How to cook… Chicken and Mushroom Balti

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

The joy of balti cooking is that it mixes and matches different ingredients. If you want it then add it to your dish Add mushrooms to the classic Chicken Balti and, hey presto, you have a Chicken and Mushroom Balti.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
• 3cm piece of ginger, peel and cut into small chunks
• 0.5 onion, sliced
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• 600g Base Curry Sauce
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 3 Tablespoons chopped coriander
• 600g chicken, cut into small bite-sized pieces
• 200g mushrooms, thinly sliced
• Salt, to taste

Balti Masala
• 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 3 cardamoms
• 2 cloves
• 3 dried red chillies
• 4 bay leaves


–––––
• 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon turmeric


How to make it…
1. Dry fry the ingredients of the Balti Masala (except the salt and turmeric) in a heated pan until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind them to a powder. Add the salt and turmeric, and add some water to form a paste. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil to high heat, add the fenugreek seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
3. Turn down the heat, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add the onion and fry for 1 minute.
5. Add the Balti Masala, the tomato paste and fry for 3 minutes, adding a little water if needed.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce, garam masala, 2 Tablespoons of coriander, chicken, and mushrooms, and cook until all the chicken pieces are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Stir frequently, add salt to taste and water if needed.
7. Serve straight away, garnished with the rest of the coriander.

CHEF’S TIP
Experiment with other combinations. Add sweetcorn, peppers, extra garlic, whatever you fancy, to the classic Chicken Balti and you have a combination dish.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken DopiazaAmbot Tik

Heard someone they can eat these easily? It’s a phallacy.

How to cook… Prawn Balti

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Prawns are ideal for balti cooking as they cook very quickly for an extra fresh-tasting dish. This makes a medium-strength dish plus that nice salty tasty of the prawns.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
• 3cm piece of ginger, peel and cut into small chunks
• 0.5 onion, sliced
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• 600g Base Curry Sauce
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 3 Tablespoons chopped coriander
• 800g prawns, peeled and deveined
• Salt, to taste

Balti Masala
• 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 3 cardamoms
• 2 cloves
• 3 dried red chillies
• 4 bay leaves


––––
• 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon turmeric


How to make it…
1. Dry fry the ingredients of the Balti Masala (except the salt and turmeric) in a heated pan until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind them to a powder. Add the salt and some water to form a paste. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil to high heat, add the fenugreek seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
3. Turn down the heat, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add the onion and fry for 1 minute.
5. Add the Balti Masala Mix, the tomato paste and fry for 3 minutes, adding a little water if needed.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce, garam masala, 2 Tablespoons of coriander, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir frequently, add salt to taste and water if needed.
7. Add the prawns and cook until they are cooked through (about 4–5 minutes).
8. Serve straight away, garnished with the rest of the coriander.

CHEF’S TIP
Go easy on the salt as the prawns are salty already.


If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken DopiazaAmbot Tik

Heard someone they can eat these easily? It’s a phallacy.

How to cook… Chicken Balti

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

This is the classic Chicken Balti, easy to make and, oh, so quick. Cooked quickly it will produce that distinctive fresh Balti taste and  will make a medium-strength dish. As always with all baltis, serve with a nan.

What you need…
• 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
• 3cm piece of ginger, peel and cut into small chunks
• 0.5 onion, sliced
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• 600g Base Curry Sauce
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 3 Tablespoons chopped coriander
• 800g chicken, cut into small bite-sized pieces
• Salt, to taste

Balti Masala
• 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 3 cardamoms
• 2 cloves
• 3 dried red chillies
• 4 bay leaves


How to make it…
1. Dry fry the ingredients of the Balti Masala (except the salt and turmeric) in a heated pan until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind them to a powder. Add the salt and turmeric, and some water to form a paste. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil to high heat, add the fenugreek seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
3. Turn down the heat, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add the onion and fry for 1 minute.
5. Add the Balti Masala, the tomato paste and fry for 3 minutes, adding a little water if needed.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce, garam masala, 2 Tablespoons of coriander, and chicken, and cook until all the chicken pieces are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Stir frequently, add salt to taste and water if needed.
7. Serve straight away, garnished with the rest of the coriander.

CHEF’S TIP
The nan bread is delicious if served smothered with butter.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken DopiazaAmbot Tik

Heard someone they can eat these easily? It’s a phallacy.

Curry Chaat with… Peter Jones, the Curried Londoner

Curry News

Peter Jones is a recipe developer and runs his test kitchen from Greenwich, London. He is author of The Perfect Vindaloo: the ultimate guide to discovering and cooking the perfect Vindaloo curry and publishes a regular newsletter with new recipes.

How would you describe a curry to a Martian?
A curry is the first thing you should eat when visiting Earth. It’s the greatest confluence of the world’s cultures in a single dish. It can be eaten on both hot days and cold days and enjoyed for breakfast lunch or dinner. Oh, and it’s kinda saucy.

