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Webchat about Indian cookery with Anjum Anand, Thursday 20 March, midday to 1pm. Join the chat and enter a draw to win a signed copy of her latest book.

(84 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 14:55:18

We're delighted that Anjum Anand is joining us for a webchat about Indian food on Thursday 20 March between midday and 1pm.

Anjum grew up in London and has presented two series of BBC TV's Indian Food Made Easy and written five bestselling books and now has her own internationally stocked range of Indian sauces, chutneys and pickles, The Spice Tailor. Anjum Anand is on a mission to bring Indian food up to date. Very health-conscious herself, she is constantly working to bring down the fat content of Indian food, creating lighter, fresher dishes with all the rich, spicy flavours of the subcontinent.

Anjum's latest book Anjum's Quick and Easy Indian shows how we can all create a delicious curry in just 20 minutes, and provides tips on stocking your cupboards with time-saving 'cheat' ingredients and a plethora of hints on how to make cooking Indian at home as easy as possible, while the 'Take One' feature shows you how to make three great meals from just one store cupboard ingredient.

Join Anjum on Thursday at lunchtime or post a question in advance to this thread. Everyone who joins the webchat will be entered into a draw to win a SIGNED copy of Anjum's Quick and Easy Indian.

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:13:10


I make your easy naan breads often, if I make a soup from leftover veg and put some spices in, then dunk the naan into it. Yummy. I don't really have a question but this thread has reminded me I haven't done made them in a while, I now want a soft pillowy buttery naan with charred bits!

I know the feeling, especially as it is coming up to lunchtime! We should both make some later! x

Spirael Thu 20-Mar-14 12:14:35

I'm delaying popping out of the office to grab my lunch in order to be here, but reading about all the delicious food is making me incredibly hungry. Doh!

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:14:39


Hello! I once had the most amazing garlic pickle, made by a friend of a friend, who would not divulge the secret! Since then I have dreamed about the pickle and hoped to one day make something that resembled it, but I have no idea where to start. Can you help?

I might be able to help but would need to know more. Many regions have their own version of garlic pickle. Which part of India did your friend come from. Was it a coarse red looking paste?

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:16:56


Hi Anjum, I love your food. I particularly like the lamb Rogan josh from I love curry and the snack food in your vegetarian book. I've served quite a few of your curries to guests but I confess I often cheat and buy starters from M&S! What would be your go-to menu for a relaxed dinner for friends that wouldn't involve getting too stressed in the kitchen at the last minute? Thank you for reading!

Aboslutely, there are any that i turn too when friends are coming over. This was one of the reasons i wrote the new book Anjum's Quick and Easy Indian, i wanted all the easy recipes in one place. Have a browse in your local bookshop, it won't disappoint! xx

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:18:48


Hi Anjum, love your recipes. I was just wondering what your favourite recipe is?

I don't think i have a fave... I don't even think i can choose a favourite one from each book. I suppose it depends what i am in the mood to eat, the weather and what is in my fridge. I do cook a lot of lentil curries though. x

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Mar-14 12:19:52



I just wondered if you had any tips on making a great (but simple!) Bombay Potatoes - they're dh's favourite and although I keep trying to make them I never really get it right. I've managed all sorts of random potato curries, which are nice most of the time! but it would be fantastic to surprise him a dish of proper homemade Bombay Potatoes!

I've got a pretty good selection of Indian spices to use at as I like to cook things from fresh rather than use ready-made sauces or jars of stuff.

Thank you so much! thanks

Hi, i do a great Bombay Potato recipe in Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast. Mumset is posting a link for you. x

Here's a link to Anjum's Bombay Pototo recipe

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:21:44


I've been working through a few of your recipes for my family, managed to persuade my wife out of her comfort zone with a couple of them. smile

Tikka Massala is supposed to have been an Indian dish adapted for the UK and so creating a new dish. Have you ever thought about doing a book dedicated to the fusion between Indian food and the countries it has ended up in? Not just UK but America, France, China etc?


You know what, i thought about something similar last night. I think that would be a really interesting book as Indian food keeps evolving and absorbing all the influences around it. I will keep it in mind. Thank you for suggesting and any other thoughts out there for the next book are welcome! Tweet me @Anjum_Anand. x

Calypso2 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:21:50

I'm really keen to see your latest book Anjum as Ive recently started experimenting with Indian cooking. I'm still not very good on rice - can you give us some tips on how to make a great pilao rice or other different rices without it being too dry or too stodgy. Thanks

CountThalim Thu 20-Mar-14 12:23:25

smile If you did it would be on my list. I'm sure I can come up with a few other ideas, though it will mean digging out my twitter account and brushing off the cobwebs.


AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:23:39


Hi Anjum, enjoy your recipes - can I ask what you use in your own blend of garam masala? Thanks!

Hi, I grind together Indian Bay leaves, black cardamom, mace, cloves, black peppercorns, cassia bark. My garam masala is quite strong but really aromatic and warming. Definitely worth trying. x

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:25:00


Hi Anjum
Your recipes are great. We love Indian food - so full of flavour. I was wondering what non-Indian cuisines you like to eat and/or cook & if you find a lot of other cuisines bland in comparison?
Looking forward to the webchar.
Thank you.

