From Ireland to India: our favourite cookbooks for winter

Global influences abound in an exciting new veggie cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Plus, four more unmissable new releases spanning Indian, Irish and Greek cuisine.

Published 4 Dec 2020, 08:00 GMT, Updated 6 Jan 2021, 11:06 GMT
Global influences abound in five exciting, new cookbooks.

Global influences abound in five exciting, new cookbooks.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

1. Flavour, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

The final instalment of Plenty — a trilogy of books celebrating vegetarian cooking — sees Yotam Ottolenghi team up with his test kitchen head chef, Ixta Belfrage. Having travelled extensively through Europe and Latin America, self-taught Belfrage injects the book with techniques and flavours (think infused oils and heaps of chilli heat) from Brazil, Mexico, France and Italy. Together, the pair have produced a collection of more than 100 vegetarian dishes that combine culinary traditions from around the world. Expect fusion dishes such as aubergine dumplings alla parmigiana, celeriac and goat’s cheese ‘tacos’, and spicy mushroom lasagne. To help budding chefs make the most of their ingredients, the book is split into three sections covering ‘process’ (with instructions on the art of charring, ageing and infusing vegetables to perfection), ‘pairing’ (diving into the four pillars of great flavour: fat, sweetness, acidity and heat), and ‘produce’ (identifying a range of plant-based ingredients). If you didn’t believe in the flavour and versatility of meat-free cooking before, you certainly will now. £27, Ebury Press. ottolenghi.co.uk

2. Jikoni, by Ravinder Bhogal 

Bhogal was born in Kenya to Indian parents and moved to Britain as a child, so the 100-plus recipes in this book reflect her ‘immigrant kitchen’. Try the banana cake with miso butterscotch and Ovaltine kulfi, which has a cult following at her restaurant (also called Jikoni). £26, Bloomsbury

3. Under the Olive Tree, by Irini Tzortzoglou 

The 2019 MasterChef champion shares more than 80 easy-to-follow Greek family recipes, inspired by a childhood spent cooking the likes of moussaka and spanakorizo at her grandmother’s home in Crete. There are two whole sections dedicated to desserts, bakes and cakes. £25, Headline Publishing. irinicooks.com

4. Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian, by Chetna Makan

The latest release from cookbook author, YouTube personality and Bake Off alumna Chetna Makan focuses on meat-free Indian meals that are quick and easy to prepare. The book includes 80 recipes for soups, salads, curries and more. £20, Octopus. chetnamakan.co.uk

5. My Wild Atlantic Kitchen, by Maura O’Connell Foley

This recipe collection, from one of Ireland’s leading restaurateurs, is a celebration of Irish produce and a culinary career spanning more than 60 years. Centred around ingredients such as Atlantic sole, cod and prawns, the book also caters for meat-eaters and dessert-lovers. £30, Maura O’Connell Foley. mywildatlantickitchen.com

Published in Issue 10 (winter 2020) of National Geographic Traveller Food

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