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Anjum Anand - Our Desi Nigella Lawson


Anjum Anand , often called the Indian Nigella Lawson is stir frying into shape the image of Indian Cuisine.

It seems like a loosing battle.Trying to tell traditionally non -Indian food eaters, the health benefits of Indian Cuisine.Oily, Spicy, heavy, tedious - the list of typecasts only gets longer and the justifications , too far between.Hell , even some desis think their own food is unhealthy !

So when someone decided to carrry the mantle of promoting Indian food as healthy cuisine, it might seem like they arebiting off more chicken tikka masala than they can chew.but Anjum Anand is not one to worry.The author of Anjum's New Indian , a book that focusses on cooking Indian food, the healthy, fresh and easy way, Anand has pretty much dedicated herself to changing all unflaterring and conventional notions that are dragging down Indian cuisine."I know what people see as Indian food is mainly restaurant food" says Anand."It is only a matter of time before they understand what real Indian food is".

London based Anand's September 2008 has already sold over 50,000 copies in the UK alone.It follows two previous books , Indian Everyday :Light Healthy Indian food and Indian Food made easy. To gaguge her popularity one simply has to browse through the pages , or see her show- the emphasis is squarely on authentic, quick and easy homespun Indian foods that have fresh and healthy writen all over them.With this mantra, Anand is surely turning the tables on the concept of Indian food.

Anand's keen and comprehensive sense of Indian food is something she developed from an early age.From helping her mother out in the kitchen,baking with friends when she nine,or just opting for cooking classes during her leisure hours,Anand honed her fledgling interest into a passion.Todays she whips up countless delicacies in many different ways."I might have eaten something at a restaurant or at a friend's which I set about recreating in my kitchen.or I might see an ingredient not often used in Indian food and think about what I can do with it and what flavours it would go with.I then spend my time in the kictehn trying to figure it out." She is not bothered about the fusion forms that cuisines take these days , just as long as it is about good nutrition.

Even though Anand was always passionate about food, her decision to write a book on Indian recipes with no substantial background in cookery was greeted with a fair amount of apprehension.She was turned down by around 30 publisher's before she eventually got a literary agent who got her her first contract." I was so naive.It is really a difficult industry to break into.It is expensive to publish cookery books and publishers are worried about taking risks with new faces and I was a totall new face with no restaurant and no TV experience" recalls Anand.

Counted amonng top Indian Cooks , Anand seamlessly fuses her Indian roots with European sensibilities to create dishes that have been the best of both the worlds.She continues to work on yet another book.a new compilation that furthers her devotion to Indian cuisine , and no doubt, it is an uncomplicated avataar !

Read : Anjum's Baked Chutney - Stuffed Fish.

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