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.

Post a comment


  • Signe  on  January 7, 2018

    Crispy potato salli

  • Kristjudy  on  January 7, 2018

    Well I think the biranyi sounds delicious!

  • contest718  on  January 7, 2018

    Chilli-fried chorizo dogs

  • lgroom  on  January 7, 2018

    Crispy potato sallhi

  • Lyndaherman  on  January 7, 2018

    Crispy pan fried mushroom momos

  • jmay42066  on  January 7, 2018

    Spiced Andhra tomato rice

  • EmilyR  on  January 7, 2018

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

  • LJStubbs  on  January 7, 2018

    Proper date and tamarind chutney.

  • jezpurr  on  January 7, 2018

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

  • heyjude  on  January 7, 2018

    Crispy fried spicy mussels

  • lapsapchung  on  January 8, 2018

    Malayali beef with coconut slivers

  • maisietoo  on  January 8, 2018

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

  • NikkiPixie  on  January 8, 2018

    Amritsari fried fish

  • love2laf  on  January 8, 2018

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • kmn4  on  January 8, 2018

    Mangalorean chicken curry

  • vickster  on  January 8, 2018

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries

  • minilynn3  on  January 8, 2018

    Crispy spinah chaat

  • hibeez  on  January 8, 2018


  • janv  on  January 8, 2018

    Spiced Andhra tomato rice

  • lean1  on  January 8, 2018

    I would like to make mini semolina pizzas.

  • sgump  on  January 8, 2018

    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  January 8, 2018

    I'd try the Steamed Nepalese meat momos!

  • lozzle77  on  January 8, 2018

    Crispy pan fried mushroom momos

  • SheenaBatey  on  January 8, 2018

    Crispy spinach chaat

  • sarahawker  on  January 8, 2018

    Herby grilled chicken tikka

  • bettinab  on  January 8, 2018

    Definitely potato salli

  • lpatterson412  on  January 8, 2018

    Tandoori-Style Chicken!!!!

  • AnnaZed  on  January 8, 2018

    Spiced, flattened rice with potato (

  • callkiki  on  January 8, 2018

    Crispy potato sallhi

  • ravensfan  on  January 9, 2018

    Goan pork pies

  • motherofpearl81  on  January 9, 2018

    Maasi’s lentil kichori

  • jd5761  on  January 9, 2018

    Kutch chicken biryani for me

  • wester  on  January 9, 2018

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

  • Livia  on  January 9, 2018

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

  • skipeterson  on  January 9, 2018

    Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks

  • matag  on  January 9, 2018

    Parsi salli chicken

  • percussion03  on  January 9, 2018

    Grilled herby paneer parcels

  • fionajk42  on  January 10, 2018

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

  • PennyG  on  January 10, 2018

    Sprouted beans, curry leaves and coconut!

  • Karla123  on  January 11, 2018

    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  January 11, 2018

    The Coastal Crab and Coconut Curry sounds divine!!!

  • Julia  on  January 12, 2018

    Griddled chopped chicken salad.

  • biro  on  January 13, 2018

    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  January 13, 2018

    Parsi salli chicken

  • camerashy131  on  January 13, 2018

    Spiced potato-stuffed Amritsari kulcha bread

  • peacheater  on  January 13, 2018

    Amritsari fried fish!

  • LaurenE  on  January 13, 2018

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • Dannausc  on  January 13, 2018

    Classic butter chicken

  • robynsanyal  on  January 13, 2018

    Sprouted beans, curry leaves and coconut

  • Laura1  on  January 14, 2018

    Tamil-style lentil and vegetable curry

  • monasli  on  January 14, 2018

    Chettinad eggplant coconut curry

  • Steben  on  January 14, 2018

    Tandoori-style chicken

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  January 14, 2018

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

  • Shelley.b  on  January 15, 2018

    Crispy spinach chaat

  • RoseMGenuine  on  January 15, 2018

    Crab puris

  • lauriesk  on  January 16, 2018

    I would try the Griddled chopped chicken salad.

