Anjum Anand's Final Meal | Last Bites

 ,  |  Updated: September 29, 2014 15:41 IST

Anjum Anand's Final Meal | Last Bites
The food writer, chef and presenter of Indian Food Made Easy would enjoy her mum's chicken dish in the Alps.

'I spent my childhood in Switzerland', says Anjum. 'I have always found the mountains to be a peaceful haven.'

Cinemagraph: Emma Lee for the Guardian/Lizzie Mayson/Mateusz Karpow

My last meal would be something comforting, so I'd choose to eat my mother's black pepper chicken; it is truly delicious. She would often cook it at her dinner parties when I was a child.

I don't eat black pepper chicken very often anymore. My children and husband are vegetarian ... which makes the dish even more satisfying when I do have it.

Preferably, you eat it with your hands. Pick it up and take in the amazing scent of black pepper. Everything that follows after has a beautiful savoury flavour, with shreds of ginger and just enough sauce to mop up with your bread. We eat it with puffed up phulkas (roti) made with atta flour, water and nothing else. You might want a little raita with it too - it can be quite hot.

I would make the effort to buy good-quality black peppercorns for this, but the rest of the ingredients can be sourced from anywhere. I'd have to ask my mum to cook it for me, of course.

I'd eat my final meal in the Alps. I used to live in Switzerland - spent my childhood there - and have always found the mountains to be a peaceful haven. I can't think of anything better than an outdoor table with a view of valleys, waterfalls and blue skies.


I wouldn't have anything to drink with my meal, apart from a glass of water. That said, I'd certainly hope for a caipirinha or some champagne before sitting down to eat.

I'd share it with anyone who makes me smile or laugh - my husband, children and other close family and friends.

We would listen to an eclectic mix of all my favourite artists. I'd start with a little Culture Club, a lot of Prince and the Police, then all the way to Adele, Florence Welch, Lady Gaga and David Guetta.

I always have room for dessert! And it would have to be something Indian. I only eat Indian desserts such as saffron- and rose-scented gulab jamun or a sticky spiral jalebi on special occasions, but I'd say that this one would qualify!

Black pepper chicken

Serves 6
1kg chicken joints, skinned, with all visible fat removed and cleaned
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 green chillies, pierced
5cm chunk of peeled ginger, cut into thin shreds
1 tbsp coriander powder
Salt, to taste
200ml water
1 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground or to taste
½ tsp garam masala
2 tsp lemon juice
Two handfuls of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, chopped

For the marinade
10g fresh ginger, peeled
30g garlic, peeled
1 tsp garam masala
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water

1 Make a paste of the ginger and garlic with the garam masala and chicken stock. Coat the chicken and marinate for as long as possible in the fridge - at least an hour.

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2 Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the onion and saute until brown - about 8 minutes. Add the green chillies, ginger, coriander powder and salt and cook for 30-40 seconds.

3 Add the chicken and sear on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Add the water and black pepper and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, around 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding splashes of hot water, if necessary.


4 Increase the heat and toss and turn the chicken in the gravy for a good 4-5 minutes to reduce the gravy to just a few tablespoons. Stir in the garam masala, lemon juice and the coriander, and serve.


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