Roopa Gulati

Roopa Gulati

Chef, food writer and broadcaster

https://www.roopagulati.com/
Brought up in Cumbria. Roopa moved to London to complete a Diploma at the Cordon Bleu cookery school, and then left England to live and work in India. During her time in Delhi, Roopa worked as Consultant Chef to the luxurious Taj hotel group and later became a household name across Asia, with a daily cookery slot on Star TV’s Good Morning India. Back in Britain, after several years as Food Editor at UKTV’s Good Food Channel, she went on to successfully scope Rick Stein’s India for BBC2 in 2012. In addition to hosting regional Indian cookery classes, she contributes features to leading food magazines and broadcasters, and is a regular restaurant critic for Time Out. She has been featured on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme and regularly judges their Food and Farming Awards. She has authored and contributed to books including Curry Lovers (Jacqui Small), Soup (Dorling Kindersley), and Rick Stein’s India (BBC Books).

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Features & Stories

Great British Be-Ro

Great British Be-Ro

To mark the arrival of the legendary Be-Ro pamphlet landing on ckbk’s shelves – and to celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK – we talk to Dr Annie Gray, Roopa Gulati, and Neil Buttery about what has given these slim recipe booklets their continuing appeal in home kitchens across Britain.

Roopa's favorite cookbooks

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle

I used both volumes of this book as part of the training schedule for trainee chefs while I was working at the Taj Hotel in Delhi. We spent hours simmering demi glace, getting the bouillabaisse and rouille just-so - often starting again when we missed the mark. The pages from this book soon fell out from overuse (and from getting too close to the stockpot) and had to be rebound in utilitarian hardback cover. But all the recipes have stood the test of time, the yellowing pages a recognition of our teamwork, the successes, occasional failures, and fond memories of my five years at the hotel.

SIMPLE: effortless food, big flavours

SIMPLE: effortless food, big flavours

Diana Henry

It’s hard to single out one of Diana’s books as my favourite as they all bring something new and inspirational to the table. What is striking about Simple is the pleasure it has given to me, my family and friends. We all have our favourites, mine is the meaty pork chops, glistening in sticky Marsala juices and crowned with plump figs. This book lives up to its name with its simple ingredients and straight forward methods resulting in big flavours and memorable meals.

Thai Food

Thai Food

David Thompson

This is my one-stop guide to the Thai Kitchen. Thompson writes with passion, attention to detail, and is respectful of centuries-old traditions. Each recipe opens a window to the wide range of Thai culinary cultures and every time I open his book I learn something new. There’s no other author that can persuade me to cross London in search of Asian celery and kaffir lime leaves. Nothing tops his outstanding green curry paste for its big bold flavour - it’s definitely worth persevering with all the peeling and pounding. This book belongs both in my kitchen and by my bedside.

Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts

Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts

Gordon Ramsay

This was one of the first cookbooks I bought after returning to the UK from living in India for two decades. I spent many Saturday afternoons working through the recipes, which included such treats as green apple sorbet, marvellously squidgy Baileys bread and butter pudding, and summer berries topped with sabayon sauce. Top marks to the expertise of Roz Denny in shaping these recipes. Surprisingly simple to put together, the instructions are easy to follow and the results taste pretty much as they would in a restaurant.

Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery

Sebastien Rouxel and Thomas Keller

The Bouchon Bakery book panders to my sweet tooth and ticks every box with its fabulous recipes for quick-fixes and elegant show stoppers. I give my gold star to Keller's mum’s pecan cookies - the ultimate sweet punctuator to my day. And, for something more stylish, check out his stunning devil’s food cake with its shiny mirror-like chocolate glaze. Enriched by precision photography, accurately written recipes, and a warm and inviting writing style, this book is marvellous inspiration for my Saturday afternoon baking sessions.

Tandoor

Tandoor

Even though I don’t have a tandoor (it’s top of my wishlist), Rai’s recipes have transformed the way I approach making Indian marinations and blending spices for meaty grills. His rendition of masala lamb chops steeped in yogurt with green chilli, coriander and ginger-garlic paste is memorable for its punchy flavour. I'm especially drawn to the section on pounded spice masalas and fresh chutneys, which make perfect partners to his smoky kebabs and grills.

The Calcutta Cookbook

The Calcutta Cookbook

Bengali cooking hasn't yet become mainstream in Britain, which is why these recipes are like gold dust to me. Signature dishes, such as the mustard-coated fish steamed in banana leaves, coconutty malai prawns, and sweet-sour tomato chutney are true to tradition, providing a taste of ‘back home’ for people like my father who is originally from Calcutta. The authors also pay tribute to the Armenian, Jewish, Chinese, Tibetan and European communities, with a narrative style that is as compelling as the historical recipes, My copy of the book, now falling apart, has provided a solid foundation for me to explore the region's rich culinary heritage.

Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasses's Desserts and Pastries

Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasses's Desserts and Pastries

Alain Ducasse

This weighty doorstopper is an investment that feeds my weekend hobby of pastry and dessert making. Ducasse is a master and this book puts his artistry centre-stage. His assembly instructions read like architectural designs and come complete with structural diagrams and detailed photography. Recipes are seriously impressive, and even if many of the creations take ages to gently fold together, there something to be said for being challenged to make the cakes of my dreams.

Available on ckbk now
Be-Ro Home Recipes: Scones, Cakes, Pastry, Puddings

Be-Ro Home Recipes: Scones, Cakes, Pastry, Puddings

Be-Ro Flour

My dog-eared, well worn booklet is held together with yellowing sticky tape. Even though I don’t often make the melting moment biscuits, pies and dumplings anymore, I could never demote the booklet from my bookshelf. Most of my school cookery lessons in the 1970s were based on recipes from Be Ro book and were the ones that kindled a love of kitchen affairs. The first edition was published in the 1920s and there have been over 40 reprints since then. Sometimes, I make the Australian crunchie as a nod to my childhood. It’s a cornflake, coconut and chocolate traybake, topped with a thick layer of trashy milk chocolate – marvellous.