#MakeryPicks: The Best Cookbooks of 2021 To Add To Your Shelves

Have you been on the search for some new cookbooks to update your shelves, but confused about which ones to get? We understand, it can get daunting trying to figure out which ones are worth it. Here’s our roundup of the best books released so far in 2021 that we’re excited about. 

New-School Sweets: Old-School Pastries with an Insanely Delicious Twist 
by Vinesh Johny, Andres Lara

Pastry chefs Vinesh Johny and Andres Lara come together to teach you everything about your favourite pastries with a delicious twist. Inspired by their travels, their recipes are an exciting upgrade of culinary classics we’ve grown up eating or reading about. From elevating a regular brioche to a Saffron Milk Brioche to incorporating spices in the Szechuan Peppercorn Hazelnut Tart, this book has detailed directions that will walk you through every recipe, with special tips on timing and assembly to help you to perfect your desserts. Perfect for those looking to hone their baking skills as well as pros who want some inspiration, this book definitely belongs on your shelves.

Buy it here.

Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch
by Jake Cohen

If you follow Jake Cohen on Instagram, this is your chance to make all the mouthwatering food you’ve only seen on his feed. In Jew-ish, Cohen draws inspiration from his husband’s Persian-Iraqi traditions while also reinventing the food his Ashkenazi heritage introduced him to, to create recipes that are modern and equally interesting for a new generation. Classics like ake’s Perfect Challah, Roasted Tomato Brisket, Short Rib Cholent, and Iraqi Beet Kubbeh Soup sit comfortably along with new creations like Cacio e Pepe Rugelach, Sabich Bagel Sandwiches, and Matzo Tiramisu, creating a book that isn’t just a cookbook but also a celebration of rich and vibrant personal histories and a blending of cultures. 

Buy it here

The Rana Cookbook
by Rohini Rana

In The Rana Cookbook, Author Rohini Rana traces the lineage of Nepal’s Rana palace, documenting recipes from the kitchen of the family that influenced Nepal’s culture, traditions, and tastes for over a century. These recipes see Nepali and Indian influences on the food, and you might see recipes using wild boar and venison—but don’t get scared. Each recipe comes with detailed instructions to leave even the most unskilled cook unfazed, and if the words don’t calm you down, the illustrations definitely will!

Buy it here

Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food
by Julia Turshen

Julia Turshen’s food has never been about simply getting dinner ready—her food evokes community, love, and connection. In Simply Julia, you will find 110 recipes with more nutritious options that the simple and comforting meals Turshen is known for. Chapters are divided into practical sections like weeknight go-tos, make-ahead mains, vegan one-pot meals, chicken recipes, and easy baked goods, and even contain menu suggestions, and helpful adaptations for dietary needs, along with personal essays and photos, and our personal favourites—Turshen’s Seven lists. Whether it’s Seven Things I Learned From Being a Private Chef that Make Home Cooking Easier or Seven Ways to Use Leftover Egg Whites or Egg Yolks, this is one book we’re going to share with as many people as we can. 

Buy it here.

The Complete OPOS Cookbook
by B Ramakrishnan

As many busy and short-on-time millennials will tell you, the One Pot One Shot (OPOS) cooking technique has made sure they get delicious and lavish meals without compromising on taste or time. Author and OPOS-inventor B Ramakrishnan simplifies cooking by stripping recipes to its bare bones, deconstructing them to make sure cooks don’t need any fancy equipment or time-consuming prep, but results in a dish that is both quick, healthy, and tasty. Featuring meal plans that incorporate both regional and international cuisine, The Complete OPOS Cookbook is a must-have for every young 20 and 30-something.

Buy it here

Rice: a Savor the South® cookbook
by Michael W. Twitty

A staple in most Asian households, rice is one of the most versatile ingredients around. Depending on the region, rice can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as a main dish, side dish, and snack, and can be cooked as both a savoury and sweet dish. Rice comes in hundreds of variants, and can be cooked till it’s crispy or till it’s mushy and smooth, or somewhere in between. Twitty’s recipes and stories focus on the American South, and demonstrate how important rice is to Creole, Acadian, soul food, Low Country, and Gulf Coast kitchens, as well as in the kitchens of cooks from around the world who are now at home in the South. He explores the culinary history of rice and African diaspora identity, and traces its journey in recipes that are southern classics as well as international. 

Buy it here.

Desi Delicacies
edited by Claire Chambers

Desi Delicacies, a collection of stories, essays, and recipes that highlights the food culture of Muslims in South Asia, featuring work by Rana Safvi, Tabish Khair, Annie Zaidi, Sadaf Hussain among others and edited by Claire Chambers, is an absolute joy to read. The idea that the kitchen is the heart of South Asian homes is driven home by each of the stories we read here, that the magic and science that takes place here affects not just our mood and human relationships, but also nations and economies, politics and history. 

Buy it here.

Masala Lab
by Krish Ashok

If you’ve ever been curious about why measuring the amount of water needed to cook rice using the knuckle of your index finger was more scientifically accurate than any measuring cup or why cooks always say to add a pinch of salt to a sweet dish, then this is the book for you. Masala Lab brings the chemistry lab to our kitchens, explaining how we can use what we learnt back in school can help us become better cooks. 

Buy it here.

Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus
by Yasmin Khan

So much more than a cookbook, Ripe Figs sees Yasmin Khan trace ingredients and their journeys through the Mediterranean region from the time of Ottoman rule to the influence of recent refugee communities. She explores borders, identity, and migration and what that means in a globalised world, and her recipes transcends boundaries to have us all sit at her kitchen table, tasting her food. Easy to follow for the home cook, with gorgeous food and location photography, this is a book that’ll take you to a place you might never have been and teach you to look at it and its food with entirely new eyes.

Buy it here.

Chetna's 30-minute Indian: Quick and Easy Everyday Meals
by Chetna Makan

Makan’s cookbooks always fly off the shelves for a simple reason--she combines her knack for creating interesting flavours with her love for simple Indian home cooking. Featuring salads, traditional fast snacks, imaginative toppings for toasts, delicious dals, comforting veggie, fish and meat curries, all-in-one rice dishes, raitas and dips as well as indulgent desserts, Chetna’s 30-minute Indian ensures she has quick recipes for any occasion you can think of. 

Buy it here.

Spiced, Smoked, Pickled, Preserved: Recipes and Reminiscences from India’s Eastern Hills 
by Indranee Ghosh

Spiced, Smoked, Pickled, Preserved sees author Indranee Ghosh bring together the food of her youth—food that has been passed down for generations. In her hands, a recipe isn’t just a recipe; it becomes a story. Woven together by personal stories, each recipe tells us how it came to be, whether it has its origins during the Second World War or the Partition of India. From fermented dishes like shidol in pumpkin leaves to a sizzling pan-roasted tilapia, from hearty fish stew to mouth-watering pork in plum sauce, sweet-and-sour fish roe ambal and a tangerine payesh, Ghosh’s words bring to life recipes that have been reinvented in the hands of cooks multiple times over the years. 

Buy it here.

My Shanghai: Recipes and Stories from a City on the Water
by Betty Liu

The best cookbooks aren’t just filled with recipes—they tell stories of a life lived through food. Betty Liu takes us on a year-long trip through Shanghai and its food, introducing us to recipes that go beyond the standard fare we’re used to, along with stories that illuminate diverse communities and their food rituals. Part cookbook, part travelogue, part cultural study, she goes to the heart of what makes Chinese food so uniquely Chinese—the people, their stories, and their family traditions.

Buy it here.