Exploring Indian Cuisine: Seven Must-Read Books for Food Enthusiasts

Embark on a culinary journey as we delve into a selection of exceptional books that unveil the diverse facets of Indian food, perfect for those eager to explore its rich narratives, alleyways, and memories.

Published On Oct 02, 2023 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024


Indian cuisine stands as one of the world's most diverse and ancient culinary traditions, mirroring the multifaceted tapestry of India itself. With roots deeply entwined in the nation's captivating history, Indian food is a testament to the dynamic evolution and enduring legacy of this remarkable land. Each dish, ingredient, and culinary ritual tells a story, serving as a window into India's past and present.

This profound connection between history and cuisine holds especially true for India, a nation steeped in a rich and complex heritage. Throughout its history, India witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties, both indigenous and foreign, which left an indelible mark on the land. The amalgamation of diverse cultures, customs, and traditions has lent a unique character to Indian cuisine. Every morsel of food bears the imprint of this rich historical tapestry, reflecting the amalgamation of cultures that coexist in modern India.

The culinary heritage of India is a treasure trove of knowledge, with recipes passed down through generations and culinary wisdom cultivated over centuries. This wealth of information, along with insights into the vibrant world of Indian food, has been meticulously documented by experts and enthusiasts alike. The pages of numerous books have become a repository of the intricacies that define Indian cuisine, making them essential reading for anyone seeking to embark on a gastronomic journey through the enchanting realms of India.

Here are a few must-read books on Indian food

Sonal Ved's newly released book, India Local, embarks on a captivating exploration of India's rich and celebrated street food culture. This delightful journey traverses the length and breadth of India, uncovering the diverse street food offerings that have captivated taste buds across various states. The book provides a tantalizing glimpse into both contemporary and time-honoured versions of these beloved street foods, offering readers an unparalleled culinary adventure. Beyond the delectable dishes, India Local delves into the intriguing stories behind these iconic street and chaat foods, shedding light on their historical origins and evolution. In essence, Sonal Ved's book serves as a heartfelt tribute to the vibrant world of Indian street and chaat cuisine.

The Goa Portuguesa Cookbook, authored by the renowned chef Deepa Awchat, is a compilation of renowned dishes and recipes from the celebrated Goa Portuguesa restaurant, spanning several decades of its prosperous existence. This restaurant is beloved by both locals and tourists, known for its inviting and robust flavours. With a multitude of recipes, this cookbook offers you the ideal opportunity to savour these delectable flavours from the cosiness of your own home.

In The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian, authored by Nandita Iyer, readers can discover a wealth of information about everyday Indian cuisine. This book focuses on the vegetarian dishes commonly prepared in Indian households, emphasising that healthy food can be both delightful and straightforward to cook at home. Nandita Iyer also highlights the remarkable nutritional advantages of a vegetarian diet, promoting a balanced and health-conscious approach to food.

The Parsi Kitchen by renowned chef Anahita Dhondy is a heartfelt tribute to her Parsi heritage. This cookbook showcases a blend of popular Parsi recipes and lesser-known, yet essential, dishes from Parsi kitchens. Anahita Dhondy's book serves as a memoir of her culinary journey, filled with cherished memories of Parsi cuisine. She takes readers on a flavorful adventure, recounting stories and histories behind dishes, from her grandmother's delightful Ravo to savouring Bombay Duck at a renowned Parsi restaurant. Through The Parsi Kitchen, Anahita Dhondy invites you to explore her cultural roots, one beloved recipe at a time.

Tarana Husain Khan penned down Degh To Dastarkhwan to reconnect with her Rampur heritage, known for its delectable cuisine and Nawabi grandeur. This cookbook pays tribute to her roots and celebrates the rich food culture of Rampur, renowned for its princely Indian flavours. Filled with mouthwatering recipes and captivating historical anecdotes, this book offers a delightful journey into the culinary legacy of Rampur that's definitely worth exploring.

Deeba Rajpal's book, Passionate About Baking, is like a delicious adventure into the world of baking and desserts. It's full of sweet treats that not only taste amazing but also look incredibly beautiful. This book is like a helpful guide that teaches you how to make all these yummy desserts step by step. Deeba has tried and tested every recipe to make sure they turn out perfect. So, if you want to learn how to make mouthwatering desserts and dive into the world of chocolatey goodness, this book is perfect for you!

Marryam Reshii's book, The Flavour of Spice, takes you on a journey into the wonderful world of spices and how they make our food taste so good. Spices have been used in cooking for a very long time, and they are like magic ingredients that add special flavours to our dishes. This book talks about the history of various spices that we use a lot in India today. It helps us understand how these spices have played a big role in making Indian food so famous and delicious. So, if you're curious about how spices work their magic in your kitchen, this book is a great read for you!

Photo: Instagram/sonalved, passionateaboutbaking