Quick and easy but spicy and delicious

Baked ricotta with chard
Baked ricotta with chard

Most of us love Indian food, but cooking it from scratch seems like too much hard work. But it doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen, mixing and marinading, says Anjum Anand.

The chef and writer is on a mission to bring dishes from the subcontinent up-to-date by making them easier to prepare while retaining their rich, spicy flavours.

Anand, 42, knows many love to cook but don’t have limitless time to do it – and that’s the theory behind her latest book, ‘Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian’, which is packed with recipes she regularly cooks at home.

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5 and place a baking tray on the middle shelf. Butter a 20cm round cake tin with a removable base.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick saute pan. Add the cumin seeds and, once browned, add the onion and cook until golden on the edges.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Stir in the chard, garam masala and some salt and cook for eight to 10 minutes, or until the chard has wilted. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg into the ricotta until well blended, then stir in the vegetable mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding half a teaspoon of black pepper, or to taste.

Pour the ricotta mixture into the tin, sprinkle over the pine nuts and place on the hot baking tray.

Cook for 35 minutes, or until golden and set.