I Love India by Anjum Anand

I Love India: Recipes and Stories from City to Coast, Morning to Midnight, and Past to Present is Anjum Anand's eighth book. Here, she delivers her favourite dishes in a beautiful tribute to her homeland and its extraordinary food culture, drawn from its diverse regions as well as from a host of traders, settlers and immigrants over the years.

The author shares her personal collection of the most authentic recipes she has gathered over years of travelling throughout the regions of India. There are also features on key ingredients to illustrate how versatile, vibrant and accessible Indian food really is.

Every vibrant recipe in I Love India begs to be created. The Spiced Andhra tomato rice was delicious and I utilized the recipe for Tangy Andhra lamb with fat green chillies - but made it with beef (I know, I know) and skipped the fat green chilies with wonderful results. I also make the Crispy potato salli which are small thin fried potato perfection. The Indo-Chinese chilli paneer is next on my list - I have the paneer waiting.

I Love India will entice you to order all of Anjum's other titles - Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast and Anjum's New Indian are two of her books that are on my shelf. Special thanks to Quadrille for sharing this gorgeous recipe for Kutch chicken biryani with our members today and for offering three copies of this book in our contest below.

Kutch chicken biryani

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The Kutch are people from Gujarat. It is a small community and one I only heard about when my brother became really close friends with one of them in university. He often told me how delicious their food was and what a great cook his mum is. I think at some point he even wrote down a chicken curry recipe for me to try to cook… but I don't think I ever did. However, in Mumbai I tried some Kutchi food and it is indeed delicate, fresh and fragrant. Their chicken biryani is probably one of their more famous dishes and, while it has a few steps as does any biryani, it is fun and easy to do. You can put the whole thing together in advance and simply heat it through when you are ready. You can also just make the chicken curry separately; it is just as good.

Serves 6-8

For the marinade

  • 125g (scant 1⁄2 cup) Greek yogurt
  • 30g (2 tbsp) finely grated root ginger (peeled weight)
  • 10 large garlic cloves
  • 1⁄3-2⁄3 tsp chilli (chili) powder, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala (fresh if possible)
  • 3⁄4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30g (1 1⁄2 packed cups) coriander (cilantro) stalks and leaves
  • 12g (generous 1⁄2 packed cup) mint leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, skinned if you have time, roughly chopped

For the biryani

  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) skinned, bone-in chicken joints, cut into large pieces by the butcher
  • 550g (3 cups) basmati rice
  • 4-5 tbsp ghee
  • 5cm (2in) cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

To serve

  • vegetable oil, as needed
  • 1 medium-large onion, thinly sliced
  • handful of flaked (slivered) almonds
  • 2 tbsp raisins (optional)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • good pinch of saffron threads

Start with the marinade. Blend together the yogurt, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt, herbs and 1 tbsp oil until smooth. Pour into a non-reactive glass or ceramic bowl. Add the tomatoes and the chicken, mix well and leave to marinate as you cook the rice.

Rinse the rice under several changes of water or until the water remains clear when left in a bowl with the rice. Soak for 15 minutes.

Heat half the ghee in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, 4 each of the green cardamom pods and cloves and half the peppercorns; cook until the spices puff up a little. Add the rice and sauté in the spiced ghee for 2 minutes. Add 1 litre (generous 4 cups) water and salt to taste (the water should taste well seasoned). Bring to the boil, then cover and cook very gently for 5 minutes. The grains should be only slightly undercooked in the middle. Take off the heat.

Now for the onion, to serve. Heat up 5cm (2in) oil in a very small saucepan. Add the sliced onion and fry until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to blot off the excess oil. Once dry, they should crisp up. Set aside. Remove and reserve the oil (you can use this in cooking for the next few days and it will impart a lovely onion flavour to the food).

Heat the remaining ghee and 2 tbsp of the onion oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the remaining green cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns and the black cardamom pods and cook until these puff up. Add the finely chopped onion and fry until soft and browning at the edges. Then add the chicken with its marinade. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the masala has dried, 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the moisture has dried up and it has released oil back into the pan, increase the heat and stir-fry the meat in the masala for a few minutes to intensify the flavours. The chicken should be done by now; if not, add a small splash of water and continue to cook, covered, until the chicken is cooked. When done, adjust the seasoning and take off the heat. There should be a little sauce in the pan - it shouldn't be too dry.

Heat 1 tbsp more of the onion oil in a small saucepan, add the almonds and raisins, if using, and fry for 1 minute or until the raisins have puffed up and the almonds have browned Set aside. Rinse the pan out. Add the saffron, stir-fry gently for a minute, then add the milk, simmer for a minute or so and set aside.

