Madhur Jaffrey’s 11 Essential Books on Indian Food and Cooking


Madhur Jaffrey started collecting books by happenstance. “I started looking around for old books without any thought in my head that I would use them one day,” she explains. “I like to pick up things that are beautiful.” Before books, it was shawls and Indian miniature paintings. Both became too expensive, so she turned to books in antique shops, acquiring historical works like all 26 volumes of The Imperial Gazetteer for $10 or $15.

She started writing articles around the same time, in the early 1970s, she says, “to survive, because I couldn’t find acting work.” Since then, she’s built a career as one of the foremost authorities on Indian cooking, authoring nearly 30 books, including her most recent Madhur Jaffrey’s Instantly Indian Cookbook, a collection of recipes for the Instant Pot.