Nags is hosting her very first event called "Show me your Cookbook". As soon as I saw her post I knew I wanted to participate, but a good cookbook did not jump out at me right away. I rarely follow cookbook recipes, relying heavily on recipes from my Mom, Mother-in-law, and all the great Indian blogs I follow. Whenever I have a craving to cook something and need a recipe, I head straight to the internet and start searching.
My brother in law Gopi has a fairly good collection of cookbooks and is strict about following recipes. I have never had the discipline or interest in doing that, and tend to 'create' recipes by looking at what is in my pantry and merging a few recipes together to use up whatever is in the fridge.
When I got married I didn't really know how to cook, and my husband Shankar and my mother-law taught me how do the basics. But I did try a few recipes out of the classic South Indian recipebook trio, Samaithu Par - Cook and See. I bought these cookbooks long before marriage on a trip to India in the hopes that one day I would use them to master South Indian cooking.
The dishes I tried from here were OK, but to be very honest the results from cooking lessons with my family were far better. Some people swear by the author, Meenakshi Ammal (who is of the South Indian Patti variety).
Cook and See - any South Indian will tell you its a must for your collection of cookbooks. Nags, I don't think your virtual cookbook collection would be complete without this one!