit certain places just to eat their specialties, and travel from their own kitchens when they are at home. This book list is for them. The same has always been the case with me, and I have continued this habit of exploring culture through food in the writing of my own cookbooks. Amber & Rye was the book for which I physically travelled the most, and my partner did all the travel photography too, so it was a family experience.

Zuza's book list on travelling through food

Zuza Zak Why did Zuza love this book?

This is a book you’ll want to go to bed with again and again. It combines travel and food in the most evocative, interesting of ways.

In this book, Eden travels from pre-war Odesa to Istanbul and on to Trabzon, covering the little-known history of the fascinating Black Sea region along the way. You’ll want to cook all the recipes if only to add that extra dimension to your reading experience. 

By Caroline Eden,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Black Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Art of Eating Prize 2020

Winner of the Guild of Food Writers' Best Food Book Award 2019

Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Food and Drink Book Award 2019

Winner of the John Avery Award at the Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Awards for 2018

Shortlisted for the James Beard International Cookbook Award

'The next best thing to actually travelling with Caroline Eden - a warm, erudite and greedy guide - is to read her. This is my kind of book.' - Diana Henry

'A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world' -…


Book cover of The Cuisine of Hungary

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?

The legendary restaurateur George Lang escaped from a labor camp under the Nazis and in 1946 managed to emigrate to New York City. This book is his love letter to his native land. I can't think of another writer who conveys the fascinating history of Hungarian cuisine with such detail and depth of feeling. The book features "Gastronomic Profiles" of the country's distinctive regions and contains excellent information on Hungarian wines. Lang's book is rich in literary quotations, including an ode "To a Fattened Goose" by József Berda. The recipes are excellent, many with enticing names like "Witches' Froth," which Lang describes as a "featherweight dessert" to offset the richness of an otherwise heavy meal.

By George Lang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Presents a detailed guide to Hungarian dishes and wines, sketching the history of Hungarian cuisine and providing an array of simple recipes highlighting regional specialties


Book cover of The Bombay Prince

Nev March Author Of Murder in Old Bombay

From my list on India blending history with gripping mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived the first 24 years of my life in Mumbai and traveled to many parts of India. I’ve had close friends of every community and religion and been fascinated by the incredible diversity. By studying historical crimes and how they were reported and investigated, I learned a great deal about the norms of Indian culture. Reading (and writing) historical mysteries allowed me to dive into past eras and immerse myself in the tumultuous events that have shaped our world today. While I’m obsessed with the turn of the 20th century, mysteries in later years also delight me. Enjoy this selection of mysteries set in India that reveal the inner workings of its diverse culture.

Nev's book list on India blending history with gripping mysteries

Nev March Why did Nev love this book?

A young woman is found dead only a few yards behind the stands where hundreds of students gathered to watch the Prince of Wales’ parade on his 1922 visit to Bombay. When lawyer Pervin Mistry realizes it’s the same woman who consulted her only days ago, she’s driven by guilt and determined to help the Parsi family through the awful process of the coroner's inquiry.

I started this book with a whole host of questions, which grew more dire as the number of suspects rose. Finely etched characters abound. Pervin is torn between a natural patriotism and desire to see justice and her own family’s interests. As she learns more, she realizes that the young female student has a sort of dangerous honesty (a term the author Sujata Massey used when I interviewed her) which complicates matters and shows the difficulty of being a dutiful daughter while staying true to…

By Sujata Massey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bombay Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bombay’s first female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, is compelled to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as Bombay’s streets erupt in riots to protest British colonial rule. Sujata Massey is back with this third installment to the Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning series set in 1920s Bombay.

November 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a fourmonth tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and Bombay solicitor Perveen Mistry isn’t surprised when local unrest over the royal arrival spirals into riots. But…


Book cover of Breathless in Bombay

Thrity Umrigar Author Of Honor

From my list on set in Bombay.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in Bombay until I was 21. During my teenage years I had a love-hate relationship with the city, mostly noticing its poverty, the pollution, and the crowds. But as a writer, I have come to love the city for its resilience, its sweet toughness, its heartbreaking beauty. I love reading books by other writers that are set in this endlessly fascinating metropolis of 22 million, each with their own story to tell, stories that float in the air in front of us, ready to be plucked and set on paper. 

