Some of our favourite intermediate level cookbooks are the “Everyday” range, available on Amazon. In particular we have enjoyed Everyday Indian and are just starting to use Everyday Thai. These books are very cheap, usually about £3-4 and are really small pocket books, so will not cause problems for students with limited transportation.
Some of our favourite recipes in this book have included Tandoori Chicken and the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, as well as an interesting vegetarian recipe that introduced us to Okra. The recipes are often simple and do not require any expensive ingredients. Once you have built up a small spice rack you shouldn’t need to buy many extra ingredients per dish either.
I have always found that currys made completely from scratch are much fresher and tastier than those you can make from jars, and often they are actually cheaper. A second advantage over the jar though is you can control the level of the spice you put in.
We have not had much time to explore our Thai cookbook yet, but I shall post up our opinions here once we have had a go at some of the recipes.