We all have our go-to when calling in for a curry, be it Chicken Tikka, a Butter Chicken or leafy Saag Paneer.
The deeply flavoured tangy sauce, rich with spices, best mopped up with a bowl of Basmati or a tandoor-fresh naan – it’s not hard to see how curry became one of Britain’s most loved dishes.
The £4.5bn industry has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years: the oil-laden curry, lads and lager trinity of the 90s has been replaced by elegant eateries across the capital like Dishoom, Cinnamon Club and Gunpowder that serve up menus full of soul-warming dishes.
Our love of curry runs so deep that there’s even a week dedicated to it: October 7 – 13.
So in honour of the nation’s favourite cuisine, we’ve put together an edit of the best Indian cook books available that will guide you through cooking a curry in your own kitchen.
Even the most inexperienced cook will have no trouble following the simple, quick and delicious recipes in our roundup below. From spicy curries to street snacks, it’s never been easier to whip up Indian food at home
These books will show you how to cook a proper Indian curry along with its accompaniments and a host of other life-affirming dishes that will quickly become part of your cooking repertoire.
Skip those long restaurant queues and swap your takeaway for a better tasting and healthier fakeaway.
Here are the best Indian recipe books to buy right now
Dishoom: From Bombay with Love
When it launched nearly a decade ago, Dishoom started a new chapter on what it means to eat proper Indian food in the UK. The chain, inspired by Mumbai’s Iranian café scene in the 60s, now has five locations around London as well as outposts in Edinburgh and Manchester and on any given evening you’re likely to find at least an hour’s wait for a table.
There’s no need to hang around on the street anymore because you can now go about making Dishoom-quality dishes yourself.
The restaurant has penned a 400-page cook book, featuring some of its stellar dishes: think bacon naan roll, okra fries and the velvety house black daal. Sandwiched between recipes you’ll find stunning Mumbai street photography as well as some history about the dishes you’re about to devour.
Executed with the same style and aplomb as the restaurant’s well-Instagrammed interiors, it’s a book that belongs as much on your coffee table as it does in your kitchen shelf.
£17.09 | Amazon | Buy it now
Indian-Ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family
Right from the off, actress and model Padma Lakshmi warns readers in the foreword that “this is not a cookbook of traditional Indian food” – somewhat of an understatement to say the least.
Indian-ish is a fun, innovative cookbook blending cultures, borders and bold flavours across its 250+ pages; think Roti Pizza, Herby Avo Sandwich and Peanut Chutney.
Cleverly written by an Indian mother-daughter duo who live in Dallas, Texas, these recipes are for people who want something easy to make, clever, practical, and most importantly, bursting at the seams with flavour that they can whip up quickly at the end of a long day – students and 9-5ers, this one’s for you.
£15.55 | Wordery | Buy it now
Masala: Indian Cooking for Modern Living: Real Indian Cooking for Modern Living
If there’s one thing that anyone who has read Masala can agree on, is that author and chef Mallika Basu’s recipes are ridiculously easy to follow and her flavour pay-off is through the roof.
From a woman who didn’t know how to boil an egg before she went to university to her clear mastery of spices now, the book shows the time-poor how they too can make great tasting Indian food at home in an engaging way, written with oodles of humour.
There are hanger-saving hacks for making roti, pakoras and samosas as well as a brunch section that will bring sunshine to your weekend mornings no matter what the weather is doing outside.
We can’t wait to try the Saag Paneer curry, a life-affirming mix of cubed paneer cheese in a hearty spinach sauce.
£18.20 | Amazon | Buy it now
Vivek Singh’s Indian Festival Feasts
Want to cook like one of the country’s top Indian chefs? Follow chef, restaurateur and author Vivek Singh on a culinary journey through the Subcontinent.
A vast country that’s home to an incredible mix of religious, cultures and traditions, it’s said that someone somewhere celebrates a festival every day in India. And where there’s a party, there’s food.
Singh’s latest cook book looks at these lavish festive feasts and breaks down the method so they’re easy to recreate in your kitchen. As well as the all-new recipes, you’ll find gorgeous full colour photography as well as commentary on the history of India’s many festivals.
£18.20 | W H Smith | Buy it now
Happy Leons: Leon Happy Curries
Although the first country many would associate with curry is India, the dish has a wide and varied history throughout the Asian continent.
Leon seeks to bring readers and would-be cooks a taste of the best with recipes from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as the Subcontinent. There are even ideas from as far afield as Africa and the Caribbean, so no matter how much of a curry connoisseur you reckon yourself, you’re sure to find something different in these pages.
Speedy, vibrant and full of flavour, there are also recipes for all manner of sides to accompany these wonderful curries.
£11.89 | Amazon | Buy it now
Chetna’s Healthy Indian
From a GBBO 2014 semi-finalist comes this simple cook book that decodes making delicious every day Indian food at home. Chetna Makan’s book shows how curries and Indian food in general can be nourishing and comforting all while being good for you too.
There are 80 recipes to try, all explained in a straightforward way and with plenty of ingredient swap options in case you don’t have everything to hand. It’s ideal for anyone thinking of dipping a toe into Indian cooking as well as more accomplished home chefs.
£13.62 | Amazon | Buy it now
Zaika: Vegan recipes from India
Veganism may have only just got into its stride in the West but it’s been a way of life for many Indians for centuries.
This plant-based recipe book from Chef Romy Gill M.B.E shines a light on creating delicious, nutritious vegan meals that zing with the life and colour of India. There are more than 100 exciting recipes to try, which will fill your table with everything from curries, side dishes and drinks.
It’s so good, fellow healthy eating champion and author Melissa Hemsley has declared: “Everyone who loves vegetables will love this.”
£14 | WH Smith | Buy it now
Gunpowder: Explosive Flavours from Modern India
From Gunpowder, a 20-cover home-style Indian restaurant just a hop and skip away from curry-famous Brick Lane, comes this book packed with explosively flavoured recipes from a modern Indian kitchen.
If you’ve ever eaten there and daydreamed about your meal for weeks afterwards, this cook book cherry-picks the best of its menu for you to recreate at home; Kosbadi Rabbit Masala, Chickpea Pancakes and so much more.
Stunning photography and interesting anecdotes and history of the food make this a fool proof gift for any foodie.
£9.77 | Amazon | Buy it now
Curry Easy Vegetarian
The Queen of Curry Madhur Jaffery is back with a tome of a book, this time catering exclusively for vegetarians (her last one, Curry Easy, offers succulent ideas for the carnivores amongst you).
The recipes list dances over starters like spinach bhajias and a simple cherry tomato salad fragranced with curry leaves to delicious daals from all over the Subcontinent and okra masala, Punjabi style.
Quick and easy – once you’ve secured the spices required, at least - this is a celebration of authentic delicious Indian curries you won’t find in any takeaway menu.
£26 | Waterstones | Buy it now
While each book in our edit caters for a different taste, Dishoom: From Bombay with Love is our top pick. To be able to recreate the restaurant’s acclaimed dishes so closely is nothing short of magic.
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