Quarantine Reads: Cookbooks for the Lockdown

Quarantine Reads: Cookbooks for the Lockdown
The best of cookbooks for beginners, and kitchen masters Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Cook. Bake. Steam n grill! Now’s the time to indulge in your culinary fantasies

Roshni Subramanian
April 06 , 2020
08 Min Read

“These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.” Who’d have thought that Rufus Scrimgeour of all the people would sum up the current state so well. These are indeed tough times. During the global pandemic, where social distancing and self-imposed quarantine have become the order of the day and millions are trying to get a grip on the situation, it’s difficult to have a 'glass half-full' perspective.

With the newfound time and lack of outside entertainment, it’s perhaps a good time to catch up on some reading, or even brush up on cooking skills. We are no master chefs ourselves, but you could possibly turn into one while under quarantine. Check out our list of cookbooks for a taste of global flavours that you can get right in your kitchen. 


The World Eats Here: Amazing Food and The Inspiring People Who Make it

Recipes, tales straight from the kitchen and a glimpse into NYC’s first and favourite night markt. John Wang and Storm Garner’s carefully curated debut brings forth incredible recipes and stories from over 40 odd countries all over the world. Readers are introduced to the Queen’s Night Market, the culinarily diverse borough of New York City. Overcoming culture shocks and language barriers, the author pens down recipes that are straight from the kitchens of first and second generation immigrant cooks. Right from anecdotes about Tibetan beef dumplings to even Bashkir Farm Cheese donuts, each account celebrates food like no other.

Drinking French

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After the success of My Paris Kitchen, New York Times bestselling author David Lebovitz’s Drinking French features the iconic drinking culture of France. With over 160 recipes, the photographed collection documents everything from classic and modern cocktails to creative infusions with fresh fruits and French liqueurs. Divided into five chapters, Leovit also delves into the quintessential apértifs, cafe culture and array of concoctions central to the country. Sprinkled with a little French flair, Lebovitz’s witty and informative narrative makes for a riveting read.

The Turkish Cookbook

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While a typical initiation to the Turkish cuisine is the doner kebab, the Turkish Cookbook goes much deeper into the nuances of the country’s culinary culture. Author Musa Dagdeviren not only celebrates the regionality of Turkish cooking in his first English cookbook but also consciously steers clear of the trap of westernised recipes. What at the first glance appears to be  a coffee table book, thoroughly showcases the diversity of Turkish food and explores the European and Asian culinary heritage. With 550 recipes for the home cooks, the author packs in the cultural background of each dish.

Zahav: A World Of Israeli Cooking

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Michael Solmonov’s Zahav traces the celebrated chef and restaurateur’s interpretations of authentic Israeli cuisine. Drawing influences from Middle Eastern, North African, Mediterranean and East European styles of cooking, Solomonov’s recipes have been brilliantly adapted to local flavours. The author pens down a personal narrative, all about embracing the food of his motherland. Covering both amateur and pro-level recipes, the book not only explores the chef's inspiration but also the unique approach to dining and hospitality which is shaped by a shared experience.

The Food of Sichuan

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Hot. Spicy. Deep and rich. Sichuan cuisine is not for the scaredy cat. Fuchsia Dunlop’s The Food of Sichuan is a guide for homecooks to replicate the dazzling flavours and textures of Sichuanese cooking. A captivating insight into one of the oldest cuisines, Dunlop’s work is a master class on culinary history. Boasting of nearly 200 recipes accompanied by food and travel photographs, the text illustrates the food of this Chinese province in different ways. Right from the mapo tofu to the twice-grilled pok, the book is filled with some timeless classics. 

Made in Mexico - The Cookbook: Classic And Contemporary Recipes

Ah! The sight, smell and sound of Mexican street food! Unfortunately, the Mexican fare that we’ve come to know is not exactly the authentic deal. There’s a lot more going on in Mexican kitchens than tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Made in Mexico by Danny Mena presents recipes inspired by Mexico City’s street food culture, local diners and infusion of local traditions with global trends. With detailed information on proper techniques and ingredient variations, Mena showcases the diversity of Mexican cooking. His visual references to the streets, markets and eateries of Mexico compliment each recipe. 

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