Saturday, February 9, 2013


What according to you is the hottest cuisine these days?
Depends where in the world you are. In the US, they are really getting into raw food, New Mexican and some Vietnamese. In the UK they are still talking about provenance and seasonality but we are finally getting some good Mexican in which is adding to its popularity. For me, it is street food from around the world.

What is your contribution to Indian cuisine internationally?
This is not for me to answer; it is a matter of perspective. Some may say I have done nothing, others a lot.

Does molecular gastronomy work with Indian cuisine?
It works as well as it does with any other cuisine. It is about new tastes and textures and allows the cook to enjoy his creativity.

How different was it working with an Indian team of chefs at The Oberoi for the charity event?
I really enjoyed working with the chefs from the Oberoi. It is always great for me to work in India; there is a feeling of camaraderie and familiarity that I love.

What is the most popular Indian dish internationally?
The chicken tikka masala.

Do you have any advice for upcoming chefs?
You need to learn everything you can, immerse yourself into this world and then add you own stamp to it once you have grown enough to understand what that might be. Being over confident to early on gives little.

How do you balance working in the kitchen with a family?
I’m not sure I have balanced both, sometimes one takes up more time, other times, the other. I am always wanting to do more with both (my children and my career) so I am probably Jack of all, master of none! But I wouldn’t want to not have one or the other so it will just have to continue this way.
Do you think it is difficult for vegetarians to survive eating out internationally?
Yes, in some places. For example, Spain was a struggle for my brood this summer but luckily I found an Indian restaurant on day 2 and took a regular take away from there! I’m not joking, in many European cities, I need to find an Indian restaurant to feed my lot a healthy, balanced meal.

Your favourite cuisine and favourite restaurant? Why?
Obviously Indian! Love Bukhara in Delhi, Trishna in Mumbai, Kewpies in Kolkata I know there are many others, newer restaurants around but I haven’t gotten around to trying them. I am always open to suggestions so readers feel free to email me through my website or tweet me on @anjum_anand.

Please tell us one secret handy tip/ingredient/cooking process which enhances your cooking & we can try?
I think cooking with patience and really allowing flavours to develop works well with Indian food. Also, when it comes to a curry, stir often; it makes the sauce creamier and more homogenous.
Blackberries with Violet, Yoghurt and Easy Homemade Granola

I know this dish isn’t Indian of origin but it is so delicious I couldn’t resist putting it in the book. I was working this compote to go with my kulfi but it didn’t work and I ate it for breakfast the next morning with some Greek yoghurt. It was divine and this dish was born. Granola is so easy to make that once you make our own you will never seek it out from supermarkets again and here it adds a lovely crunch and substance to the dish. I haven’t added any dried fruit to this granola as there is some in the compote but you can choose from raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries or any other and add in with the coconut.
Makes enough for 4
400g blackberries, washed
4-5 tbs. violet syrup (depends on how sour the berries are)
Large handful of dried blueberries or raisins
Greek Yoghurt or thick yoghurt, (stirred to break up lumps) to serve
Granola (store extra in an airtight container)
160g old fashioned rolled oats
80g mix of nuts and seeds (I use pistachios, halved almonds, cashew nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
20g coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
¾ tsp. vanilla essence
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
1½ tbs. vegetable oil
55-60ml natural maple syrup
11/2 tbs. honey
Good pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 140C. Start with the granola and mix the oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt together in a baking tray. Make a well in the middle and pour in all the wet ingredients; mix well. Bake for 40 minutes, adding the coconut flakes in after 35 minutes. Stir every 8-9 minutes for even baking. Take out once golden, it will continue to crisp up as it cools. Once cool, store in an airtight container and use as needed. 
Place the blackberries in a saucepan with a good splash of water and heat until the berries are starting to soften. Add the violet syrup and raisins and cook for another minute and take off the heat. Add another splash of water if the fruit looks a little dry, there should be some juices. Taste and add some more syrup or a squeeze of orange or lemon juice to balance sweetness.
Serve compote hot or cold with the Greek yoghurt and the granola.

Published in The Man