Clearly, the largest influence on this book is my grandmother and the family heritage.

But I have discovered much from other people, particularly from Indian friends. I find myself watching television chefs and realising that what they are preparing is, in fact, a recipe in the cookbook.

I learned how to modernise recipes to cater for contemporary healthy nutrition standards. I now use a fraction of the often heroic quantities of ghee, butter, cream or yoghurt specified in some of the recipes. I also learned how to cook with a lighter touch and avoid the brown stodge outcome. As a result, most of the recipes in this book, with notable exceptions, should be cooked quite quickly.

These influences have moderated or improved the recipes you see here.

the cookbooks

It isn’t just her notes to which I owe a debt. She also had books which she heavily annotated. Some of these books are now well over a century old, and reflect a by-gone era. They are early attempts to codify Raj cuisine, and are pitched at the “mistress of the house”. Just remarkable reading.

Anjum Anand

Smart and articulate, Anand’s approach to modern Indian cuisine has shaped many of the recipes in this book. Her approach in reducing recipes to their basics, and making them suitable for contemporary consumption has been most influential.


Sanjeev Kapoor

Host of the longest running, most popular food show on the planet. He has been a huge influence on understanding the recipes and the techniques. Kapoor has a very traditional approach, but makes it accessible. He is a master at demonstrating how to cook street vendor inspired food.


Pushpesh Pant’s India

Pant has taken a very scholarly approach to writing probably the most definitive book on Indian cuisine. Arguably the only Indian cookbook you would ever need. Except mine, of course.


Lizzie Collingham’s Curry

This is the book that best describes the influences that shaped the cuisine in this cookbook. It describes the invaders, the traders and the religions that shaped this food tradition.