The Handbook
The Handbook

Step away from the micro meal and add some colour, vibrance and flavour into your cooking with these nine cookbooks. With travel still off the cards and the airways still firmly closed, there are ways you can get your travel fix through the flavourful food you knock up at home. 

From China to Mexico, Russia to the US, join us as we travel the world figuratively through these nine exceptional cookbooks.

Mediterranean: Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

Fall back in love with cooking with a little help from Ottolenghi as his latest cookbook, Ottolenghi FLAVOUR guides you through the flavours, textures and colours associated so vibrantly with the Mediterranean. 

As with all of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks, this vegetarian newbie focuses on vegetables, but explores extra pantry staples and low-effort dishes, including Hassleback Beetroot with Lime Leaf Butter and the most talked about dish in the book, his famous Spicy Mushroom Lasange. 

This is the kind of cookbook you’ll end up adding sticky notes to save for a post-lockdown dinner party or celebration.

£15, Ebury Press, amazon.co.uk

Russia: Beyond the North Wind by Darra Goldstein 

Russian food probably isn’t the first cuisine that comes to mind when you’re wondering what to knock up for dinner, but let Darra Goldstein, author of Beyond the North Wind, change your thoughts entirely on the dishes and culture.

Darra’s cookbook explores over 100 traditional recipes from all corners of Russia, using the flavours and ingredients of Russian cuisine and transporting them into the modern day. Each recipe celebrates tradition, focusing on whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and rich flavours. Learn everything from Dumplings with Mushrooms and Buckwheat to Oven-Braised Veal Stew with Cherries.

£18.73, Ten Speed Press | amazon.co.uk

India: Dishoom: From Bombay with Love by Shamil Thakrar  

Described by Yotam Ottolenghi as “a love letter to Bombay”, Dishoom’s recipe book delves deep into the traditional recipes loved by all from Bombay. 

All you need to do is walk past the queues of hungry customers waiting patiently outside Dishoom on any night of the week to see that the restaurant itself has become much loved by London tourists and locals alike. But if you fancy recreating their specialities from the bacon naan roll to the jackfruit biryani at home, this cookbook will see you sampling the best of the Indian restaurant that changed the way Londoners eat.

£17.67, Bloomsbury Publishing | amazon.co.uk

USA: Southern Vegan: Delicious Down-Home Recipes for Your Plant-Based Diet by Lauren Hartmann 

American cuisine is categorised by its big hamburgers, Thanksgiving feasts and bizarre combinations – we’re looking at you, baked sweet potato with marshmallows… But here to help turn that on its head – or, rather fuel it even further – is Lauren Hartmann, author of Southern Vegan: Delicious Down-Home Recipes for Your Plant-Based Diet. 

Helping to push vegan cookbooks away from the typical grain salads and health focused diet, the cookbook brings together sixty vegan recipes that are just as decadent and laden with vegan butter as your typical Southern style dish would be. Explore Southern America in a whole new way, with Black Pepper-Chive Biscuits, Cheesy Biscuit Vegetable Pot Pie and Mississippi Mud Cheesecake.

From £16.68, Page Street Publishing | amazon.co.uk

China: Complete Chinese Cookbook by Ken Hom

Join American-Chinese TV personality and chef, Ken Hom as he guides you through the complete process of making authentic Chinese cuisine at home. 

The 250 recipes will be made up of everything from Cantonese stir-fries to spicy Sichuan flavours, and utilises every cooking technique, equipment and Chinese pantry ingredient you will ever need to know about.

£18.30, BBC Books | amazon.co.uk

Spain: The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden 

Your annual holiday to Mallorca may be off the cards for another year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the aromatic and seafood flavours at home. Helping to transport you to the tavernas of the popular Spanish isles is Claudia Roden, who spent five years researching, examining and writing about the flavours, ingredients and specialities of Spanish cuisine, to create this encyclopedia of recipes and dishes in The Food of Spain. 

From simple tapas showstoppers to celebratory meals and platters, join Claudia as you whip up your favourite Spanish holiday dishes at home.

£30, Penguin Group | amazon.co.uk

Japan: Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Although one of the more expensive cookbooks on this list, Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s Japan: The Cookbook acts as an encyclopedia into authentic and traditional Japanese dishes and specialties.

Scour through the bountiful book of over 400 recipes from the famous food writer and delve into everything from one-pot wonders to sweet treats, soups to noodles. The book will also look great perched artistically on your coffee table or slotted amongst your other favourite cookbooks on your bookcase.

From £53, Phaidon Press | amazon.co.uk

Italy: Trullo by Tim Siadatan 

Londoners go absolutely wild over a bowl of Trullo’s rich, cheesy fettuccine cacio e pepe. Now you can go wild in the comfort of your PJs and kitchen while you rustle up all of Trullo’s creations, along with their favourite Italian classics too. 

Tried, tested and enjoyed by owner Tim Siadatan, Trullo’s cookbook is a homage to Siadatan’s heritage, whilst hoping to prove that proper Italian cuisine is easily replicable at home. From dishes including slow-braised lamb shoulder to learning the craft of the two ingredients Tuscan pici (made literally from just flour and water!), there’ll be no more ready made pasta sauces in your kitchen once you’ve got your hand on this no.1 best seller.

£18.02, Square Peg | amazon.co.uk

Mexico: Tu Casa Mi Casa by Enrique Olvera 

Step away from the pre-packaged burrito, taco and fajita packs, Enrique Olvera is about to guide you on a journey through the history, heritage and vibrant flavours of real Mexican food. 

Enrique’s cookbook is a celebrated chef, and is helping to reinvent Mexican food on a global level. Inside Tu Casa Mi Casa, find 100 recipes that incorporate traditional and contemporary Mexican tastes, from homemade tortillas to Ensenada Style ‘chocolate clams’, Tongue Tacos to Churros.

£21.75, Phaidon Press | amazon.co.uk

WE ONLY CHOOSE PRODUCTS WE LOVE, BUT SOME OF THE LINKS ON THIS PAGE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS WHICH YIELD A SMALL FEE TO THE HANDBOOK, WHICH HELPS US CONTINUE TO DO WHAT WE DO.


Want to receive more great articles like this every day: sign up here