If you want to master a new cuisine, why not try perfecting your Indian cooking skills. We've selected our favourite cookbooks to get you started, so you'll soon be making curries, baking samosas and putting twists on British classics.


Our Indian cookbook picks showcase the range of recipes from across the country: the cuisine of the Himalayas, Punjabi specialties and modern Mughal dishes. Familiar names from the world of Indian cooking such as Madhur Jaffrey and Chetna Makan have written must-reads, but there's new up and coming voices, too. Developing new skills doesn't have to be challenging either: we've got books filled with 30-minute recipes, vegetarian and vegan inspiration. Read on for all our best Indian cookbooks to buy.

For more cookbook inspiration, check out our cookbooks hub for all our reviews including the best baking cookbooks, the best cookbooks for kids or the best vegan cookbooks. Looking for a special personalised gift? Build a customised My BBC Good Food cookbook filled with your pick of our triple-tested recipes. These are ideal to give to a foodie friend or use in your own kitchen.

Best Indian cookbooks at a glance

  • Best for Kashmiri cuisine: On the Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill, £12.25
  • Best for easy Indian recipes: India Express by Rukmini Iyer, £11
  • Best for vegan Indian cooking: Meat Free Mowgli by Nisha Katona, £12
  • Best healthy Indian cookbook: Chetna's Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan, £12.48
  • Best for Indo-Persian recipes: Khazana by Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, £15.17
  • Best chef's Indian cookbook: Tarkari by Rohit Ghai, £9.80
  • Best for midweek cooking: Chetna's 30 Minute Indian by Chetna Makan, £10.49
  • Best curry bible: Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation by Madhur Jaffrey, £21

Best Indian cookbooks to buy 2023

On the Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill

On the Himalayan Trail

Best for Kashmiri cuisine

Kashmir is a beautiful region in north India with lakes, meadows and the snow-capped Himalayas, but its unstable political situation makes it inaccessible to tourists, so through Romy’s book we can explore this fascinating culture and cuisine. Kashmiri food is hugely varied, with influences from central Asian, Afghan, Persian and Mughal cooking. You’ll find familiar dishes like pakoras, rogan josh, kebabs and pilau rice alongside lesser-known dishes made with lotus root – a commonly used vegetable in Kashmir – and dadhe maaz, lamb cooked in milk. A captivating insight into a unique, largely undiscovered cuisine.

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India Express by Rukmini Iyer

India Express

If you’re in need of quick meals after work, you may appreciate the simplicity of one-pan cooking. If you also like to swerve the washing-up, you’ll be glad that Rukmini Iyer, the author of the hugely popular Roasting Tin series, has returned with her family’s minimal-effort recipes from East and South India – think mini naan pizzas with lime & coriander paneer, and all-in-one aubergine, tomato & nigella seed curry. There are options for the weekend as well, including spiced potato cakes with eggs & chilli butter for brunch. Recipes are helpfully grouped into menus at the back of the book, so you know which dishes work together, too.

Meat Free Mowgli by Nisha Katona

Meat Free Mowgli

Best for vegan Indian cooking

One way to help reduce food bills is to embrace more meat-free meals. Presenter and restaurateur Nisha Katona’s new title in the Mowgli series features mostly vegan recipes, offering plenty of inspiration for utilising affordable storecupboard ingredients, like her butter bean korma and ‘lazy’ potato curry. You’ll find some truly mouth-watering mains – including her courgette kofta curry – and pairing them with the IPA onion rings, zingy salads and a carrot pickle will make it a real feast for a relaxed Friday night in.

Chetna's Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan

Chetna Healthy Indian vegetarian

Best healthy Indian cookbook

You may remember Chetna from her time on The Great British Bake Off or from her first best-selling cookbook, Chai, Chaat and Chutney. Either way, you'll be seriously impressed by this offering. Its pages are lined with healthy and vibrant Indian recipes, all made without meat. Recipes include courgette kofta curry and spicy roasted cauliflower.

Chetna proves that veg really can be the star of the show. Perfect for those times when you want big flavours without the calories, salt or fat. It's inspiring, especially to anyone who thinks Indian cooking only covers the cream-laden dishes we often order in restaurants.

Khazana by Saliha Mahmood Ahmed


Best for Indo-Persian recipes

This debut cookbook from the 2017 MasterChef winner is inspired by the opulent Mughal Empire and Saliha's travels across India. It's the perfect blend of Indian and Persian flavours – curries, rice and beautiful samosas are lifted with rosewater, saffron, almonds and pomegranate.

Tarkari by Rohit Ghai


Best chef's Indian cookbook

Chef and restaurateur Rohit has worked at some of the UK’s best Indian restaurants, including Trishna and Bombay Bustle, but in Tarkari, his first book, he goes back to his roots and home-style cooking. Paying tribute to his mother, he shares his favourite vegetarian and vegan dishes to cook at home, from paneer makhani, dal and aloo gobi, to lesser-known regional specialties. This book is a must-have for any fan of Indian cooking.

Available from:
Amazon (£9.80)
Waterstones (£25)
WHSmith (£25)

Chetna's 30 Minute Indian by Chetna Makan

Chetna 30 minute Indian

Best for midweek cooking

We love Indian food but making a curry can sometimes be a lengthy affair with grinding spices, prepping ingredients and marinating, so we were very happy to see this book from former The Great British Bake Off contestant Chetna Makan. All the recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less and really pack in the flavour – from a speedy salmon curry to a creamy and delicately spiced butter chicken, everyone will think you’ve been in the kitchen for hours! Make a midweek curry or choose a few recipes for the weekend and make a feast.

Available from:
Amazon (£10.49)
Waterstones (£20)
WHSmith (£20)

Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation by Madhur Jaffrey

Madhur Jaffrey Curry Nation

Best curry bible

Sourcing recipes from restaurants, takeaways and home kitchens around Britain, Madhur has produced a richly-illustrated Indian feast and shown the depth of Indian expertise you can find in the UK. Meat, veg, fish, rice, dhals and the all-important chutneys and breads are represented among the 100 recipes. This is the Indian cooking enjoyed in Britain, with stand-out specialties like rogan josh shepherd's pie.


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