  • ljsimmons  on  January 17, 2018

    Crispy potato sallhi

  • mpdeb98  on  January 18, 2018

    Chicken with fenugreek

  • antpantsii  on  January 18, 2018

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • iza27  on  January 19, 2018

    Slow-cooked Karnataka pork curry

  • cookingalice  on  January 19, 2018

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries

  • Teruska  on  January 19, 2018

    Hyderabad-style chickpea biryani, maybe. 😉

  • Scotsman61  on  January 20, 2018

    Kutch chicken biryani

  • RSW  on  January 20, 2018

    Maharashtra’s ultimate potato burger

  • BINABUG  on  January 20, 2018

    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  January 20, 2018

    This book sounds so good! Rajasthani venison kebabs for us

  • PennyBarr  on  January 20, 2018

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

  • themasterkey3000  on  January 20, 2018

    Stir fried minced lamb with coconut

  • dusksunset  on  January 20, 2018

    Spiced Andhra tomato rice

  • sequoia55  on  January 20, 2018

    Goan pork pies

  • amos  on  January 20, 2018

    Hyderabad style chickpea biryani

  • permie_girl  on  January 20, 2018

    Charred, spiced sweet potato salad – looks amazing!

  • jezairey  on  January 20, 2018

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

  • Bakersdozen  on  January 21, 2018

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

  • Charlotte_vandenberg  on  January 21, 2018

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

  • Poppyjoey  on  January 21, 2018

    Chilli fried chorizo dogs sound wonderful!

  • kerrin1976  on  January 21, 2018

    Mum's Punjabi chicken curry

  • ohyoucook  on  January 21, 2018

    Mangalorean chicken curry.

  • danafox  on  January 21, 2018


  • BMeyer  on  January 21, 2018

    biryani chicken

  • luccio  on  January 21, 2018

    Maasi’s lentil kichori sound interesting…

  • chasteph  on  January 21, 2018

    The Spiced Andhra tomato rice sounds good.

  • v.t  on  January 21, 2018

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

  • ptkcollins  on  January 21, 2018

    Punjabi chicken curry

  • ktpotat  on  January 21, 2018

    Spiced potato stuffed Amritsari Kulcha bread ,and so many more

  • trudys_person  on  January 21, 2018

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

  • Julia  on  January 21, 2018

    Shammi lamb kebabs.

  • RickPearson54  on  January 22, 2018

    Biryani chicken

  • fiarose  on  January 22, 2018

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

  • FraserB  on  January 22, 2018

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

  • tararr  on  January 23, 2018

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries

  • Sfgordon  on  January 23, 2018

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

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  January 24, 2018

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

  • ejsimpson  on  January 25, 2018

    Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks

  • henare  on  January 26, 2018

    Rajasthani smoky venison kebabs!

  • MaryCunningham86  on  January 26, 2018

    Proper punjabi samosas!

  • rchesser  on  January 26, 2018

    Parsi rice with saffron and sour cherries.

  • sugo  on  January 26, 2018

    Goan pork pies

  • FuzzyBee  on  January 27, 2018

    Definitely the grilled herby paneer parcels. Mmmm spicy cheese!

  • Jenamarie  on  January 27, 2018

    Crispy spinach chaat

  • SheenaSharp  on  January 27, 2018

    Maasi’s lentil kichori

  • Mayandbill  on  January 28, 2018

    Tandoori cauliflower

  • artthecat  on  January 28, 2018

    Tandoori cauliflower

  • rachael_mc  on  January 28, 2018

    Herby grilled chicken tikka

  • Dutchmary  on  February 1, 2018

    Shaming amb kebabs

  • nicki.williams  on  February 2, 2018

    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  February 3, 2018

    Proper date and tamarind chutney

  • abihamm  on  February 3, 2018

    Braised sticky Goan-style pork ribs

  • t.t  on  February 4, 2018

    Grilled lamb kebab kathi rolls

  • Joyceeong  on  February 4, 2018

    The best tarka dal

  • sunset34  on  February 4, 2018

    slowcooked karnataka pork curry

  • cambridgecook  on  February 5, 2018

    indo-chinese chili paneer

  • maria411  on  February 5, 2018

    potato salli

  • cake17uk  on  February 6, 2018

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

  • HungryJamie  on  February 8, 2018

    Shammi lamb kebabs

  • choppergirl  on  February 11, 2018

    Sprouted beans, curry leaves and coconut

  • verorenee  on  February 11, 2018

    Steamed Nepalese meat momos (I love the word momos)

  • niniacedo  on  February 11, 2018

    Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks

  • smartie101  on  February 12, 2018

    Tandoori cauliflower

  • Siegal  on  February 13, 2018

    I want to
    Make chili chorizo !

  • orchidlady01  on  February 15, 2018

    Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich

  • DarDarlovescooking  on  February 15, 2018

    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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