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!

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…

5 Best Indian Street Foods

Curry News

Take a stroll away from the smart restaurants and you can often find some of the best food you’ll ever eat. Street food is the only food some people ever eat in India. They street vendors are effectively their restaurants to them. Some have one or two rickety chairs and tables; for others you have to grab and go. Ask and of the vendors why their food is so good and they’ll tell you: “we don’t need rules and regulations. If our food is not healthy and tasty we will lose our customers. They are the only rules we need. Next time you are in India skip the tablecloths and fancy waiters and yourself down the streets for some proper treats. Until then why not try these five favourites at home…

Here are Five Best Indian Street Foods

1. Kathi Roll (Calcutta)

The famous Kathi Rolls are from the streets of Calcutta in West Bengal but they are now famous all over the world. The rolls are ideal for commuters eating on the go and would traditionally have included meat, fried onion and spices in a paratha. Today Kathi Roll has become a catch-up phrase for any spicy wrap, so you are likely to find it will all sorts of fillings.

2. Roasted corn (Goa)

Roasted Corn is a simple street snack you’ll find all over the sub-continent and it’s delicious rubbed with grainy salt and spice. For that delicious roasted taste the vendors briefly finish cooking the corn in the coals, leaving the leaves on the corn to protect it. You can cook on the barbecue at home or try to replicate the taste under the grill. On the street it’s eaten with your hands, of course.

3. Tali Machli (Maharashtra)

Tali Machli (Spicy Fried Fish) is a popular street food snack eaten all over India but is especially popular in coastal Maharashtra. It’s lightly spiced so you don’t need a sauce, which makes it ideal for eating on the move, but it’s also delicious with your favourite chutney or pickle.

4. Bunny Chow (Durban)

Ok, you won’t find this in India but you street food lovers must try this! It’s simple, it’s rustic and it’s tasty… it’s a Bunny Chow! You’ll find someone selling them on every street corner in Durban, South Africa. Ideal for that steamy tropical climate, yet also great comfort food for cold winters. Cut off the bottom of a loaf, scoop out the white stuff leaving a crust shell. Fill with hot chicken curry (don’t forget the sauce now), settle down and use the bread you scooped out to mop up and eat your curry. No cutlery permitted. Durbanite and Bunny Chow lover Richard says bunnies are best eaten sitting cross-legged while staring at the Indian Ocean with a bottle of ice-cold Coke by your side.

5. Chicken Tikka (North India)

You may know it as the archetypal restaurant starter but there are not many more popular dishes on the street than Chicken Tikka. The stalls are filled with long skewers hanging ready for customers. But few hang there for long as they are soon snapped up and eaten on the go with hot chapatis by the hungry customers. Cooked in makeshift tandoors, often no more than a old drum that’s been coated on the inside with thick concrete to hold the heat, the chefs are kept busy from one morning till the early hours of the next.

5 Favourite Restaurant Curries

Curry News

The first Indian restaurant in Britain (the Hindoostane Coffee House) was established in 1810 and restaurants serving spicy food remained popular throughout the 19th Century. However, it was post-World War II, when a large number of Asians from Commonwealth come to Britain, that the number of restaurants really boomed. The chefs soon learnt to adapt their dishes to local tastes and many authentic dishes have been adapted and mixed over the years to create a particular style of dishes known as British Indian Restaurant (BIR)-Style. Today there are an estimated 12,000 such restaurants in the country in Britain, mostly run by Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Nepalis. In a Royal Curry Club survey we asked: “What’s your favourite curry?” Jalfrezi stormed the poll, with 41% saying that dish was their favourite, with Biryani coming in second. Tikka Masala, once dubbed “a national dish of Britain” flopped, with only 19% of curry lovers choosing the old creamy favourite. Madras and the super-mild Korma came in at fourth and fifth curry house favourites.

Here are Five Favourite Restaurant Curries.

1. Jalfrezi (Medium-Hot)

Jalfrezi was originally a stir-fry created by Bengali chefs working during the Raj-era. In true British restaurant-style it has evolved into something quite different from the original Chicken Jalfrezi, where the ingredients were cooked in their own juices. Restaurants add some Base Curry Sauce and mix it with different coloured peppers, onions, tomatoes and chillies to create a lovely range of tastes and colours. The dish can be cooked with a variety of main ingredients but Chicken Jalfrezi remains the most popular.

2. Biryani (Medium)

There are many different types of Biryani. The British-restaurant version is little more than pilau rice with some pre-cooked ingredients added to it. The authentic cooking method is very time consuming and few restaurants (or their customers) have the time for it. The South Indian Hyderbadi Pakki Biryani uses chunks of lamb (or mutton if you prefer) that is pre-cooked (Pakki) then added to the rice and steamed. It also includes cooked and fried chunks of potato and is finished off with saffron and fried onions.

