A memoir of food, flavour and freedom in the Pakistani kitchen
Andaza by Sumayya Usmani is a truly amazing cookery book. The beautiful cover is inspiring before you even open the book. This is not merely a cookery book but the emotive journey of a young woman growing up in Pakistan.
This book takes the reader on a food memoir, which includes the most meaningful recipes of the author’s childhood. The recipes are clearly described, easy to follow and beautifully photographed – full of wonderful spices and herbs with useful information on alternative ingredients (specifically if you are vegan).
The book chapters are artistically presented with meaningful and inspirational titles interspersed with wonderful stories of the author’s childhood and delicious recipes, such as:
Mummy’s wedding-style chicken korma
This is an extremely interesting variation of the typical korma recipe, with a combination of aromatic herbs and spices.
15 minutes (after marinating for 1-12 hours)
Marinating the chicken is certainly worth the effort with this recipe.
Mummy’s wedding-style chicken korma
- 2 lb 4 oz chicken skinned and cut into 8 pieces, or 8 skinless thighs, on the bone
- 400 g 1½ cups full-fat Greek-style yoghurt, plus 2 tablespoons extra
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons ready-made crispy fried onions
- large pinch of saffron threads
- 1 ice cube
- 3 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil
- 4-6 green cardamom pods bruised
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds roasted in a dry frying pan and ground
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2-3 drops screwpine extract kewra: optional
- To garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander cilantro leaves
- 1 green finger chilli deseeded and finely chopped
- 2.5 cm 1 inch ginger cut into fine strips
- In a bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the
- yoghurt, ginger, garlic, chilli powder and salt.
- Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
- When ready to cook, put the onions into a small blender or food processor with a couple of tablespoons of water and grind to paste
- Put the saffron into a small bowl (about the size of a pinch pot) with the ice cube and leave to melt and infuse while you cook – we’ll be adding this saffron-infused water right at the end of the cooking
- Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves and let them infuse the ghee. This will only take about 30-40 seconds – keep the spices moving to stop them burning.
- Quickly, so the spices don’t catch, add the onion paste and 4 tablespoons of water. Cook until the water has evaporated and the paste is shiny and thick.
- Add the chicken with its marinade and stir well. Turn the heat up to high and cook stirring until the yoghurt thickens and dries up, then add some more water (about 5 tablespoon or so), cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Keep and eye on it: if it gets too dry, you might need to give it a stir and add a little more water.
- Next add the ground cumin and coriander, turn up to high, and fry, stirring, until the oil rises to the surface. Stir in the saffron water, nutmeg and screwpine extract (if using), then cook over low heat, uncovered, for a minute or so.
- To finish, turn off the heat and immediately add the extra yoghurt, but don’t stir it through. Garnish with the coriander, green chilli and ginger, then serve immediately.
- Marinating the chicken is certainly worth the effort with this recipe.
Andaza is simply delightful and would make an ideal gift or a wonderful coffee table book.
Andaza – A Memoir of Food, Flavour and Freedom and the Pakastani Kitchen by Sumayya Usmani (Murdoch books £25.00). Photography by Jodi Wilson.
Available from all of the usual book outlets from 13th April.