Indian cookbooks

Time Out reviews the best new recipe books to spice up your suppers

Anjum's New Indian

Anjum Anand,

Quadrille, £20

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Anjum Anand, the pop priestess of easy Indian cooking in the UK, continues her testament in this second book. It’s a follow-up to ‘Indian Food Made Easy’, a TV tie-in to her six-part BBC2 series of the same name in 2007.

This sequel features more recipes from the BBC series, which have been scrumptiously styled and simply spelled out. Her cooking tends to be a blend of traditional and fusion, though some dishes, such as Indian shepherd’s pie or Keralan salmon wrap, are figments of a particularly British imagination.

However, the book does do some justice to the diversity of Indian cuisine. She covers all bases from light snacks such as the Parsi dish taamota per eeda (which she calls tomato-poached eggs) or Maharashtrian ussal pav (spicy sprouted bean salad in bread roll) to mains such as Gujarati undhiyo (a vegetable stew).

Anand tries hard to pepper her concoctions with personal experiences in the kitchen for an intimate culinary journey. Her inherited nostalgia from the days of the Raj manifests itself between the lines, particularly when she describes the way in which British memsahibs taught their cooks dishes from the West and in the process ‘enriched’ Indian cuisine.

However, these quick recipes only scratch the surface when it comes to exploring Indian cooking. It’s useful as a beginner’s guide but will leave the seasoned food lover hungry for more.

Sulakshana Gupta, Time Out London Issue 1984: Aug 28-Sept 3 2008

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