Now you need to layer up the biryani in an appropriate-sized pan or oven dish. You can have as many layers as you like; traditionally it is 5 in total. Choose your pot or dish. Start by spooning in one-third of the rice, then spoon over half the chicken, add the next layer of rice, then the chicken then the last layer of rice. Drizzle over the saffron milk.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid, making sure nothing escapes the lid. Place on the flame, turn the heat up and cook for 2 minutes on a high flame and then 10-15 minutes on a very low flame. (You can also cook this in a preheated 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 oven for 20-30 minutes.) When you can see steam under the lid, you will know everything is well heated through. Serve garnished with the fried sliced onions, toasted almonds and raisins, if using.


The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US, UK and Australia and EYB is offering one copy worldwide.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on February 15th, 2018.


  • Signe  on  1/7/2018 at 5:13 PM

    Crispy potato salli

  • Kristjudy  on  1/7/2018 at 5:18 PM

    Well I think the biranyi sounds delicious!

  • contest718  on  1/7/2018 at 5:40 PM

    Chilli-fried chorizo dogs

  • lgroom  on  1/7/2018 at 5:58 PM

    Crispy potato sallhi

  • Lyndaherman  on  1/7/2018 at 6:00 PM

    Crispy pan fried mushroom momos

  • jmay42066  on  1/7/2018 at 6:14 PM

    Spiced Andhra tomato rice

  • EmilyR  on  1/7/2018 at 7:54 PM

    Maasi’s lentil kichori... my daughter is obsessed with them.

  • LJStubbs  on  1/7/2018 at 8:42 PM

    Proper date and tamarind chutney.

  • jezpurr  on  1/7/2018 at 9:57 PM

    Lots of yummy recipes, hard to choose!!!^_^

  • heyjude  on  1/7/2018 at 10:17 PM

    Crispy fried spicy mussels

  • lapsapchung  on  1/8/2018 at 12:15 AM

    Malayali beef with coconut slivers

  • maisietoo  on  1/8/2018 at 12:41 AM

    Kutch chicken biryani looks so delicious! Would be my first.

  • NikkiPixie  on  1/8/2018 at 4:55 AM

    Amritsari fried fish

  • love2laf  on  1/8/2018 at 6:45 AM

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • kmn4  on  1/8/2018 at 8:19 AM

    Mangalorean chicken curry

  • vickster  on  1/8/2018 at 8:24 AM

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries

  • minilynn3  on  1/8/2018 at 10:43 AM

    Crispy spinah chaat

  • hibeez  on  1/8/2018 at 11:11 AM


  • janv  on  1/8/2018 at 12:23 PM

    Spiced Andhra tomato rice

  • lean1  on  1/8/2018 at 1:05 PM

    I would like to make mini semolina pizzas.

  • sgump  on  1/8/2018 at 1:27 PM

    Am very curious about the "proper date and tamarind chutney"--I definitely want to make sure my chutneys are prim (as well as delicious)!

  • Isis1981uk  on  1/8/2018 at 2:17 PM

    I'd try the Steamed Nepalese meat momos!

  • lozzle77  on  1/8/2018 at 2:21 PM

    Crispy pan fried mushroom momos

  • SheenaBatey  on  1/8/2018 at 4:03 PM

    Crispy spinach chaat

  • sarahawker  on  1/8/2018 at 4:05 PM

    Herby grilled chicken tikka

  • bettinab  on  1/8/2018 at 4:26 PM

    Definitely potato salli

  • lpatterson412  on  1/8/2018 at 5:48 PM

    Tandoori-Style Chicken!!!!

  • AnnaZed  on  1/8/2018 at 6:54 PM

    Spiced, flattened rice with potato (

  • callkiki  on  1/8/2018 at 7:29 PM

    Crispy potato sallhi

  • ravensfan  on  1/9/2018 at 10:33 AM

    Goan pork pies

  • motherofpearl81  on  1/9/2018 at 12:35 PM

    Maasi’s lentil kichori

  • jd5761  on  1/9/2018 at 2:42 PM

    Kutch chicken biryani for me

  • wester  on  1/9/2018 at 3:47 PM

    They all sound so tempting. I would probably try the Chicken with fenugreek first.

  • Livia  on  1/9/2018 at 4:18 PM

    It has got to be the Braised sticky Goan-style pork ribs

  • skipeterson  on  1/9/2018 at 6:31 PM

    Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks

  • matag  on  1/9/2018 at 7:07 PM

    Parsi salli chicken

  • percussion03  on  1/9/2018 at 8:35 PM

    Grilled herby paneer parcels

  • fionajk42  on  1/10/2018 at 10:57 AM

    I'd like to try the Hyderabad-style chickpea biryani

  • PennyG  on  1/10/2018 at 6:09 PM

    Sprouted beans, curry leaves and coconut!

