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Anjum's New Indian Paperback – October 26, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe: Chicken Dhansak from Anjum Anand’s Anjum's New Indian

Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I love the weather turning cool, the leaves burnishing and the idea of getting back to comfort food of a lighter persuasion than wintry fare. The colors of the fall give rise to its vibrant seasonal ingredients which I love to use, one of my favorites of which is the bulbous butternut squash. It is smoother and silkier than pumpkin and works really well in Indian food. This chicken curry is a hearty, one-pot meal which is savory, slightly sweet, slightly tangy, very nutritious and highly satisfying, which makes it one of India’s (and England’s) best loved dishes. Serve with rice or naan bread. --Anjum Anand

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, ground
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp pure red chile powder, or to taste
6 large cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
Salt, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, puréed
2 lb chicken pieces, skinned
1 cup red lentils, rinsed well and soaked in water while you prepare and cook
3 1/4 cups water
4 small eggplants, halved lengthways (optional)
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and flesh cut into large chunks (optional)
1 tsp tamarind paste, or to taste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp brown sugar or jaggery (optional)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

Using a spice grinder or good pestle and mortar, make a fine powder of the whole spices. In a blender, make a fine paste of the ginger and garlic, the powdered spices, and a small splash of water until smooth.

Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan and fry the sliced onion until well browned, around 8 minutes. Add the spice paste and salt and cook until all the moisture in the pan has evaporated, then fry the paste for another 2 to 3 minutes over low heat, stirring continuously. Add the tomatoes and a good splash of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium–high heat or until the sauce is cooked and the oil starts to bubble at the sides.

Add the chicken and brown for a few minutes. Drain the lentils from their soaking water and add to the pan with 3 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then add the squash, if using. Cover again and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, another 10 minutes or so. Give the pan an occasional stir to make sure the lentils are not settling at the bottom.

Add the tamarind paste to taste, the garam masala and sugar. Check the seasoning and, using the back of the spoon, crush some of the lentils to thicken the gravy. Add a splash of warm water if it is too thick. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.




More Recipe Excerpts from Anjum's New Indian


Dried Pomegranate Chicken

Lima Bean Sundal

Sindhi Lamb Curry

From Booklist

Consuming nearly as much Indian food as they do the traditional dishes of their sceptered isle, Britons have made the fragrances of tropical spices central to their cuisine. One of Britain�s most celebrated television chefs, Anand makes cooking Indian food at home much less daunting by simplifying its processes and showing how easy it can be to prepare and serve exotic ingredients. Anand enthusiastically surveys the cooking from all of India�s diverse regions, and she thoroughly explains what makes each area unique, from the familiar cooking of Punjab and Kerala to the distinctive offerings of Goa. With its spicy sweet taste and rich texture, West Bengal�s coconut and mustard shrimp appeal to any shellfish fan. A Gujarati stew of white and sweet potatoes with eggplant, parsnips, and beans offers a host of colors and flavors within a vegetarian dish. A glossary supplements Anand�s sprightly descriptions of individual dishes. --Mark Knoblauch
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470928123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470928127
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,151,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
The blurb on the back of Anjum Anand's cookbook says, "The Indian Nigella Lawson" and the comparison is apt. I love Indian food and I love to cook it, but few recipes would fit in anybody's idea of "30-minute meals." Even when the dish itself comes together quickly, there's always a bit of time invested in pulling together several ingredients (such as measuring out six or eight spices). Like Lawson, Anand attempts to make many Indian dishes accessible and do-able without a lot of fuss. She also puts a little effort into making Indian food more healthful (though I never thought of it as particularly UNhealthful; perhaps it's greasier in the UK). I think she achieved her goal.

Anand has an excellent show on the Cooking Channel. When I got the book I expected to find most of the recipes she made on the TV show, but I recognize only a few. No matter -- these are quite good. The book's organized in the usual way (basic recipes, light meals and snacks, then entrees) with separate chapters for fish and seafood, chicken, meat, vegetables, beans and lentils, rice and bread, raitas and chutneys, and desserts and drinks.

While there are several vegetarian options, you won't be overwhelmed by them (which causes me to emit a little sigh, as I often turn to Indian food for serving my vegetarian friend). She aimed to provide recipes for dishes you wouldn't find in the Indian takeaway menus, so there's no chicken tikka masala or other standbys. On the other hand there are a LOT of fish dishes -- about 25 of them -- and most look tasty indeed, such as a Goan fish curry (fish filets with mustard seeds, onion, ginger, cinnamon, tomatoes, coconut milk) and baked chutney-stuffed whole fish (which looks simple enough that I could get it on the table in under an hour).
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Format: Paperback
Author Anjum Anand relates an old Indian saying in this book, "A guest is like god" and any of her Indian Food Made Easy recipes would be worthy to put on a party menu for entertaining. They are colorful, succulent and rich with history as well as spices and other exotic ingredients.

Yes, it's true that the recipes in this well constructed cookbook will have you going in search of things like cardamom pods, garam masala, curry leaves and Goan red spice paste. But Los Angeles-based India Sweets and Spices ([...]) can prove a wonderful resource companion to this delicious cookbook.

Indian food gets too short shrift in many culinary annuals, but Anjum Anand does a wonderful job of shining the spotlight on new and old recipes from her homeland.
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I am no novice to Indian food. I was raised in a Pakistani family in Houston TX so there was an abundance of curry in my life. I have never owned an Indian cookbook. I always just winged it (Note: I am a young but very experienced cook). This book brought new flavors into my life! It's not just curry curry curry (which is why I never bought Indian books before).

The cilantro chutney in this book is amazing and easy!

The fried eggplant dish is so good and versatile. It's easy too (put some coconut or cilantro chutney on these little chips, yummmm)

Her family's garam masala recipe is super easy and yummy spice.

Another note: I live in West Virginia and cannot get all of the different kinds of flours and daals, etc. I just do without and it is still amazing.
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Not having seen the TV series, I was surprised by the focus on celebrity implied by all the full-face glamour photographs of the chef. I found the pin-up girl aspect of the book extremely annoying. However, to be fair, the photography of the food was also very well done, which was appreciated.

I found most of the recipes very tasty and satisfying; neither 'authenticity' (which I cannot judge) nor 'newness' (which I do not care about) were important to me. The level of expertise required is about that required by other serious Indian food writers such as Madhur Jaffrey. And yes, you do have to hit the internet to find kaffir lime leaves and asafoetida, etc., if you do not live in a city with Indian grocery stores. Perhaps this book isn't the best for someone beginning to cook Indian.

Three stars = 'okay' because the cook book is one worth having if you can overlook the full-face dreamy-eyed photos of the cook. It just made me think she wasn't a serious professional.
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Anjum's New Indian: Recipes from Indian Food Made Easy gatherings offerings from the 'Taste of Cooking' channel and gathers under one cover one 100 of the best dishes on the show. Based on the show's premise that Indian food can be light, healthy and quick, this packs in color photos throughout and dishes ranging from Red Lamb Shank Korma to Coconut Chicken Fry and Chicken with Spinach. Readers will find this packed with easy ideas in a perfect introduction to Indian cuisine!
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I am part of a cooking club, and we have been focusing on Indian cuisine for the past 6 months. This book, filled with delicious and innovative recipes, has provided us with some great meals. I recommend it!
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Having seen Anjum's program but once on television, I sought her books. This book I enjoy because it takes simple things, chicken for example, and provides recipe after recipe with a short paragraph on where in India the found is likely to be eaten, and features a color picture for nearly every recipe.
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