The Best Cookbooks to Buy Now


In the mood for some culinary invigoration? We select the best recipe books to delight and inspire


If your weekday meals are lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, or your dinner party menus feel lacklustre and uninspired, it may be time to invest in some new cookbooks. The last few months have seen a roster of brilliant and innovative new recipe collections, from words on the best food and wisdom for connecting with your gut (like Anna Boglione’s clever compendium Recipes to Reconnect) to shrewd tomes on ways to reimagine vegetarian food. Many are compelling introductions to global cuisine, like Lara Lee’s accessible guide to everyday Asian recipes or Gurdeep Loyal’s moving portrait of her dual identity through food.

Feeling hungry yet? Here’s our pick of the 10 best cookbooks to buy now.

A Splash of Soy, Lara Lee


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Presented with kitsch, full-colour photographs reminiscent of old Asian cookbooks, Lara Lee’s A Splash of Soy is a love letter to the food of this culinary region. Famed for her previous book, Coconut and Sambal, which focused on the pleasingly discordant flavours of Indonesian cuisine, Lee here tackles a wide range of dishes from Asia; from well-known staples to innovative updates and everyday meals.

The Art of Friday Night Dinner, Eleanor Steafel


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Eleanor Steafel’s book is a warm and witty ode to the experience of hosting at home and cosy nights in. Steafel’s recipes are as much about the atmosphere created and the emotions conjured and placated as the food itself. As such, we have creamy salmon baked potatoes and nourishing roast chicken – comfort food staples that will cheer up the grumpiest work week, as well as chilled and innovative tipples to kick off your intimate dinner parties.

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Comfort & Joy, Ravinder Bhogal


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Vegetarian and vegan food needn’t be boring. Ravinder Bhogal’s gorgeous new collection of recipes sets out to change the perception of vegetable or plant-based dishes as health conscious ‘restraints’ and instead re-positions them as sumptuous treats in their own right. There’s a kale carbonara and mango and golden coin curry as well as a full range of decadent desserts. This is feel-good food with an even bigger feel-good factor, a book which foregrounds the pleasure of vegetarian cuisine.

Vietnamese Vegetarian, Uyen Luu


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Uyen Luu’s guide to cooking vegetarian Vietnamese food is immensely practical, offering endless alternatives to ingredients, useful tips and tricks, as well as a range of recipes with differing time lengths. From rice-paper pizza to sweet-potato noodles, Luu’s book is a lovingly rendered guide to shifting your mindset on both vegetarian and Vietnamese food, encouraging you to experiment in ways you may never have imagined.

Recipes to Reconnect, Anna Boglione

From the founder of The Gut, the insightful Recipes to Reconnect is a collection of conversations and recipes from a coterie of influential chefs and writers, including such as Skye Gyngell, Satish Kumar, Jeremy Lee, Avinash Shashidhara and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Framed as a series of dialogues about our connection with our food, each with accompanying recipes, this is a must-have book for anyone looking to forge a stronger tie between their mental and physical wellbeing.

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Tandoori Home Cooking, Maunika Gowardhan


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This is a bumper guide dedicated to the rich culinary traditions that have been spawned from the ancient art of tandoori cooking – the practice of cooking in a clay oven which dates back to the bronze age. Gowardhan’s book takes you on a magical tour of these varied, delicious dishes, with more than 70 classic recipes to make at home, from Aslam butter chicken to Jal Jeera. The perfect gift for any fan of Indian cuisine.

Salt of the Earth, Carolina Doriti


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The Athens-born chef Carolina Doriti has, in Salt of the Earth, curated a compendium of what makes Greek food so fascinating and inimitable. Bursting with as many stories as flavours, this is a full immersion into Greek culinary culture, highlighting local produce and ancient techniques, as well as innovative flavour pairings. It will instantly make you want to recreate the feeling of an island taverna in your own kitchen.

Mother Tongue, Gurdeep Loyal

Gurdeep Loyal has created something truly unique here, a moving and inspiring tome of British-Indian cooking; the second generation identity filtered through flavours and food. From traditional Punjabi staples to the distinct tastes of the British curry house, this is a clever blend of the ‘authentic’ and the ‘inauthentic’, investigating the imprints that different cultures leave on particular dishes and how much meaning and memory can be ascribed to cooking.

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Rice Table, Su Scott


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Rice Table‘s 80 recipes form an informative and personal narrative of Korean identity, as well as a toolkit for how to approach this national cuisine for beginners and experienced chefs alike. Su Scott’s exploration of her own relationship with her Korean heritage adds an extra dimension to an already highly compelling read, which takes you through classic dishes like kimchi fried rice and spicy seafood noodles.

Hoppers: The Cookbook, Karan Gokani


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The cult Sri Lankan London restaurant has put together a must-have guide to all its signature dishes, so you can make them at home. Delving behind the scenes at Hoppers, it tells the stories of those who work there with as much delight as it details the recipes for crab kari, crunchy deep-fried mutton rolls, dosas and sambols, kalupol chicken and satisfyingly rich kothu roti.

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