  • Karla123  on  1/11/2018 at 9:19 AM

    Tamil-style lentil and vegetable curry...I'm a fan of vegan curries, and this one-pot wonder delivers a healthful and flavorful meal I know I'd enjoy.

  • Jtdodd  on  1/11/2018 at 8:26 PM

    The Coastal Crab and Coconut Curry sounds divine!!!

  • Julia  on  1/12/2018 at 11:00 PM

    Griddled chopped chicken salad.

  • biro  on  1/13/2018 at 6:21 AM

    Sooo difficult to settle on just one ... I guess I’ll go for the Braised Sticky Goan Style Pork ... or the Kulcha Bread ... or ...

  • stitchan  on  1/13/2018 at 7:43 AM

    Parsi salli chicken

  • camerashy131  on  1/13/2018 at 7:45 AM

    Spiced potato-stuffed Amritsari kulcha bread

  • camerashy131  on  1/13/2018 at 7:45 AM

    Spiced potato-stuffed Amritsari kulcha bread

  • peacheater  on  1/13/2018 at 8:12 AM

    Amritsari fried fish!

  • LaurenE  on  1/13/2018 at 3:07 PM

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • Dannausc  on  1/13/2018 at 7:20 PM

    Classic butter chicken

  • robynsanyal  on  1/13/2018 at 8:58 PM

    Sprouted beans, curry leaves and coconut

  • Laura1  on  1/14/2018 at 6:56 AM

    Tamil-style lentil and vegetable curry

  • monasli  on  1/14/2018 at 10:40 AM

    Chettinad eggplant coconut curry

  • Steben  on  1/14/2018 at 11:45 AM

    Tandoori-style chicken

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  1/14/2018 at 5:32 PM

    I would try making the Sprouted lentil and pomegranate pani puris first.

  • Shelley.b  on  1/15/2018 at 10:30 AM

    Crispy spinach chaat

  • RoseMGenuine  on  1/15/2018 at 1:58 PM

    Crab puris

  • lauriesk  on  1/16/2018 at 8:11 PM

    I would try the Griddled chopped chicken salad.

  • ljsimmons  on  1/17/2018 at 2:35 AM

    Crispy potato sallhi

  • mpdeb98  on  1/18/2018 at 8:02 PM

    Chicken with fenugreek

  • antpantsii  on  1/18/2018 at 11:52 PM

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • iza27  on  1/19/2018 at 12:58 AM

    Slow-cooked Karnataka pork curry

  • cookingalice  on  1/19/2018 at 2:32 AM

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries

  • Teruska  on  1/19/2018 at 4:58 PM

    Hyderabad-style chickpea biryani, maybe. ;-)

  • Scotsman61  on  1/20/2018 at 12:19 AM

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • RSW  on  1/20/2018 at 1:57 PM

    Maharashtra’s ultimate potato burger

  • BINABUG  on  1/20/2018 at 3:39 PM

    Crispy pan-fried mushroom momos - MY DAUGHTER is the one with a wide range of food tastes. I generally stay away from anything spicy or hot in my old age.

  • Foodycat  on  1/20/2018 at 3:47 PM

    This book sounds so good! Rajasthani venison kebabs for us

  • PennyBarr  on  1/20/2018 at 3:57 PM

    I’d love to try crispy potato salli - I love India too!

  • themasterkey3000  on  1/20/2018 at 4:05 PM

    Stir fried minced lamb with coconut

  • dusksunset  on  1/20/2018 at 4:26 PM

    Spiced Andhra tomato rice

  • sequoia55  on  1/20/2018 at 4:27 PM

    Goan pork pies

  • amos  on  1/20/2018 at 4:32 PM

    Hyderabad style chickpea biryani

  • permie_girl  on  1/20/2018 at 4:50 PM

    Charred, spiced sweet potato salad - looks amazing!

  • jezairey  on  1/20/2018 at 6:32 PM

    Coastal Crab and Coconut Curry - just the sort of thing I love!

  • Bakersdozen  on  1/21/2018 at 12:53 AM

    I want to try the Best-ever burgers with spiced onions.

  • Charlotte_vandenberg  on  1/21/2018 at 2:30 AM

    My mouth is already watering.. I would want to try Sindhi cardamom lamb!

  • Poppyjoey  on  1/21/2018 at 5:06 AM

    Chilli fried chorizo dogs sound wonderful!

  • kerrin1976  on  1/21/2018 at 6:23 AM

    Mum's Punjabi chicken curry

  • ohyoucook  on  1/21/2018 at 6:59 AM

    Mangalorean chicken curry.

  • danafox  on  1/21/2018 at 7:52 AM


  • BMeyer  on  1/21/2018 at 8:56 AM

    biryani chicken

  • luccio  on  1/21/2018 at 9:00 AM

    Maasi’s lentil kichori sound interesting...

