By Sujata Limbu
One of the best ways to learn how to cook is by browsing through recipes. Yes, the Internet is plush with these but there is something very satisfying about holding a cookbook in your hand and rustling through its pages.
Even though the latest cookbooks have beautiful pictures that go with it, the vintage cookbooks too have awesome value. So while an ideal cookbook is all about the cuisine its based on, just a glance reveals food allergies and various diet specialties. We’ve listed out our favourite five cookbooks for contemporary cooking.
For the traditional chef:
How to Cook Indian: More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen by Sanjeev Kapoor- He is one of the top bestselling cookbook authors in the world and is also known to be one of the first people to cook on Indian Television. Aptly named, this cookbook indeed has over 500 recipes that have been included from all over India. The drawback is that there are no pictures in this book however there are a whole lot of Indian food recipes apt for all seasons and events.
For the French chef:
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child : Julia Child’s first and most famous cookbook is one that emphasizes true love for fine food. This book is recognized for introducing authentic French cuisine to the Americans as depicted in the movie ‘Julie and Julia’. It has certainly made French techniques convenient for home cooks and also achieved to make gourmet cooking be prepared at homes all across the globe.
For the Vegetarian chef:
Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey: This book is definitely a must-have for all vegetarian home cooks. It has more than 200 vegetarian recipes that have been collected from homes all across the northern to southern border. It brings together the very best of Indian vegetarian cuisine and wonderfully explains how home cooks can easily cook them in their own kitchens.
For the Baker:
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan: This wonderful book offers 230 recipes which include a variety of muffins, cookies, cakes and innovative pies. This is not just a good but a great baking book as it has detailed instructions which every baker would love. The author has also managed to offer variations on the listed recipes which allow the reader to move on from mastering one baking technique to another.
For the Italian chef:
Essentials of Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan: has everything you would ever want to know about Italian cooking. This 700 page book will teach you how to make gnocchi, risotto, fresh pastas and so much more. The ‘tomato sauce’ is an iconic recipe that is highly popular and addictive that you would soon be cooking it with all your pasta recipes. She is also known for encouraging the use of seasonal and fresh produce in Italian cooking which has made this cuisine all the more appealing.
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