Recommended Reading

Here are some recommended books on whisky and Indian food (cookbooks and others). Please be aware that the titles that link directly to Amazon will earn me a small commission from Amazon in the event of purchase. If you are not comfortable with this please do not click on the links here. I do not run ads on this site and nor do I accept free samples etc. and it’s my hope that participating in the Amazon affiliates program will at least to some extent subsidize the cost of running this blog. The links are to books that I would recommend to anyone and which I own myself and nobody other than me adds to the list or has any input on what goes on it. I have no financial relationship with any of the authors or publishers. (If you’re someone who would like me to list a book or product you’re associated with please don’t ask.)

Books on Whisky

  1. Scotch Whisky, David Daiches: A classic on the history of Scotch whisky written by one of the most important literary critics of the 20th century. The language is anything but academic, however: it is beautifully written, and since it was originally written in 1967 (and updated again later) it provides an interesting look at how Scotch whisky was experienced in an earlier period. Alas, it is out of print and so a new copy will cost you a pretty penny. Worth it though.

2. The Whiskies of Scotland, R.J.S. McDowall: Another classic from an earlier era, this book and Daiches’ should be in the library of anyone serious about whisky.

3. Peat Smoke and Spirit: A Portrait of Islay and Its Whiskies, Andrew Jefford: This modern classic, a love letter to Islay and its classic distilleries, stands alongside Daiches’ and McDowall’s books as one that is as much of a pleasure to read for its literary qualities as for the wealth of information it provides.

Books on Indian Food

  1. Flavours of the Spice Coast, Mrs. K.M. Mathew: I’ve mentioned this book on more than one occasion and have been recommending it to friends for more than a decade now. It is a classic published by Penguin India that focuses on the food of the south Indian state of Kerala. Lots of non-vegetarian and vegetarian recipes.

2.  I have also mentioned on many occasions Penguin India’s excellent series of books on regional Indian cuisines. Here are the ones I like the most:

The Essential Kerala Cookbook, Vijayan Kannampilly

The Calcutta Cookbook, Meenakshie Dasgupta et al.

The Essential Northeast Cookbook, Hoihnu Hauzel 

The Essential Goa Cookbook, Maria Teresa Menezes

Flavours of Delhi, Charmane O’Brien

3. A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya: Not a cookbook but an indispensable reference book for anyone interested in Indian food beyond cooking and eating it.

4. Bengali Cooking: Seasons and FestivalsChitrita Banerji: Part recipe book, part reference book, part memoir, this is a good supplement to the Calcutta Cookbook.

5. Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts, Ammini Ramachandran: Another book on the cuisine of Kerala (you can never have too many), this is vegetarian only. It contains a lot of excellent recipes and also a wealth of historical and cultural information. (The Kindle edition is cheaper.)