I don't think i do find other cuisines bland. I grew up on this side of the world so am able to appreciate all the flavours as long as it is well made. Having said that, these days i do veer towards Asian and Oriental food in general. x

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:25:31


No questions off the top of my head but v excited to see Anjum here - I absolutely love her recipes and recommend her indian made easy book to everyone I know grin

Thank you for joining and adding that lovely comment! x

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Mar-14 12:28:49

Can we ask a question from MNHQ - what is your never-fail recipe that you back to time and time again that can be used for family meal or last minute dinner party?

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:29:45


Wonderful to have you here, Anjum. I am a huge fan! Your books and television appearances have both converted and educated me. I love Indian food but was always worried about cooking it from scratch as it seemed so long and complicated. I was also worried about getting the spice levels wrong.

You've taught me how to easily put together healthy, everyday Indian themed meals for my family. I have the confidence to assess spice levels as I'm cooking and I even now make things up as I go. We don't eat a lot of meat, so your provision of many lovely vegetariThat is a realan recipes is wonderful. Thank you so much. smile

In particular, we love making (and eating...) paneer as a family! It's so easy, even my three year old loves getting involved. Really confuses nursery when they ask her what she was doing at the weekend and she tells them about cheese making-!

For my question: I have a friend who has the genetics which mean coriander tastes soapy to her, and consequentially it puts her off a lot of Indian food. She's also not keen on anything too spicy.

Is there an alternative I can use for ground/fresh coriander or coriander seeds, or can you recommend any recipes that don't include coriander but also aren't particularly spicy?

That is a really sweet story. My daughter says the same about making naans with me at home and stuffing them with her own choice of ingredient and making "naanwiches".

Fesh coriander is quite different in flavour to coriander seeds. I would leave fresh coriander off the recieps but might still include ground coriander as it adds a little flavour and thickens a curry. Having said that, it is not a strong tasting spice so if she is sure she doesn't like it, you could leave it out altogether. The recipe might suffer but only a very little bt (depending on what you cook). ALso, have a look, if you haven't already, at Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast for lots of simple mild vegetarian recipes. Also, you can always leave the chilli out completely.

God luck with it.

WhatUsain Thu 20-Mar-14 12:30:40

Hi Anjum, I was just wondering what key spices I could add to my cooking to give it a lovely authentic curry flavour?

JollyGolightly Thu 20-Mar-14 12:30:42

I'm the garlic pickle person! It was dark brown, sticky and delicious. I want to say south Indian but that might be wrong...

SheKnewSheWasRight Thu 20-Mar-14 12:31:07

Hi Anjum,
In cooking for the family, I am very conscious of trying to get a balanced and healthy diet for us all; to that end, have you ever considered including details of the protein / carbs / calorie / fat etc content of your recipes in your books?
Thanks smile

subzerotemp Thu 20-Mar-14 12:31:14

Hi Anjum, love your simple, easy-to-follow recipes. When are you doing your next TV show?

teaandcustardcreams Thu 20-Mar-14 12:31:20

Hi Anjum,

Which region of India influences your cooking and/or your food preferences the most?

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:31:48


I have a well used copy of your Indian Food Made Easy and your Simple Pilaff is a firm family favourite but my rice keeps ended up sticky. What's the best way to avoid this?

Wash your rice in several changes of water or until the water remains clear. If you are using a water to rice ratio method, maybe there is too much water involved. If you are boiling the rice like pasta, one the rice is just cooked (around 7 minutes), drain all the water, leave the pan on a low heat for another 30s and then cover and allow the rice to sit in the steam. It should be perfect.

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Thu 20-Mar-14 12:32:17

My dh has discovered cooking, and made his first curry a few weeks ago. He loves chana can you recommend a easy but lovely recipe to encourage him?

I'd forgotten about your series will defo try to find some repeats for him to watch.

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:34:15


Hmmm. Yum. What is the key to making a good dal and why do my lentils always stick to the bottom of the pot?

I don't think there is a trick as such. Lentils will need to be stirred if they are quite thick or there isn't enough water in the pot. Also, it is nice for lentils to start breaking down in the water for that homogenous lentil curry (if that is what you are making). After that, it is all about the tarka. Just about to film a video cooking the quickest ever tarka dal for Mumsnet so keep an eye out for it. x

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:35:54


Hi Anjum,

Which region of India influences your cooking and/or your food preferences the most?

I suppose my favourite regional food is Punjabi as that is what i grew up with but i think the biggest influences now are that meals need to be light, varied and quick and easy to make.

AnjumAnand Thu 20-Mar-14 12:37:04


Hi Anjum, love your simple, easy-to-follow recipes. When are you doing your next TV show?

Thank you for saying so.With TV you never know. Hopefully, there will be another. Thee is lots of talk right now but it is early days yet. x

jazzshoes Thu 20-Mar-14 12:37:51

I would love to make my family balti and naan bread and tips to make it taste delicious

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