When and where did you have your first curry?
I can’t remember my first curry. I grew up in the West Midlands, just down the road from Birmingham, so was pretty much brought up on curry.  I reckon my first curry may have been from a baby bottle! ha ha

What’s the key to a good curry?
In a word: balance. A curry that is only hot, sweet or sour will always taste one-dimensional. However little is used, you also need a little of a flavour’s opposite to make it sing. Oh, and Kashmiri chilli powder – it’s literally my favourite ingredient on Earth (tell the Martians!).

What’s the best curry you’ve ever had?
Tough one. I’m not sure I have an all-time best, but just before the national lockdown I had a Gongura Mutton curry in East Ham that was pretty life-changing. I’ve since discovered Gongura pickle and have been using it in everything from curries, to rice and even as a barbecue rub.  

What’s your go-to curry, your standard order on a quiet Tuesday night?
For me it has to be the Vindaloo. It’s a misunderstood dish as most people believe that it has to be super hot. The best Vindaloos do have chilli in them but also enhance the sour notes (usually with vinegar). It’s that hot-sour combo that I’m addicted to.

If curry was an animal what would it be?
Ha ha.What? I’m going to go with a cuttlefish: they come from mostly warm climates, are eaten all over the world, come in all colours and are often misunderstood (did you know that they are very intelligent?).  

When it comes to the classic pickle tray are you a lime pickle, mango chutney, chopped onion or mint yoghurt kind of guy?
I’m a lime pickle guy married to a lime pickle lady. We have lots of lime pickle in our house!

If you owned a curry restaurant what would you call it?
Novaroon. It means ‘something new’ and was once the name of a takeaway in Stockwell that I used to adore. It changed hands and inevitably reverted to a generic curry-house name unfortunately. I would honour its memory with my restaurant.  

Tell us three restaurants we must visit next time we are in Greenwich?
Greenwich is great for eating out but is mixed when it comes to finding a decent curry. My suggestions are: 1) drop in to see me in North Greenwich, and I’ll cook you a decent curry. 2) Come to see me and we’ll share a takeaway from Corinader in Westcombe Park. 3) Let’s take a short trip to East Ham and try one of the many places there. Paradise is a favourite of mine. I’ve even eaten in its sister restaurant in Hyderabad! 

What curry would you choose for your last meal?
If I were choosing from the menu I’d order a thali (so I could have a full banquet), but I suspect you might think that’s cheating. Otherwise, it’s a Vindaloo for me please!


How to cook… Mushroom Pilau

Recipes

Makes enough for 4

Mushroom Pilau Rice is a great accompaniment for people looking for rice that does more than just soaks up their curry. It’s easy to make and the pinch of turmeric adds a nice touch of colour

What you need…
• Large knob of butter
• 150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 300g basmati rice
• 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
• Pinch of turmeric

Whole Spice Mix
• 3 cm long piece of cinnamon stick
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 3 cardamom seeds, cracked but still kept intact
• 2 bay leaves


How to make it
1. Wash the rice to remove the starch, then leave to soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2. Heat the butter in a pan and gently fry the mushrooms until they are soft and darken in colour (about 4–5 minutes). Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until it starts to brown (about 3-5 minutes). Remove and set aside a few of the darker pieces to use as garnish.
4. Add in the Whole Spice Mix until the spices release their aromas (about 30 seconds). Make sure they do not burn.
5. Add 300ml water to the pan, add the pinch of turmeric, cover the pan and bring to the boil. * Be extremely careful when adding the water to the pan with the hot oil.
6. Add the rice and stir. Simmer until  the rice is half-cooked and the water has almost evaporated (about 4-5 minutes).
7. Gently fluff up the rice with a fork, cover with lid and allow it to steam in the pan on the lowest heat possible until fully cooked (a few minutes). Be careful not to let it burn.
8. Mix in the mushrooms and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
If you are using large mushrooms you may need to cut the slices in half as the pieces should not be too large.



Mushroom Pilau is is a tasty and colourful accompaniment.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Dopiaza

Don’t worry. Just wrap up your troubles.

How to cook… Pilau Rice

Recipes

Serves 4

Pilau Rice is go-to order for most people as an accompaniment for their curry. It’s easy to make restaurant-style rice by adding some onions and spices to the rice. It’s nice topped off with some browned, fried onions.