Thrity's book list on set in Bombay

Thrity Umrigar Why did Thrity love this book?

This collection of short stories by another Parsi writer paints an affection and compassionate picture of the metropolis, as seen from the eyes of its motley crew of residents—a laundryman, a writer, a cab driver. Shroff’s generosity and love for his city come through in every story.

This book, with its powerful evocation of the city and its description of the minutia of everyday life, left me nostalgic and breathless for Bombay.

By Murzban F. Shroff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2009 Commomwealth Writers' Prize

Shroff's vibrant narratives in this concept collection of 14 stories set in contemporary Bombay feature a range of beautifully drawn characters in fascinating situations: from the laundrywallas' water shortage problems, to the doomed love affair of a schizophrenic painter and his Bollywood girlfriend, to the wandering thoughts of a massagewalla at Chowpatty Beach, to the heart-warming relationship of a carriage driver and his beloved horse. Each of these stories is richly crafted and arranged against the grand chaotic backdrop of life that is Bombay. Shroff's love for his hometown shines through, but so…


Book cover of The Lost Man of Bombay

Nev March Author Of Murder in Old Bombay

From my list on India blending history with gripping mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived the first 24 years of my life in Mumbai and traveled to many parts of India. I’ve had close friends of every community and religion and been fascinated by the incredible diversity. By studying historical crimes and how they were reported and investigated, I learned a great deal about the norms of Indian culture. Reading (and writing) historical mysteries allowed me to dive into past eras and immerse myself in the tumultuous events that have shaped our world today. While I’m obsessed with the turn of the 20th century, mysteries in later years also delight me. Enjoy this selection of mysteries set in India that reveal the inner workings of its diverse culture.

Nev's book list on India blending history with gripping mysteries

Nev March Why did Nev love this book?

Oh, how I enjoyed the dry wit embedded into each page! This complex mystery is filled with engaging characters. Author Vaseem Khan lavishes even the most minor characters with detailed and hilarious descriptions. The mystery of three separate murders converging is wrapped up with a cipher puzzle embedded in the mythology of Indian culture and iconography. The crimes with two different modus operandi makes things even more confusing.

Sourcing from the internment of foreign nationals in India during World War II, this twisty tale takes us through a number of locations and little-known events of India's history. I enjoyed protagonist Persis Wadia, as a Parsi woman myself, however, seeing her run headlong into dangerous situations does not do her credit. The deepening personal relationship with Archie is delightful but perhaps a deeper understanding of the moral and personal quandaries will be coming in future books. This does not detract from…

By Vaseem Khan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the body of a white man is found frozen in the Himalayan foothills near Dehra Dun, he is christened the Ice Man by the national media. Who is he? How long has he been there? Why was he killed?

As Inspector Persis Wadia and Metropolitan Police criminalist Archie Blackfinch investigate the case in Bombay, they uncover a trail left behind by the enigmatic Ice Man - a trail leading directly into the dark heart of conspiracy.

Meanwhile, two new murders grip the city. Is there a serial killer on the loose, targeting Europeans?

Rich in atmosphere, the thrilling third chapter…


Book cover of Only the Good Die Young

Anurag Anand Author Of To Hell and Back: Not all Tragedies are Orchestrated by Fate

From my list on Indian crime fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anurag Anand is a keen observer of humankind. He believes that the diversity of human emotions, motivations, and actions offer him a rich palette of tones to paint his stories with. He is the author of thirteen books across genres like self-help, historical fiction, crime thrillers, and contemporary fiction. Anurag’s works have been lauded for their realism, simplicity, and sharp characterization by readers across the spectrum. Of course, he is an avid reader and likes to remain abreast with the developments in the Indian writing space. He is a familiar face (and voice) in literature festivals, television debates and other related forums across the country.  

Anurag's book list on Indian crime fiction

Anurag Anand Why did Anurag love this book?

