Frontlist | 11 new cookbooks to add to your kitchen shelf this month

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If there has ever been a year dedicated to eating in and cooking at home, it’s 2020. And through the year, chefs, restaurateurs and food celebrities have treated us to some stunning cookbooks. Especially this time of the year when family meals will gain momentum encouraging us to celebrate together, some new cookbooks releasing this month promise not a single average meal. We list down 11 cookbooks by Indian and international authors that are perfect to cook from and to bookmark as Christmas presents.

Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage

Along with a chef from his test kitchen, Belfrage, Ottolenghi’s new book is about what is rightly mentioned on the cover—flavour. It focuses on the three Ps that his style of cooking is known for—process, pairing and produce. We found his hidden culinary secrets peppered through the book, like preserving vegetable liquid only to increase the potency of the dish later, teaming fresh ingredients with light dressings so they shine better and all kinds of tricks to extract maximum flavour. Make a Sunday lunch out of Calvin’s grilled peaches and runner beans—another one of his test kitchen chefs whose recipe guarantees maximum impact with minimum effort.

Food Babe Kitchen: More than 100 Delicious, Real Food Recipes to Change Your Body and Your Life by Vani Hari

She isn’t just vocal about ditching processed food on social media, she is also living that life and encouraging you to do so. Hari’s has always championed the fresh food life and her new cookbook is an extension of that philosophy. The New York Times best-selling author focuses on recipes that help you ditch ingredients teeming with preservatives and those that don’t take hours in the kitchen. There is enough attention given to various modern-day diets like grain-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and so on. Start with a brunch of biscuits with whipped honey butter, baja fish tacos, grapefruit goddess salad and lemon bars.

The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma

Sharma’s last book Season made it on every Indian food lovers bookshelf. His new one is for food nerds who like to know the whys and hows of cooking. Featuring recipes such as roasted tomato and tamarind soup, honey turmeric chicken kebabs and coconut milk cake—his excellent collection of recipes is a treasure for those who enjoy cooking from diverse cultures. Already a bestseller, buy this book if you want to learn the alchemy of cooking and convert everyday ingredients into superior dishes.

Heroes’ Feast (Dungeons & Dragons): The Official D&D Cookbook by Jon Peterson, Kyle Newman, and Michael Witwe

Fantasy lovers, this one’s for you. This book showcases 80 recipes from the culinary traditions of their favourite fictional cultures. Think elf bread, savoury hand pies, drinks that one would imagine these characters sip on. The recipes are professionally tried and tested to produce delicious results and all come with scenic descriptions letting you in further into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen

Beautiful recipes, shared traditions, ingredients from faraway lands and authentic dishes from eight African nations like South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea find space in this cookbook. Co-author Hawa Hassan, a former model and founder of the iconic sauce brand Basbaas, has once again put a spotlight on food from unique cultures that commonly do not find enough representation in the food world. This book is for everyone wanting to celebrate diversity.

Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India by Maneet Chauhan

Nashville’s Chauhan is a James Beard Award-winning chef whose restaurants include Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Tànsuŏ, The Mockingbird and Chaatable. Her book covers Indian street foods from the North of India, which is famously known for a great variety of chaats, but also locations like Guwahati, Mangalore, Ranchi and Ernakulam. Alongside, she gives you valuable lessons on the history of the dishes and how to set up your own chaat party for a great evening indoors.

Recipes from the World of Tolkien: Inspired by the Legends by Robert Tuesley Anderson

Admit it, you always wanted to eat what Hobbits ate. Those cute tea-time bakes and cakes, meat loaves and pies, scones and bread. Such recipes find a mention in this Lord of the Rings-themed book. What’s more? The book is divided into six mealtimes from the realm of J R R Tolkien’s book. Find recipes of Bilbo’s seed bread, an overnight porridge for travellers, Beorn’s honey cake and more.

Milk Bar: Kids Only: A Cookbook by Christina Tosi

Who doesn’t love Tosi and her iconic birthday cake and birthday cake pops? This time around, one of the best pastry chefs of New York is out with a new cookbook that focuses on getting kids into the kitchen. Look out for recipes like apple pie waffles, PB&J cereal treats, strawberries and cream cupcakes and other cute food. Your children will learn basic cooking skills plus all the know-how they need to bake these easy treats. She also has easy ideas like turning a doughnut into a milkshake or flavouring your own butter at home.

Avocado Obsession: 50+ Creative Recipes to Take Your Love of Avocados to the Next Level by Lauren Paige Richeson

Millennials, give your love for the fruit an upgrade. The book revolves around avocado breakfast ideas, snack ideas, ways to turn it into dips and sides, making a meal out of it and even using it in drinks and dessert. Not only will you get enough food shots for the gram to hashtag as #avocadorecipes, you’ll also get lessons on how to pick the right one, how to buy an environmentally sustainable one and how to cut it right.

The Food Triangle: A trilogy of recipes from 3 Generations by Tanisha Shroff

Just out last month, this 19-year-olds’ cookbook chronicles 45 recipes from three generations of her family’s best-kept kitchen secrets. She has a combination of Maharashtrian and Gujarati lineage and that is what is reflected in her cookbook, which is further peppered with several international recipes. Think dishes like traditional undhiyu, crab curry, summer rolls, Mexican salad and asparagus fondue. Shroff’s book is not just for culinary pursuits but also a charitable cause, as 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to supporting the children under Institutional Care at the Catalyst for Social Action. She insists it makes the perfect Diwali present. We agree.

Plant-Based Indian Cookbook by Mala Barua and Nandini Gulati

The duo behind 2015’s Guilt-Free Vegan Cookbook have come up with a new cookbook titled Plant Based Indian Cookbook. Now it’s easy to do these diets in non-Indian, international cuisines, but to replicate desi cooking that is often looked upon as ‘too greasy’, ‘too fattening’, ‘too spicy’ and whatnot, is no easy feat. The girls have not only changed the face of Indian food to make it healthy, they’ve also experimented with diets like oil, sugar, dairy and gluten-free ideas. Their cookbook hits the stands this Diwali.

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