What you need
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 300g basmati rice
• 1 medium-sized onion, sliced

Whole Spice Mix
• 3 cm long piece of cinnamon stick
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 3 cardamom seeds, cracked but still kept intact
• 2 bay leaves


How you make it
1. Wash the rice to remove the starch, then leave to soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until it starts to brown (about 3-5 minutes). Remove and set aside a few of the darker pieces to use as garnish.
3. Add in the Whole Spice Mix until the spices release their aromas (about 30 seconds). Make sure they do not burn.
4. Add 300ml water to the pan, cover the pan and bring to the boil. * Be extremely careful when adding the water to the pan with the hot oil.
5. Add the rice and stir. Simmer until  the rice is half-cooked and the water has almost evaporated (about 4-5 minutes).
6. Gently fluff up the rice with a fork, cover with lid and allow it to steam in the pan on the lowest heat possible until fully cooked (a few minutes). Be careful not to let it burn.
7. Garnish with the fried onion and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
You can remove the whole spices if you want but it’s leaving them in adds to the appearance of the rice.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

Don’t hurry this dish. It’s not a rice to the finish.

How to cook… Prawn Phall

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

The Phall is the hottest curry you’ll find in most restaurants and many do not even put it on their menu. Prawn Phall is great because the shellfish really soaks up the hot juices. Well, you wanted hot didn’t you?

What you need…
• Small knob of butter
• 800g prawns, shelled and deveined
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
• 3 dried red chillies
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• 1 Tablespoon garam masala
• Salt to taste

Spice Mix
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 2 Tablespoons chopped chilli pickle
• 4 teaspoons chilli powder


How to make it…
1. Heat the butter to a medium heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
2. Add the prawns to the butter and stir fry until they are pink. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat the ghee to a high heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with enough water to form a sloppy paste.
4. Add the peppercorns and chillies and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one peppercorn.
5. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat initially to stop the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
6. Add the Spice Mix and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
7. Add the Base Curry Sauce and the tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Add the garam masala, salt and cook for 5 minutes.
9. Add the prawns and continue cooking until they are warmed though and fully cooked (about 3–4 minutes)..

CHEF’S TIP
Avoid water when eating a phall. Try a lassi instead as it’ll cool your mouth better.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken DopiazaAmbot Tik

Heard someone they can eat these easily? It’s a phallacy.

How to make… Cabbage Curry

Recipes

Serves 4 as a side dish

Although not the first ingredient that springs to mind when making, cabbage works well with spices. This dryish Cabbage Curry, slow-cooked with potatoes, is a recipe from Mauritius. It makes an excellent side dish.


What you need
• 1 Tablespoon oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 2 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
• 0.5 teaspoon coriander powder
• 0.5 cabbage, shredded
• 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into chunks of about 3–4cm in size
• 100ml water
• Salt to taste
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• A few coriander leaves, torn, to garnish

How you make it
1. Heat the oil to a medium-hot heat and fry the garlic and ginger pastes for 1 minute.
2. Add the curry powder, chilli flakes and coriander powder and fry for 3 minutes. Add a tiny splash of water if need to avoid it sticking.
3. Add the cabbage and fry for a few moments then add the water and potato. Cook, covered, for 35 minutes.
4. Add the salt and tomato paste, mix well, and cook covered until the water has all evaporated and the potato is soft (about 5-10 minutes).
5. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
This Cabbage Curry is best served with rotis.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

You can try many curries but none of them will be a patch on this.

How to cook… Grandma’s Beef Curry

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

This is a classic 1960s-style ‘curry’ just like British grandmas used to make. The first recipe for “Indian Currey” appeared in English cookbooks in the 18th century and the Hindoostane Coffee House, considered to be the nation’s first curry restaurant, opened in London in 1810. But it’s unlikely the average British households had many spices in their cupboard till many years after that. When they did bravely venture into the world of Indian cooking it’s likely to have been a generic curry powder that found its way to a place next to the more common staples. Adventurous grandmas would have simply added a couple of spoonfuls of this spice mix to a beef stew along with other exotic (at the time) ingredients such as coconut, sultanas and chutney for sweetness. Hey presto! Grandma’s Beef Curry. Of course, beef is not found in too many parts of India, but that would have escaped many of these cooks. Just adding the curry powder was enough at this stage.

What you need…
• 600g stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 2 Tablespoons flour
• 1 Tablespoon oil
• 1 large knob of butter
• 1 cooking apple (or 2 Granny Smith apples), peeled and cored, and cut into chunks of about 1.5cm
• 2 onions, chopped
• 2 tablespoons cornflour, mixed with water to make a thin paste
• 2 Tablespoons curry powder
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 400ml beef stock
• 1 Tablespoon brown sauce
• Salt to taste
• Pepper to taste
• 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks of about 4cm
• 1 Tablespoon desiccated coconut
• 2 Tablespoons sultanas
• 1 Tablespoon sweet chutney (optional)


How to make it
1. Heat the oil to a medium-high heat in a pan. While it is heating coat the beef in flour. Once the pan is ready add the beef and cook until all the pieces are sealed (about 4–5 minutes). Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
2. Turn down the heat and add the butter. Once it’s melted add the onion and apple and cook gently until everything has softened (about 8 minutes).
3. Add the cornflour mix and curry powder and keep stirring for 3 minutes. Add a splash of water to stop it sticking if needed.
4. Add the beef (with any juices), tomatoes, stock, brown sauce, salt, pepper and potatoes and mix well. Cover the pan and cook for on a low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the coconut, sultanas and chutney, mix well and continue cooking, uncovered for 10 minutes. The beef should be soft and the ‘curry’ thickened.
6. Add a sprinkle of coconut and a few sultanas to garnish and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
This is what many people in Britain would have experienced as their first taste of a curry. Don’t temped to add more spices.
Grandma’s Beef Curry would have been seen as exotic in many British households in the 1960s.

