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Anisa, popularly known as Anisagrams, is one of the UK’s most popular award-winning Muslim food bloggers.
Since beginning her food blogging journey in 2015, she’s amassed a community of over 200,000 followers. She has gone on to win an award for Digital Activity of the Year at the British Muslim Awards in 2020.
Her most recent feat is writing and publishing her first Ramadan cookbook, packed with recipes perfect for Ramadan, as well as outside of Ramadan.
To commemorate her career milestone in celebration of her Ramadan cookbook, we spoke to Anisa about how she grew her passion, her book, and why food is so important.
‘Growing up in a family of Foodies, cooking has always been a major part of my life. My earliest fond memories would be spending my school summer holidays and free time with my beloved late Grandmother.
I would always be asking what she was cooking as I stepped into the house after school, and if I could help out, even if I made a mess, she didn’t mind.’
‘I left employment after my third child, to start a business from home. At school, I absolutely loved art and combined my creative flair with my passion for baking. I started a cake business, posting my work on my Instagram.
After a while, I started getting messages asking for advice or recipes on cake baking, so I started uploading baking recipes too!
I guess that’s when I decided that I wanted others to be able to enjoy great-tasting Indian food from my favourite meals I grew up with from my own childhood.
As I slowly started to get known for sharing my authentic Indian dishes, friends and family suggested I start a YouTube channel and share video content on my recipes.
With the help and support of my husband Adam with the photo and video side of things, also taking on the title of Chief taster, we made it happen and have never looked back since.
It was about trying to help and inspire people with authentic recipes I enjoyed and grew up with.
I think it’s a great life skill if people can make home-cooked food for themselves or their families. I love interacting with my audience, and seeing the photos they have recreated. Positive feedback actually inspires me to continue with my journey of sharing lots of delicious recipes.’
‘I guess looking back on my food journey and when it started in the early days, especially on YouTube, I became known for my Ramadan recipes, and it sort of become my speciality; I even have a dedicated playlist.
So, when the book publisher approached me, it seemed like a perfect fit. They couldn’t find any other book just for Ramadan Recipes and it was a niche in the book-selling market.
What’s great about the book is that the recipes can be enjoyed not only during Ramadan or Eid but throughout the whole year. They are perfect for everyday cooking and special occasions too!’
‘Food and family have always had incredible importance in our culture. Sitting down at the dinner table with everyone around enjoying amazing home-cooked food is one of the most important parts of the day.
It keeps us connected to our background and cultural identity. I also find whenever a gathering of any kind takes place, eating is always a topic of discussion whether it’s recipes or eating out.
We are known for famous curries like Chicken Tikka Masala or Butter Chicken and for being vibrant, colourful, hot and spicy and I think this is what makes it so appealing.
All though not all Indian food is hot and spicy, still certainly delicious and tasty which most people enjoy, that’s for sure!’
You can preorder Anisa’s Ramadan recipe book here.
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