our family cookbook

Featuring traditional recipes and Anglo-Indian dishes from the days of the Raj.

about this cookbook

Our family lived in India for several generations before leaving in the late 1940s to return to England.

These are the carefully curated recipes from my grandmother’s notebooks, which she inherited from her own grandmother. She also annotated several cookbooks that were popular at that time.

These recipes cover a period going back to the middle of the 19th century. They reflect both the cuisine of the Raj – which is not as bad as you may think – and the family food eaten by generally well-to-do Indian households.

To be accurate, the recipes here describe the food that was prepared by servant cooks. The history of this remarkable collection is discussed in this section.


the recipes

There is something here for everyone, even if you think you do not like Indian food.

The dishes range from simple family fare to exotic and complex festive dishes. There are vegetarian dishes, meat, poultry, fish and seafood dishes. There are breakfasts and desserts, drinks and snacks.

There are recipes here that may surprise you. They come from the home-cooked tradition of Indian cuisine and have likely never been seen in a restaurant.


the blog

Here we talk about the recipes and their history, background and significance.  We give some advice about preparation and what you might consider to serve with the dish.

We also explain our personal views of the recipe and try to place the dish in some context.


the menus

What goes with what.

Putting together a meal requires some balance, and you need to consider the palates of your guests or family. Not everything goes with everything, unfortunately. The menu combinations here are typical of what we prepare at home. They show some very traditional Indian menus and show some of the ways the Raj integrated this food into their traditional English approaches.

There are menus for single person catering, simple family meals, family celebration meals, and entertaining suggestions.


the ingredients

These are the ingredients to cook the dishes in this cookbook.

There are few truly exotic ingredients used in this book, but there are some basic ingredients you will need.

The description will mention preparation techniques and offer substitutes, if possible. You should be able to get everything you need from a good supermarket or respectable specialist Indian grocer.

The ingredient pages have the binomen, or botanical name, and common Indian names associated with the ingredient to make your shopping easier.


the essays

These essays are articles that describe some of the facets of Indian cuisine that we find fascinating.

There are articles on regional cuisine, the influences of invaders and traders, and the legacies of cultural and religious heritages.