Saturday, Jun 25, 2022
Outlook.com
celebrity: chef

Go, Cook That Look

A television chef who turned her Indian cookbook into a hit recipe

Go, Cook That Look
Go, Cook That Look
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Like most successful ideas, Anjum's is really quite simple. And it succeeded first because it came from her, the woman who dropped more than 30 kgs of weight not by gym sweat but through eating Indian curries—or so she claimed in her earlier book, Indian Every Day: Light, Healthy Indian Food, which came out in 2003 and sold 30,000 copies. Follow that up with Indian Food Made Easy, which makes whipping up a curry seem as easy as slapping together a sandwich, and it's not surprising that it has quickly become a bestseller. Backed by a picture of her own before-and-after transformation to near-catwalk statistics, Anjum was on her way to stardom before she even sat down to write her first recipe. As she takes the mystique out of Indian cooking on her BBC Television show, she also comes across as someone who finds cooking and eating an unabashedly sensual experience, and who, to quote The Guardian, "can ooze sex into a cucumber raita". Today, presenting a food show on TV has so much to do with how you present yourself.

The book has done enough for Anjum, but it has also transformed perceptions of Indian food. It has begun to beat the usual idea of Indian food as something heavy, slow and spicy. "When you see something being cooked which fits in with your ideals of fresh, healthy and not too spicy, you start to give something a chance," she says. "Indian food is still the most popular food in this country. It is heartening to see that people are keen to try to learn to cook it instead of continually relying on takeaways." This book finds for Indian food that space between the takeaway that needs beer to blur and the really expensive Indian restaurant. And it finds that space in home kitchens, because it poses less of a challenge than the typical Madhur Jaffrey recipe with its intimidating page-long list of ingredients.

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