  • chasteph  on  1/21/2018 at 9:36 AM

    The Spiced Andhra tomato rice sounds good.

  • v.t  on  1/21/2018 at 11:53 AM

    Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich. sounds lip-licking delicious!

  • ptkcollins  on  1/21/2018 at 2:59 PM

    Punjabi chicken curry

  • ktpotat  on  1/21/2018 at 6:18 PM

    Spiced potato stuffed Amritsari Kulcha bread ,and so many more

  • trudys_person  on  1/21/2018 at 7:34 PM

    I'd like to try Goan Pork Pies! Mmmm ...

  • Julia  on  1/21/2018 at 8:33 PM

    Shammi lamb kebabs.

  • RickPearson54  on  1/22/2018 at 6:58 AM

    Biryani chicken

  • fiarose  on  1/22/2018 at 9:25 AM

    oh my god, everything. four seed spiced okra with tomatoes, though, or any of the chutneys, especially spicy charred tomato!

  • FraserB  on  1/22/2018 at 9:38 AM

    I'd start with Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich then....

  • tararr  on  1/23/2018 at 7:24 PM

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries

  • Sfgordon  on  1/23/2018 at 7:51 PM

    everything looks excellent, but I love lamb so I would have to try a proper Hyderabad lamb biryani first.

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  1/24/2018 at 10:40 AM

    love lamb, so the grilled lamb kebab kathi rolls found on page 32 looks like a good recipe to start with

  • ejsimpson  on  1/25/2018 at 2:37 PM

    Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks

  • henare  on  1/26/2018 at 12:53 AM

    Rajasthani smoky venison kebabs!

  • MaryCunningham86  on  1/26/2018 at 4:54 AM

    Proper punjabi samosas!

  • rchesser  on  1/26/2018 at 6:26 PM

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries.

  • sugo  on  1/26/2018 at 9:59 PM

    Goan pork pies

  • FuzzyBee  on  1/27/2018 at 8:58 AM

    Definitely the grilled herby paneer parcels. Mmmm spicy cheese!

  • Jenamarie  on  1/27/2018 at 10:06 PM

    Crispy spinach chaat

  • SheenaSharp  on  1/27/2018 at 10:24 PM

    Maasi’s lentil kichori

  • Mayandbill  on  1/28/2018 at 3:40 AM

    Tandoori cauliflower

  •  on  1/28/2018 at 11:15 AM

    The tamil-style lentil and vegetable curry looks great!

  • artthecat  on  1/28/2018 at 11:54 AM

    Tandoori cauliflower

  • rachael_mc  on  1/28/2018 at 5:18 PM

    Herby grilled chicken tikka

  • Dutchmary  on  2/1/2018 at 10:14 AM

    Shaming amb kebabs

  • nicki.williams  on  2/2/2018 at 2:45 PM

    I would make the Barbecued courgettes with Bengali sauce; it sounds like a fab way to use all the courgettes that I have in the garden at the moment!

  • stevenpeters  on  2/3/2018 at 11:34 AM

    Proper date and tamarind chutney

  • abihamm  on  2/3/2018 at 4:56 PM

    Braised sticky Goan-style pork ribs

  • t.t  on  2/4/2018 at 12:03 AM

    Grilled lamb kebab kathi rolls

  • Joyceeong  on  2/4/2018 at 8:01 AM

    The best tarka dal

  • sunset34  on  2/4/2018 at 4:39 PM

    slowcooked karnataka pork curry

  • cambridgecook  on  2/5/2018 at 2:55 PM

    indo-chinese chili paneer

  • maria411  on  2/5/2018 at 6:19 PM

    potato salli

  • cake17uk  on  2/6/2018 at 7:56 AM

    The best tarka dal - my husband loves tarka dal, so would try this first

  • HungryJamie  on  2/8/2018 at 6:44 AM

    Shammi lamb kebabs

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 10:08 AM

    Sprouted beans, curry leaves and coconut

  • verorenee  on  2/11/2018 at 1:36 PM

    Steamed Nepalese meat momos (I love the word momos)

  • niniacedo  on  2/11/2018 at 10:59 PM

    Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks

  • smartie101  on  2/12/2018 at 6:00 PM

    Tandoori cauliflower

  • Siegal  on  2/13/2018 at 8:21 PM

    I want to Make chili chorizo !

  • orchidlady01  on  2/15/2018 at 12:37 AM

    Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich

  • DarDarlovescooking  on  2/15/2018 at 11:47 AM

    It would be a difficult choice, but either the Proper Punjabi samosas, or the Amritsari fried fish, both sound absolutely yummy!!

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