If you like this you should try our
Ambot TikChilli ChickenChilli PaneerButter ChickenMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken Vindaloo Restaurant-style)Chicken BhoonaChicken Recheade

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

What do you sing after getting served this dish. “Grandma, I love you!”

How to cook… Malai Tikka

Recipes

Serves 4 as a starter

Because the red-coloured Chicken Tikka is famous the world over its lesser-known cousin Malai Tikka often gets overlooked. But this paler tikka, marinated in cottage cheese, cream and handful of spices, is perfect for milder tastes while still providing that trademark tandoori taste. It makes a great starter to get the evening underway when you have ordered a hot, spicy main curry.

What you need
• 400g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Marinade
• 100g cream cheese
• 200g cream
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 green chilli, finely chopped
• 1 Tablespoon coriander, chopped
• 0.25 cardamom powder
• 0.25 clove powder

How you make it
1. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
2. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the pieces in the marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 12 hours.
3. Preheat your oven to 170 ºC. Place the pieces on a baking tray, ensuring all the pieces are kept well apart and cook for 15 minutes, turning once. Check one of the largest pieces to ensure it’s cooked. If not return to the oven.
4. Serve with pickles, chutneys and salads.

CHEF’S TIP
To achieve the blackened edges you get in the tandoor turn up the grill to a high heat while the chicken is in the over and cook in the grill for the last 2 minutes.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

This is one of my favourite starters. Would malai to you?

How to cook… Balti Aphrodisiac

Recipes

Makes 2 baltis (Cook them independently in 2 balti bowls – putting half the ingredients into each – if you can).

In the balti boom years there was a popular restaurant in Birmingham’s Balti Triangle called the Sher Khan run by Jimmy, a cheeky chappy Pakistani lad who had charisma and charm in abundance. The restaurant was decked out more in the style of the Bangladeshi places, with ornate wooden booths, flock wallpaper – all dark and mysterious. Jimmy’s place served a dish called Balti Aphrodisiac, which only added to the intrigue and enigma of the Sher Khan. The original recipe was allegedly a closely guarded secret, so secret in fact that the Sher Khan chef would only prepare it at home! This recipe is packed with heady spices for maximum potency and balanced beautifully with coconut. Perfect for Valentine’s Day as this is truly a very tasty balti! 

What you need…
• 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
• 400g chicken, diced (not too big to ensure a fast cooking time)
• 2 small onions, finely chopped
• 1 large tomato, grated (use a free-standing cheese grater or if you don’t have one cut the tomato into tiny chunks)


• 2 teaspoons fresh red chillies, chopped
• 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
• 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
• 1 Tablespoon ginger paste
• 2 Tablespoons garam masala
• 4 pinches of salt
• 1 teaspoon cardamon seeds, freshly ground
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, freshly ground
• 2 teaspoons turmeric
• 2 teaspoons ground fenugreek
• 10 Tablespoons of Base Curry Sauce
• 6 Tablespoons of coconut milk
• Water as required (to stop the pan from sticking)
• 2 tablespoons coriander, freshly chopped, to garnish
• 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, crushed, to garnish

How to make it
1. Heat coconut oil in balti bowl until sizzling, add the onion and tomato and cook until onions are translucent (about 3–4 minutes).
2. Add the chillies, fresh ginger and garlic and ginger pastes, stir well, then add the cardamom, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, a splash of water and fry for 3 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and quickly seal (about 1 minute).
4. Add the garam masala and the salt and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked (about 5–7 minutes).
5. Add the Base Curry Sauce, mix well, add in the coconut milk and cook until your chicken is fully cooked and the edges of your balti become caramelised (about 3–4 minutes) Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
6. Garnish with fresh coriander and broken pistachio nuts and serve with naan bread (serve your naan with a drizzle of light honey and a sprinkle of freshly crushed pistachio nuts).
Recipe courtesy of the Birmingham Balti Co. To buy authentic Balti bowls click here.
• For more about balti see our interview with expert Andy Munro.

CHEF’S TIP
Throughout the cooking process ensure you stir frequently and add small splashes of water to avoid the dish sticking and drying out.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Dopiaza

How do phone mad couples get married? They give each other a ring.

