Meet Anjum Anand

The cookery writer loves to visit Dubai to catch up with friends, and for the restaurants and sunshine

You’re a regular visitor to Dubai, what do you like about the city?

I love the fact that everyone is so friendly; people are really happy to welcome you into their group of friends and it’s just an easy environment from which to come and go. I visit with my kids and find Dubai really child friendly – there are lots of things for them to do, the food’s great and so is the weather.

What do you most look forward to doing when you’re here?

It’s always good to catch up with friends, and I love being outdoors. We all like the Marina Walk and we go to the beach to enjoy the sunshine.

Are there any restaurants you find yourself returning to?

We always have a meal at Al Nafoorah, the Lebanese restaurant in Jumeriah Emirates Towers, and I think La Petit Maison is fantastic. Zuma is another favourite and we like going to Bice Mare in Souk al Bahar with the kids to watch the fountains.

Your The Spice Tailor products are now stocked in Spinneys – what was the inspiration behind them?

I wanted to showcase authentic Indian flavours in a range that is versatile; it was important that there was a tikka, a korma and a rogan josh. I wanted to include a sauce that was influenced by the Punjab, so people could make hearty lamb curries and also something light with coconut because I think that’s quite a popular flavour. I guess I had a good idea of what I wanted to do from the start.

What is your signature dish or recipe?

I don’t have one. I’ve written seven cookbooks, so I think that rather than having a signature dish, I have a signature style – food that tastes good, that I want to cook at home, and isn’t too heavy.

What ingredients do you always have close at hand?

I’m rarely without onions, ginger, garlic, spices, tamarind, semolina, rice, tomatoes and coconut, all building blocks of great Indian food.

What cookbooks do you treasure?

I buy lots of food magazines and keep them – some I have are from the 1990s. If I’m looking to cook something seasonal, I can go straight to them and find what I need.

What advice would you give a novice cook?

Start simple. Find a cookbook that looks interesting and manageable, begin with a dish that you enjoy eating and are familiar with, so that you have an idea what the end result should look and taste like, and go from there.

Anjum’s The Spice Tailor range is available at selected Spinneys stores. For details about the products in the range, visit