South Asian Cookbooks to Add to Your Collection

Aug/28/2020 / by Camille Berry
Image credits: Bloomsbury

Maybe you’re a seasoned home chef searching for inspiration or perhaps you’re looking to dive into South Asian cuisine for the first time. No matter who you are, if you share a passion for outstanding food, you’ll definitely want to check out these phenomenal South Asian cookbooks from the past year.

From India to Bangladesh, Pakistan to Sri Lanka and beyond, the decadent dishes you’ll discover in these cookbooks offer a mix of traditional and modern takes on recipes and ingredients. Cooking your way through them is a joy — just don’t be surprised if you find yourself whipping up some of these recipes a few times a week!

Coconut Lagoon: Recipes from a South Indian Kitchen by Joe Thottungal

Coconut Lagoon hit shelves last year, and it’s a must-have for anyone who adores the unique flavors encountered in the Kerala region. Chef Joe Thottungal’s recipes are full of the aromatic ingredients found across his native Kerala, and he breaks down his recipes in such a way that even novices can tackle them and expect excellent results.

There are 80 recipes to try within the pages of the cookbook, and you’ll definitely want to make them all. With plenty of options for meat-eaters and those who abstain, your taste buds will never grow bored. A few standouts from Coconut Lagoon include Thrissur-Style Salmon Curry, Kerala-Style Vegetable Stew, and Tamarind Shrimp Masala.

Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen by Ravinder Bhogal

Chef Ravinder Bhogal’s wonderful Jikoni includes recipes inspired by her mixed heritage. Born in Kenya to Indian parents, and raised in London, Bhogal drew upon these influences to craft memorable recipes that are as vibrant as they are delicious. They’re perfect if you’re in a cooking rut, offering fresh ingredient combinations and dishes completely at home in a modern kitchen. Highlights from the cookbook include Skate with Lime Pickle Brown Butter, Lamb and Aubergine Fatteh, and Mango Doughnuts with Lime Leaf Sherbet (seriously, these are amazing). Break out Jikoni when you want to cook to impress.

My Bangladesh Kitchen: Recipes and Food Memories from a Family Table by Saira Hamilton

Attention seafood lovers: if you haven’t experienced Bangladeshi cuisine, it’s time to pick up Saira Hamilton’s fantastic cookbook, My Bangladesh Kitchen. The chef, food writer, and MasterChef finalist presents classic Bangladeshi recipes in an easy-to-digest format, offering a stellar introduction to Bangladeshi cuisine. While seafood is a major cornerstone of the cuisine, you’ll also find mouthwatering recipes based around beef, lamb, and lentils. Try the Beef and Potato Curry and King Prawn Curry with Tomato and Chili and prepared to be wowed.

Lands of the Curry Leaf: A Vegetarian Food Journey from Sri Lanka to Nepal by Peter Kuruvita

Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply looking to add more veggies to your diet, Lands of Leaf and Curry has your back. Chef Peter Kuruvita and his vivid cookbook provides us with a gorgeous look at vegetable-based recipes from across South Asia, including delicious recipes from countries like Bhutan and Nepal, as well as Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka, where Kuruvita spent time as a child. We recommend trying the Pindi Chole (chickpea curry), Bhuteko Bhat (Nepalese fried rice), and the fried leek pastries.

For more cookbooks to add to your ever-growing list, check out these 4 Inspirational Cookbooks by South Asian Women

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