Anjum Anand: When Spice Became Her Life

Like many Brits before her, Anjum Anand is escaping busy, dreary ‘London-town’, to soak up a few weeks of pure rest and relaxation in the Australian countryside. But that doesn’t mean she stays out of the kitchen.


Like “most Indian girls”, London-born Anand learnt how to cook from her mother.

But her parents wanted her to get an education so she completed a degree in business and languages at the European Business School.

But she knew her passion lay in cooking and at 25 wrote her first book Indian Every Day.

“My parents were unhappy but at the end of the day they wanted me to be happy and do something I love,” she said.

But it was her Indian Food Made Easy which topped the Amazon bestsellers list and knocked Harry Potter off the number 1 spot that made her a household name.

Anjums Spice Stories

Despite an obvious passion for food, a culinary career wasn’t always part of the plan for Anjum Anand. “As an Indian you’re never really encouraged to become a [professional] cook,” she says, explaining that, after generations of women taking on that role, they now had a world of opportunity outside the kitchen.

But while education and career choices were abundant, for the London-born cookbook author, it was the rich experiences of different cultures – she also spent time living and studying in Paris, Madrid and America – that steered her path.

“When you’re young, the more places you live, the more influences you have,” says Anjum, who shares a home in London with her husband Adarsh, daughter Mahi, 10, and five-year-old son Adi.

BBC Lifestyle will be bringing Anjum’s Spice Stories to our screens in April.

About Anjum Anand

Anjum is a British Indian food writer and TV chef of Indian cuisine. She’s worked in the kitchens of hotel restaurants including at Café Spice in New York, as a waitress in Park Royal Hotel in New Delhi, and for Tommy Tang at Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles. Her perspective on adapting healthy meals from a traditionally rich Indian diet came from personal experience of weight problems while growing up. Her diet consists of varied traditional dishes, recreated with wholesome ingredients and limited oil. At age 25 her first book Indian Every Day: Light Healthy Indian Food was published.

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