How to cook… Piment Frire

Recipes

Makes 4

You’ll find street food sellers offering these Piment Frire (Chilli Poppers) all over Mauritius. These deliciously hot snacks are perfect to eat on the go or you can eat them with a chutney or pickle of your choice. For tuna-stuffed chilli poppers see Piment Farci au Thon.

What you need…
• 4 large chilli peppers (you can cut a small slit and empty out the seeds if you don’t like them too hot)
• Cold water
• Salt
• 100g self-raising flour
• 50g gram flour (this is chickpea flour, also called besan flour)
• 8 Tablespoons oil

How to make it
1. Soak the peppers in the water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Dry them and set aside.
2. Mix the self-raising flour and besan flour with a pinch of salt and enough water to create a thick paste.
3. Dip the peppers in the flour batter so they are all well coated.
4. Heat the oil in a shallow pan to a high heat and, using a slotted spoon, drop the chilli peppers into the oil until they turn a deep yellow and the batter is fully fried (about 2–3 minutes). Turn the peppers while they are frying to ensure they are evenly cooked. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook these in a couple of batches.
5. The chillies are obviously very hot when they come out of the oil so allow them to cool slightly before eating!

CHEF’S TIP
Try these with our Tomato & Chilli Chutney.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Dopiaza

The large chilli asks his friend “why are you shaking?” “Because I’m a litle chilli,” comes the reply

How to cook… Piment Farci au Thon

Recipes

Makes 4

Piment Farci au Thon (Chillies Stuffed with Tuna) is popular street food or a snack that is often served at parties. These chilli poppers are sometimes stuffed with pieces of chicken or just cooked in batter without stuffing (see Piment Frire).

What you need…
• 4 large chilli peppers
• Cold water
• Two pinches of salt
• 100g self-raising flour
• 50g gram flour (this is chickpea flour, also called besan flour)
• 150g tuna, shredded
• 1 Tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
• 1 spring onion, finely chopped
• 8 Tablespoons oil

How to make it
1. Slice the peppers open to form a pocket. Remove the seeds if you don’t want them too hot. Soak them in the water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Dry them and set aside.
2. Mix the self-raising flour and besan flour with a pinch of salt and enough water to create a thick paste.
3. Mix the tuna, coriander and spring onion and stuff the peppers with the mixture.
4. Dip the peppers in the flour batter so they are all well coated.
5. Heat the oil in a shallow pan to a high heat and, using a slotted spoon, drop the chilli peppers into the oil until they turn a deep yellow and the batter is fully fried (about 2–3 minutes). Turn the peppers while they are frying to ensure they are evenly cooked. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook these in a couple of batches.
6. The chillies are naturally very hot so allow them to cool slightly before eating!

CHEF’S TIP
These can be eaten hot or cold so are ideal for making in advance.
Piment Farci au Thon are Mauritian-style chilli peppers stuffed with tuna.

If you like this you should try our
Ambot TikChilli ChickenChilli PaneerButter ChickenMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken Vindaloo Restaurant-style)Chicken BhoonaChicken Recheade

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

You love these so much you’ll eat a tun of them.

Chutneys, Pickles & Salads

Recipes
Carrot & Cucumber Salad
• 1 carrot, shredded
• 0.5 cucumber, peeled and shredded
• 1 chilli, chopped
• 3 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.

Onion & Tomato Salad
• 2 onions, sliced
• 1 tomato, sliced
• 1.5 green chillies, chopped
• 8 stalks coriander, chopped
• 5 Tablespoons olive oil
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together.


Coriander & Chilli Chutney
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 3 chillies, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend to a rough, thick paste. Don’t blend it too much or the chutney will be too runny.

Cucumber Yoghurt
• 0.5 cucumber, peeled and cut into small cubes
• 0.5 onion, thinly sliced
• 1 Tablespoon yoghurt
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli flakes
• Pinch of salt
• Few coriander leaves for garnish

Mix all the ingredients together.

Chilli Pickle
• 10 red chillies, chopped
• 10 green chillies, chopped
• 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• Pinch of salt
• Pinch of black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together.

Tomato Chutney
• 2 tomatoes
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 0.25 onion, sliced
• 4 stalks of coriander, chopped
• 1 green chilli, chopped
• 0.5 teaspoon salt

1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the tomatoes. After a short time you’ll see the skin starting to crack. Leave the tomatoes for another 15 seconds then remove them, peel off the skin and cut into chunks.
2. Heat the oil to medium heat and add the peeled tomatoes and onions, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and mash everything using the back of a spoon or a potato masher.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Allow the chutney to cool before serving.

Mint Yoghurt
• 150ml yoghurt
• 50ml water
• 2 teaspoons mint sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.