There are times when we think that we have successfully buried something in our past and it suddenly resurfaces and shocks us. But what if this ‘thing’ wreaks havoc with our lives and turns it topsy turvy? Only the Good Die Young is a taut and gripping sequel to Akash Verma’s thriller, You Never Know. The book unravels beautifully, quite like a web series playing out between the craftily stitched words.

By Akash Verma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only the Good Die Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sometimes when you're desperate to leave the past behind, the past is eager to catch up!
Anuradha leaves Gurgaon when Dhruv chooses his family over her. She thinks that chapter of her life has
ended, and starts afresh in Mumbai. But strangely, it seems her past is trying to catch up. Dhruv suddenly
comes back into her life. Even as they try to figure out their relationship, horrible things start happening
to people they know. Together, Anuradha and Dhruv need to find out who it is that cannot bear to see them together. Who is carrying out these shocking crimes?…


Book cover of Bombay Monsoon

D.J. Adamson Author Of Admit to Mayhem

From my list on mystery and thriller you’ll read the entire weekend.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father estranged himself from his sister because she was an alcoholic. I never met my aunt. However, when looking for a strong character for my Lilian Dove Mystery Series, I decided this aunt was a good mentoring character. Fictionally, I gave my aunt sobriety, but her recovery is not so much from drinking as it is recovering from the past to take on life anew. The mysteries Lillian Dove becomes involved her help her see how to do this. And first, she needs to learn to admit life is full of mayhem. Small-town Iowa amateur sleuth who ends up owning a liquor store.

D.J.'s book list on mystery and thriller you’ll read the entire weekend

D.J. Adamson Why did D.J. love this book?

Bombay Monsoon, first book in the new Emergency Series, delivers Ziskin’s talent for blending literary techniques and believable characters while taking the reader on an intense ride.

Journalist Danny Jacobs, young and anxious to make his mark, hasn’t been in Bombay long when he is caught up into intrigue, romance, and danger. Set in India during 1975 when India was shaken with political unrest after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergence, Zisken weaves cultural adjustment along with crime and romance.

The book written by Zisken is an impressive page-turner, thanks to his meticulous attention to detail and insightful knowledge of India.

By James W. Ziskin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The last thing Danny wants to see published is his obituary

The year is 1975. Danny Jacobs is an ambitious, young American journalist who's just arrived in Bombay for a new assignment. He's soon caught up in the chaos of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's domestic "Emergency."

Willy Smets is Danny's enigmatic expat neighbor. He's a charming man, but with suspicious connections. As a monsoon drenches Bombay, Danny falls hard for Sushmita, Smets's beguiling and clever lover-and the infatuation is mutual.

"The Emergency," a virtual coup by the prime minister, is only the first twist in the high-stakes drama of Danny's…


Book cover of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Mara Kardas-Nelson Author Of We Are Not Able to Live in the Sky: The Seductive Promise of Microfinance

From my list on understand our unequal world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about inequality in international development, American communities, environmental movements, and workplaces. I’ve been doing this reporting for over a decade. I’ve also worked in global health, an experience that has given me a first-hand glimpse into the depths and texture of inequality we have manufactured in our current world, including within the organizations and movements that purportedly challenge such global inequality. As a reader, I’m equally passionate about immersive nonfiction and fiction. I’ll dive into anything that’s driven by a good story.

Mara's book list on understand our unequal world

Mara Kardas-Nelson Why did Mara love this book?

I first read this book over a decade ago, and it has remained one of my favorites ever since. It is moving and exquisitely written, offering a close view of a community living on the edge of one of India’s biggest cities and exploring what it means to live on the cusp of wealth but mired in poverty.

Mostly, it is deeply human and a real page-turner. I expect this will remain my Holy Grail of writing and storytelling for a long time.

By Katherine Boo,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Behind the Beautiful Forevers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE

“Inspiring . . . extraordinary . . . [Katherine Boo] shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as important, she makes us care.”—People

“A tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.”—Judges, PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award 

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • USA Today •…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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