Cookbook or any food literature is not just a glossy pictorial or dry manual with step-by-step direction for making elaborate recipes that we will never make. A good food literature is a cultural guidebook that celebrates our mundane activities; creating, eating and sharing.
Until recently, many of the Indian culinary knowledge had not yet been formally (or casually) written down. Daughters learned from helping their mothers and new cook apprentice gained the knowledge by following his master chef. Even then, there was never even a verbal passing down of recipe. Indian food is creative and you cook with your feeling (hunch at best). Literally, you put ingredients and create your dish according to what you felt at that time.
Starting with emigration away from India, change in family priorities, and growing interest in Indian cuisine outside of India, many are learning how to cook Indian food from cookbooks.
Some of fine gastronomical literary and scholarly contribution on Indian food is listed below. For complete index, please refer to Indian cookbook index and Indian food author index.