Mint & Mango Chutney
• 1 large mango, chopped
• Small handful of mint, chopped
• 2 chillies, chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
• Pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix to a smooth paste.
Mango Chutney
• 1 mango, peeled and chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
• 10 red dried chillies
• 2 teaspoon Vindaye/Achar powder*
• Oil as required
• 1 green chilli to garnish

*If you don’t have Vindaye/Achar powder then dry fry 0.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds and grind. Then add 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder, 0.5 teaspoon turmeric, 0.5 teaspoon ginger powder, 0.5 teaspoon garlic powder)

1. Add the salt to the mango (this will stop it turning brown). Put the mango in a tea towel, fold it over and squeeze out the juice. Spread the apple out on a plate and leave it to dry for an hour, preferably in the sun.
2. Dry fry the fenugreek seeds in a heated pan and grind with the garlic and red chillies.
3. Mix everything together.
4. Heat the oil for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat. Add the apple mix to the oil and warm through for 2 minutes.
5. Put everything into a jar and cover with oil.
6. It is ready to eat immediately but is best left for a day or two. When ready to serve garnish with a green chilli.

Apple Pickle
• 2 apples, cored and chopped but not peeled
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
• 10 red dried chillies
• 2 teaspoon Vindaye/Achar powder*
• Oil as required
• 1 teaspoon tamarind paste

* If you don’t have Vindaye/Achar powder then dry fry 0.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds and grind. Then add 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder, 0.5 teaspoon turmeric, 0.5 teaspoon ginger powder, 0.5 teaspoon garlic powder)

1. Add the salt to the apple (this will stop it turning brown). Put the apple in a tea towel, fold it over and squeeze out the juice. Spread the apple out on a plate or try and leave it to dry, preferably in the sun.
2. Dry fry the fenugreek seeds in a heated pan and grind with the garlic and red chillies.
3. Mix everything together.
4. Heat the oil for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat. Add the apple mix to the oil and warm through for 2 minutes.
5. Put everything into a jar and cover with oil.
6. It is ready to eat immediately but is best left for a day or two.

Piment Carri Frire
• 8 large chillies (piments) with stalks removed and cut in half
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 1 onion, sliced
• Salt to taste

1. Heat the oil in a pan to a medium heat and fry the chillies for 5 minutes.
2. Add the chillies and continue frying until the chillies brown (about 5–10 minutes).
3. Add salt to taste.

Tomato & Chilli Chutney
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 2 chillies, chopped
• Small handful fresh coriander, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 0.5 teaspoon fine salt

Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix to a rough paste.
Aubergine Chutney
• 1 large aubergine
• 1 garlic clove, cut into 4 slices
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• 0.5 onion, finely chopped
• 1 green chilli, chopped
• 2 Tablespoons coriander, chopped
• Slice of lemon, chopped

1. Make four slashes into the aubergine and insert the garlic slivers. Coat the aubergine with oil and heat under a medium-hot grill for 20 minutes, turning frequently. The skin of the aubergine should start to pucker.
2. Once the aubergine is cooked remove it from the grill and remove the skin.
3. Chop up the aubergine and garlic, add in the other ingredients and mix well.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken DopiazaAmbot Tik

Win… a Balti Bowl & Balti Spice Kit

Recipes

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. The winner was @valseal46 with her joke: I was eating at a restaurant and the waiter asked me, “Curry ok?” I replied, “No thanks, I can’t sing”.

Here’s your chance to win an fabulous Balti Bowl plus a Balti Beginnings Spice Kit courtesy of the Birmingham Balti Company – the Balti specialists – who are offering this prize worth £40.

The authentic Balti Bowl is made in Birmingham from pressed-steel – just like the original 1970s bowls – and made for professional kitchens. The Spice Kit includes three fantastic spice blends – garam masala, chicken or veg Balti blend and Balti Lamb blend – perfect to cook up a top-notch, restaurant quality, fresh tasting Balti curry at home.

For a chance to win…
1. Tell us your favourite curry joke or pun.
2. Follow the Royal Curry Club blog (go to top of the page) and subscribe to the Birmingham Balti Co. newsletter.

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Terms & Conditions
1. There will be one winner, who will be selected from entries on this website, Instagram and Twitter.
2. The competition closes at 8pm on Sunday 14 February 2021 and the winner will selected after that time.
3. By entering this competition you agree that your e-mail will automatically be added to the Royal Curry Club follower list and the Birmingham Balti Co. mailing list, which occasionally sends out special offers and news. You can unsubscribe from both at any time.
4. The competition is only open to residents of the UK with a UK address. If you enter the competition and don’t have a UK address the prizes cannot be sent to you and the winner will be reselected.
5. The decision of the organisers is final and we will not enter into correspondence on it.
6. WordPress, Twitter or Instagram are not associated with, and have no responsibility for this competition.

