As much as we love eating out (and we really, really do), there’s nothing wrong with a home-cooked meal…especially when the recipes come from some of London’s top chefs and restaurants. Read on for our verdict on the latest cookbooks to grace the shelves, and stay safe in the knowledge that there are plenty of London restaurants to choose from if things go awry.
Words: Eamonn Crowe
Atul Kochhar’s 30 Minute Curries (Absolute, £26)
Benares chef Atul Kochhar is aiming to prove that homemade curry doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming with this snappy collection of 30-minute wonders. Colour-popping images and a brief intro to each recipe make for nice touches, with Kochhar recommending sides and top tips. Bar a few exceptions, we found that most of the required ingredients were already in our cupboards; what was less surprising is that the 30-minute claim is stretched on occasion (always the way). The book is filled with veggie options, but we particularly loved the tender, flavour-packed lamb curry. Easy-to-follow instructions and a good range of curries suited to those with differing thresholds for spice make this a worthwhile purchase for time-strapped cooks – buy Atul Kochar's 30 Minute Curries here
Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game (Absolute, £26)
Vegetarians look away now, as this cookbook is exclusively carnivorous. Edinburgh-based chef Tom Kitchin categorises this cooking guide by game type, ranging from the standard lamb and venison, to the less common partridge and woodcock. There is a solid mix of classic game recipes for purists (see chicken pie and venison burgers) and more adventurous offerings including grouse sausage rolls (pictured) and Asian poached pheasant. Obscure game aside, most of Kitchin’s ingredients are readily available (there’s lots of vegetables and stocks involved) and the recipes are easy-to-follow. Dull food photography lets the book down, but varied, innovative recipes make this an ideal gift for the meat lover in your life – buy Tom Kitchin's Meat and Game here
Oklava (Mitchell Beazley, £25)
Since opening in 2015, Oklava has fed Spitalfields’ hungry with its menu of traditional Turkish-Cypriot cuisine. Now, head chef Selin Kiazim has opened up its book of recipes to the public. Dishes include medjool date butter with bharat spiced bread, and courgette, feta and mint fritters. These recipes require more than your usual kitchen cupboard staples, and the book is better suited to confident cooks, but the results are worth the hard work. We particularly enjoyed making (and eating) the crispy pomegranate-glazed lamb breast with yoghurt, and we loved the section devoted to the art of Turkish coffee – buy Oklava: Recipes from a Turkish-Cypriot kitchen here
There are plenty of upcoming releases that we’re excited about too. Check out some of the soon-to-be-published cookbooks that we can’t wait to get our hands on…
Tim Anderson’s Japan Easy (22 September)
Martin Morales’s Andina (5 October)
Hawksmoor: Restaurants and Recipes (19 October)
Can’t be bothered to cook? Gorge on our complete list of London’s latest restaurant openings instead, or work up an appetite with our list of restaurants that are coming soon.
This article was published on 21 September 2017