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.

Anjum Anand at roadside stall

Anjum Anand

Anand's approach to modern Indian cuisine has influenced many of the recipes in this book. If the recipe looks healthy, modern and light, it is often her influence.

The cover of Lizzie Collinham's Curry

Lizzie Collingham

This is the book that, for me, best describes the history and influences that shaped the cuisine in this cookbook.

a montage of old Indian cookbooks

the old cookbooks

It isn't just her notes to which I owe a debt. She also had books which she heavily annotated.

The cover of Pushpesh Pant's India

Pushpesh Pant

Pant has taken a very scholarly approach to writing probably the most definitive book on Indian cuisine.

Television chef Sanjeev Kapoor holding a plate of rice.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Sanjeev Kapoor is the host of the longest running, most popular food show on the planet. His influence gave me understanding of the traditional approach to cooking some of the dishes, rather than the sometimes idiosyncratic approach of my grandmother.