Curry Chaat with… Andy Munro

Curry News

Andy Munro is a balti expert from Birmingham and was born and bred in its now famous Balti Triangle. His book is entitled Going for a Balti: the Story of Birmingham’s Signature Dish. The balti first appeared in Birmingham around 1975 and was invented by the local Pakistani/Kashmiri community who developed the dish loosely based on home-style cooking where the meal is served in the bowl it’s cooked in, so it retains all its flavours. Naan, rather than rice, accompanies the meal and is used to scoop up the food and to wipe clean the bowl at the end. Enter our competition to win an authentic Balti Bowl & Balti Spice Kit here.

How would you describe a balti to a Martian?
A spicy dish fast cooked over a high flame, cooked and served up in a steel pan.

When and where did you have your first balti?
In 1985, at a place called Azim’s in the Handsworth area of Birmingham… a particularly memorable meal as the restaurant was burned down a week later in the Handsworth race riots!

What’s the key to a good balti?
It must be fast-cooked, using vegetable oil not ghee, with spices thrown in during that cooking process. It must also be both cooked and served up in the balti, a flat-bottomed, thin pressed steel two-handled pan.

What’s the best balti you’ve ever had?
Balti Lamb and Aubergine at the Royal Naim (sadly now closed) in the Balti Triangle

What’s your go-to balti, your standard order on a quiet Tuesday night?
A Balti Chicken and Mushroom at the Shahi Nan Kebab House in the Balti Triangle.

If a Balti were an animal what would it be?
A dragon… legendary and fiery!

What’s the difference between a Birmingham balti and one from Baltistan?
The Birmingham balti is uniquely a fast-cooked Brummie invention right down to the Birmingham-designed and made Balti pans. Balti has nothing to do with the slow-cooked on-the-bone dishes served up in Baltistan. To say there is a connection is like saying jam comes from Jamaica!

What’s the difference between a balti and a ‘normal’ curry?
Balti is faster cooked over a higher heat, which helps caramelise the ingredients, uses vegetable oil not ghee for a cleaner, lighter taste and most critically has to be cooked and served up in the balti pan, thereby conserving the integrity of all the flavours. However, the mix of spices are down to the individual chef but are usually similar to those used in a ‘normal’ curry.

What ‘normal’ curries do you like when taking a balti break?
If I’m pushing the boat out I’ll go to the Michelin starred Opheem, which do a mean Goat Biryani. Otherwise I tend to eat more South Indian food for a change, such as a Paneer and Cashew Nut Masala curry or something like a Keralan Malabar Chicken.

Tell us about three restaurants we must visit next time we are in Birmingham?
Shababs, Shahi Nan Kebab House (both in the Balti Triangle), or the Royal Watan, just up the road in Selly Park.


You can purchase a copy of Andy Munro’s book Going for a Balti here…


Enter our competition for a chance to win an authentic Balti Bowl & Balti Spice Kit here…

How to cook… Marchwangan Korma

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Korma is either loved (it is one of the favourite restaurant curries) or derided by those who prefer hotter curries. But korma is not just a mild, creamy dish but a style of cooking that means “to braise”, with origins in central Asia. Traditionally this oily, hot Kashmiri korma (yes, they can be hot!) is traditionally cooked with on-the-bone lamb or mutton but chicken works well and requires a lot less cooking time. Pandit Kashmiris (Brahmins) don’t eat onion so Marchwangan Korma is sometimes cooked without it.

What you need…
• 4 Tablespoons ghee
• 800g of chicken, cut into large chunks
• 4 green cardamons, cracked but not crushed
• 6 cloves
• 6cm piece of cinnamon stick
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
• 1 large red onion, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon cumin powder
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 2 teaspoons chilli powder
• Salt to taste

Red Marinade
• 1 cooked beetroot, chopped, and 4 Tablespoons of the juice
• 8 red chillies, chopped
• 2 Tablespoons tomato purée
• 1 teaspoon paprika

How to make it
1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and blend to a fine paste with a little water. Add the chicken and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours but preferably 24 hours.
2. Heat half the ghee in a pan to a high heat and quickly seal the chicken (about 3 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
3. Add the rest of the ghee to a high heat and fry the cardamons, cloves and cinnamon stick for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately.
4. Turn down the heat, add the garlic cloves and fry for 1 minute.
5. Add the onion and fry until it starts to brown (about 6–7 minutes).
6. Add the cumin, coriander and chilli powder and fry for 2 minutes.
7. Add the Red Marinade and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Turn down the heat to very lower, add the chicken and salt, cover and cook until the chicken is all cooked through (about 15–20 minutes).

CHEF’S TIP
To cook without onion replace with 100ml red wine when you add the Marinade.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken DopiazaAmbot Tik

This curry is red, that much is true, it is so hot, it’ll make you go whooa!

