Best Curry Cookbooks of 2013

We take a look at last year’s recipe books and what makes them a must-read…

Spice Odyssey, Paul Merrett
“My only aim is to provoke inspiration and exploration, because those two qualities are always apparent in all of the world’s finest cooks.” Paul Merrett, in the introduction of Spice Odyssey, would encourage you not to take his recipes too literally. Assuring that it’s alright to substitute ingredients, he highlights that the success of food is to inspire creativity rather than following a recipe down to the last word. The enticing sweet and savoury recipes intertwined with Merrett’s hilariously dry humour and observations make this cookbook a must-have in your kitchen.

The Complete Asian Cookbook, Charmaine Solomon
Originally published in 1976, this year The Complete Asian Cookbook was re-launched to reflect the culinary changes in Asia. Delving into the traditions and customs of fifteen countries, this book showcases eight hundred recipes, including loved classics such as Bhaji and chutneys, with some unusual Seaweed Jelly from Burma thrown in for good measure. If there was an encyclopaedia for spicy food, you would find it here. With beautiful cover art and photography, it contains short and concise instructions, a glossary of ingredients and an index of ingredients, offering little room to make mistakes. Through this hefty book, Charmaine Solomon aimed to make traditional Asian dishes simple and accessible in the Western world, and we think she succeeded.

The Hairy Bikers’ Great Curries, Hairy Bikers
Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers claim that spicy food worked “fantastically well for our diets!”
Perhaps this is why they’ve dedicated a cookbook to curry. Featuring dishes from their travels in Asia, these curry recipes are fresh and moreish.

The Urban Rajah’s Curry Memoirs, Ivor Peters
Illustrated with family photographs and sizzling curries, this book divulges the innermost culinary family tips and secrets of  Ivor Peters; cook, traveller and creator of ‘Cash n Curry’ dining. To encourage people to embrace homemade curries and avoid the jars and sachets, Ivor guides you through the foods that shaped his life and memories, and reveals a range of dishes including vegetable curries, spicy smoothies and a creamy Indian rice pudding. This book is not only a celebration of Indian cuisine, but a celebration of family and community. Curry brings people together, and this cookbook and memoir is sure to encourage anyone who reads it to form their own culinary memories and realise just how valuable spicy cuisine is to British culture.

Prashad Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Kaushy Patel
With advice on aspects of cookery from spice and equipment to dietary requirements, Prashad caters to all reader’s needs. Recipes for bread, curries, drinks deserts and much more can all be located in this one book. The innovative twists on traditional dishes bring a modern repackaging of Indian favourites allowing the beauties of Indian food to be available to the masses.

Curry Magic: How to create modern Indian restaurant dishes at home, Pat Chapman
It’s a fact: curry is the nation’s favourite dish. Curry connoisseur Pat Chapman has been instrumental in educating the UK on the delicate ins and outs of this spicy cuisine for over 20 years, having written over 30 critically acclaimed books on all things spicy. His latest book Curry Magic, focuses on bringing modern curry dishes found in Indian homes and restaurants to the kitchens of Britain. Containing 150 different recipes, Curry Magic attempts to make Indian cooking simple and bring authentic Indian dining into your homes with a variety of time-saving techniques.  This fantastic book even allows you to recreate the creamy magic of a Lamb Korma in just 45 minutes! Chapman has managed to give the traditional dishes we know and love a new lease of life with easy cooking methods, making tasty, spicy food accessible to anyone. If you love curry and cooking then this is definitely the book for you.
Do you think we’ve missed a great cookbook? Tell us what your favourite was last year.

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