Asma Khan is an award-winning chef, food writer and restaurateur, famed for her supper-club-turned-bricks-and-mortar-restaurant, Darjeeling Express. Her brand-new cookbook, Ammu, is as much a celebration of the ways in which food deepens our connection to the ones we love as it is a practical resource for accomplished regional Indian cooking. Recipes handed down through the generations to Asma’s mother, Ammu, and finally to Asma herself, feature alongside beautifully written anecdotes of Asma’s life growing up in the heart of her mother’s kitchen.
Packed with over 100 vibrant enticing and varied dishes, from curries and biryani to sides, snacks and desserts, Ammu is the kind of cookbook to pore over with a notebook ready to make a list of the many, many recipes that have caught your eye. Here are just 10 of the recipes on our list to try, from a buttery chicken curry fragrant with fenugreek to a sweet bejewelled rice dish. Find all of these recipes when you get your copy of Ammu.
From the book
Ammu: Indian Home-Cooking To Nourish Your Soul
Over 100 accessible Indian recipes from Asma Khan
Vibrant inspiration for every occasion, including celebrations, dinner parties and midweek meals
From curries to starters, sides, desserts and more
Yoghurt and tomato make up the base of this chicken curry and the earthy flavours of fenugreek give this dish its distinctive flavour. For added extravagance, Ammu would add a dollop of unsalted butter and a drizzle of thick cream to the finised dish and we’re all for it.
Before she opened the permanent Darjeeling Express restaurant site in London’s Covent Garden, Asma ran pop-up supper clubs centered around her signature biryani. The hottest ticket in town, the events made Asma’s revered biryani somewhat of a signature dish and her loyal devotees will be pleased to find Asma has included not only her classic chicken biryani recipe in Ammu, but this pescatarian-friendly prawn version too. Asma expertly guides you through its preparation, which culminates in a complex, fragrant centrepiece of a dish that won’t fail to impress.
Skewered Beef in Gravy
An Anglo-Indian dish which calls for yoghurt and turmeric-marinated beef cubes cooked with garlic, ginger, chilli powder and blitzed caramelised onion.
This simple midweek korma is made using the fish fillet of your choice. Fragrant, sweet and mild, it’s the perfect curry for young children, including a young Asma who didn’t have a high tolerance for chillies when she was little.
One of our favourite meat-free recipes in the book, this paneer-based dish features tender fried cheese kofta in a warming, aromatic and richly spiced tomato-based sauce. A paneer lover’s paradise.
Slivers of almond, cubed dried apricot and saffron make this sweet rice dish both dazzling to look at and delicious to devour. Best served with a side of thick clotted cream for full indulgence.
Kesar Pista Firni
In this recipe, blended pistachio milk and saffron-infused double cream meet the warming flavours of bay leaf and cardamom. It can be eaten warm but is best served cold.
Sabit Massor Dal
This nutty sabit massor dal is a versatile dish packed with nutrients and can be prepped up to two days in advance of cooking. Made with budget-friendly lentils, it’s the perfect batch cook dish to make if you’re keeping an eye on your food expenditure.
In this potato recipe, cashew nuts and almonds elevate a simple dish to a celebratory centrepiece with layers of texture and flavour.
Golda Chingri Malaikari
As Asma writes, this dish was reserved for special occasions, and she reminisces about time spent in the fish markets with her Ammu, negotiating the best price for prawns, and watching streets cats prowl around the stalls. This colourful prawn dish is rich with the flavours of cloves and turmeric and is best served with plain rice.