How to cook… Chicken Korma

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Having shaken off the reputation of being the “beginner’s curry”, the mild Korma is gaining in popularity again. And it’s no surprise that chicken is the preferred choice for this delicious dish. This recipe avoids the sickly sweetness and coconut dished up by some restaurants and mixes onions, yoghurt and cream to create a creamy smoothness.

What you need…
• 1.5 onions
• 3 Tablespoons ghee
• 4 Tablespoons milk
• pinch turmeric
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
• 1 Tablespoon garam masala
• 100g yoghurt
• 150ml double cream
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon almond flakes
• few coriander leaves, for garnish

How to make it
1. Chop the onions and blanch them in boiling water for 3 minutes. This removes the bitterness. Purée the onions in a blender.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon ghee in a pan to a low-medium heat. Add the milk and turmeric and once warm add the chicken to colour it. This should take 1-2 minutes.
3. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the rest of the ghee. When hot add the onions and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the garam masala, yoghurt, cream and salt, and cook until the chicken is cooked. You can add a little water to get the consistency you prefer.
6. While it is cooking turn the grill to a high heat and roast the almonds. This takes less than a minute so be careful not to burn them.
7. Serve, garnished with the roasted almonds and coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
Because this dish is so mild it is nice with the sharp, tanginess of some lime pickle or mixed pickle.
Chicken Korma is the favourite for curry fans who don’t like it hot.

If you like this you should try our
Prawn MadrasPrawn RoganPrawn VindalooPrawn DopiazaMughlai Malai KoftaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaButter ChickenChicken Dopiaza

I went for a curry the other night but it went badly wrong when my nan was taken ill and slipped into a Korma.

How to cook… Paneer Jalfrezi

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

While Chicken is the favourite version of this popular dish Paneer Jalfrezi is a must try. Cooked with Base Curry Sauce and mixed with different coloured peppers, onions, tomatoes and chillies to create a lovely range of tastes and colours for this favourite restaurant curry

What you need…
• 1 Tablespoon oil
• 1 Tablespoon ghee
• 5 garlic cloves, sliced
• 4 cm chunk of ginger, cut into 2cm matchsticks
• 0.5 red pepper, cut into thin slices
• 0.5 yellow (or green) pepper, cut into thin slices
• 4 green chillies, chopped
• 600g Base Curry Sauce
• 800g paneer, cut into bite-sized pieces
• Small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems and some of the leaves to add to the curry but set aside a few of leaves for garnish)
• 1 onion, sliced
• 2 tomatoes, cut into segments
• Salt to taste

Spice Mix
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon vinegar


How to make it
1. Heat the oil in pan to a low-medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry until they brown. This should take about 3–4 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Heat the ghee to a medium heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Turn up the heat and add the peppers and chillies and cook for 2 minutes. You will soften the peppers and slightly char it (to mimic the tandoor taste).
4. Turn the heat down and add the Base Curry Sauce and Spice Mix and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add the coriander, onion, tomatoes and salt, and cook for 3 minutes. The pepper, onion and tomato should be just soft but not mushy.
7. Add the paneer and cook for 2 minutes.
8.
Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
You can use shop bought paneer for the crumbliest paneer make your own.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Dopiaza

Which cheeses can fly? Birds of prey.

How to cook… Keema with Coconut

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

A simple dish for mushroom lovers who love a bit of spice in their side dishes. Just add the mushrooms to a little Base Curry Sauce, add plenty of garlic and chilli for this dryish dish.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons oil or ghee
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 600g lamb mince
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 4 dried red chillies, chopped into large pieces
• 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• 5 curry leaves
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 2 Tablespoons coconut cream
• Salt to taste

Green Paste
• 20 mint leaves
• 3 green chillies, chopped
• 1 Tablespoon desiccated coconut

How to make it
1. Grind the ingredients from the Green Paste into a fine paste. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a pan to a medium heat and fry the garlic and ginger pastes for 1 minute.
3. Add the mince and fry until it is all browned (about 10 minutes). Remove the mince and set it aside.
4. Add the rest of the oil to a high heat and fry the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and red chillies for 15 seconds. It should sizzle immediately. You can test it is hot enough by dropping in one seed.
5. Turn down the heat to medium, add the onion and fry until it softens (about 5 minutes).
6. Add the curry leaves, turmeric and garam masala with a little water and fry for 3 minutes.
7. Add the Green Paste and cook for 3 minutes.
8. Add the mince and cook for 25 minutes.
9. Add the coconut cream and salt, mix well, remove from the heat and leave to rest for 3–4 minutes before serving.

CHEF’S TIP
You can replace the desiccated coconut with a chunk of fresh coconut for a fresher taste.
Keema with Coconut is popular dish from the South Indian state of Kerala.

If you like this you should try our
Ambot TikChilli ChickenChilli PaneerButter ChickenMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken Vindaloo Restaurant-style)Chicken BhoonaChicken Recheade

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

What will you find in the middle of a coconut? The letter ‘o’.