Review: Anni Dreams of Biryani  

Today I want to share a scrumptious picture book with you all! Anni Dreams of Biryani by Namita Moolani Mehra and Chaaya Prabhat is a wonderful picture book all about persistence and learning a new skill.

Title: Anni Dreams of Biryani
Author: Namita Moolani Mehra
Illustrator: Chaaya Prabhat
Publisher: Two Lions
Published: September 1, 2022
Format: Picture Book

Anni Dreams of Biryani follows a young girl named Anni who lives across the street from a cafe with the best biryani in Little India. The biryani is made by the chef and owner of the cafe, who everyone calls Uncle, and Anni and her family eat it every Friday. Anni dreams of opening her own cafe one day and making biryani as tasty as Uncle’s, so she begins to ask the grumpy chef TONS of questions about his recipe.

I don’t know about you, but I love the combination of a curmudgeon adult and a persistent child. There’s nothing more heartwarming to me than when a kid lovingly pesters the people around them. And that’s just what Anni does, until one day, Uncle tells her she should stop talking about biryani so much and just cook it.

Anni works hard, and she makes some delicious meals, but her biryani just isn’t as good as Uncle’s. When she asks Uncle to look over her recipe, he tells her he’s too busy, and Anni’s dreams are almost crushed. I don’t want to give it all away, so I will just say that Uncle has a surprise in store for Anni.

If reading about all the tasty food makes your mouth water, then Chaaya Prabhat’s beautiful illustrations certainly will too. Each page of Anni’s story is filled with bold beautiful illustrations, and of course, lots of food.

Anni Dreams of Biryani officially releases on September 1, 2022, but you can preorder your copy today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon.

Thank you so much to Blue Slip Media and Two Lions for sharing a review copy of this wonderful book!

About The Author:

Namita Moolani Mehra is a children’s book author, cookbook author, and a food and parenting writer. She wrote the children’s cookbooks The Magic Spicebox and Superfoods for SuperheroesAnni Dreams of Biryani is her first picture book. Namita also runs a social-impact business called Indian Spicebox that helps fund hot meals for underprivileged children in India. Namita was born in a remote village in Nigeria, grew up in the UK and India, studied in Chicago, and worked in New York for over a decade. She currently lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. Learn more at, and follow her on Twitter @namstwit.

About The Illustrator:

Chaaya Prabhat is an illustrator based in Chennai, India. She holds an MA in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design. She has illustrated several picture books, including Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers, written by Rajani LaRocca. In addition to her books, Chaaya has created illustrations for numerous clients, such as Google, Facebook, Snapchat, the Obama Foundation, the Times of India, and more. Learn more at, and follow her on Instagram @Chaaya23.

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