3. Chicken Tikka Masala (Mild-Medium)

Often called Britain’s “national dish”, some people refuse to order anything else but Chicken Tikka Masala on a visit to an Indian restaurant. Chunks of Chicken Tikka are cooked with green peppers and tomatoes and simmered in a mix of Base Curry Sauce, Tikka Marinade, yoghurt and cream. The dish is widely accepted to have been created in Scotland, when an enterising chef realised the Chicken Tikka was too dry for his diners so he added some creamy masala sauce.

4. Madras (Hot)

Lamb Madras is one of the most-ordered dishes in Indian restaurants. Meaty chunks of lamb are cooked gently in the Base Curry Sauce that’s given an extra kick with the black peppercorns and chilli powder. Madras is another British Indian Restaurant creation and you certainly wouldn’t find it in Chennai (formerly called Madras). In the early days the restauranteurs simply used the name to mean a hot curry. They used Vindaloo to mean a very hot curry. Chicken Madras and Prawn Madras are also popular.

5. Korma (Very Mild)

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. Chicken Korma and Paneer Korma are the favourites for diners.

5 Best Vegetarian Curries

Curry News

Menus in India simply separate dishes under the headings ‘Veg’ and ‘Non-Veg’, and with an estimated 375 million vegetarians in India it’s no surprise that the ‘Veg’ section often contains more choices than its counterpart. Indian cuisine serves up some of the best vegetarian food in the world so it’s no surprise that it’s more than just the non-meat eaters who enjoy these favourite vegetarian curries.

Here are Five of the Best Vegetarian Curries.

1. Egg and Potato Curry (Punjab)

Egg and Potato Curry is a hugely popular dish in India yet it’s difficult to find outside the sub-continent. This Punjabi-style recipe is easy to make. Boiled eggs are sealed in oil then added to a tomato sauce that has been infused with aromatic whole spices.

2. Rajma Curry (North India)

Rajma (red kidney bean) Curry is a hearty North Indian dish and makes a delicious, filling main meal or excellent side dish. The kidney beans require a bit of preparation but you can skip this by using canned beans if you don’t have time. Take a good serving of your Base Curry Sauce, add the kidney beans, add a bit of garlic and a sprinkle of spice for a great medium-strength curry. Garnish with cream and fresh coriander.

3. Manchurian Paneer (Indo-Chinese)

Manchurian Paneer is an Indo-Chinese dish that combines the flavours and cooking techniques of both India and China. The chunks of cheese are fried in a chilli batter then stir fried with garlic, ginger, pepper and spy sauce and top with spring onions. The cuisine emerged from a group of Chinese people, now numbering 2,000, in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and there are a number of restaurants serving the hybrid cuisine in Chinatown in the city.

4. Vegetable Shashliks (North India)

Although originally from Central Asia these skewers are popular all over the sub-continent, especially in North India. This mix of mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions, marinated in Tikka Marinade and grilled makes a fresh-tasting starter or you can double up the portion for tasty main dish. The trick is cook the Vegetable Shashliks just enough so they soften and the edges are charred.

5. Butter Paneer (North India)

Paneer works excellently with this favourite creamy, buttery and super moreish sauce. Fry the paneer chunks first so they are crispy on the outside add to the rich sauce and enjoy the perfect Butter Paneer. The dish will be much better if you make your own paneer.

5 Best Hot Curries

Curry News

As any curry lover knows, there’s a lot more to Indian food than just hot dishes. But there comes a time when only a tongue-burning, lip-numbing, stomach-ripping curry will do. For some people this means the hotter the better as they tuck into their favourite hot curries. Can you handle it? “Yes, I want it hotter,” these heat loving curry fans cry. Heat is mainly provided from chillies and black pepper (this is what chefs used before chillies arrived on the sub-continent) but other ingredients such as garlic, ginger and paprika also provide heat. All we know is some people just can’t get enough of the heat and many continue to search for the world’s hotttest curry.

Here are Five of the Best Hot Curries.

1. Lamb Vindaloo (British Indian Restaurants)

Lamb Vindaloo is the favourite hot curry for food lovers who are after some serious heat. Originally a pork and vinegar dish from Goa, British restaurants took the name to represent a super spicy curry, although it is a lot less nuanced than the authentic version. The restaurant-style Vindaloo has heat from the peppercorns and chilli, sourness from the vinegar and includes the dish’s trademark chunks of potato.

2. Pork Vindaloo (Goa)

As the only state in India that is largely Catholic there are no taboos surrounding the use of pork in Goa. This Pork Vindaloo, like so many in this state, are a combination of Portuguese and India flavours and cooking styles. The result is a spicy dish with plenty of vinegar and is far removed from the British restaurant-style Vindaloo. • Recipe courtesy @thecurriedlondoner (Instagram)

3. Green Chilli Chicken (Andhra)

Green in appearance and with plenty of green chillies, this South Indian dish is dryish and fiery in heat. Green Chilli Chicken is also sometimes Andhra Chilli Chicken as a nod to the heat from that neighbouring state. It’s a quick dish to make, with the chicken first marinated with the chillies, coriander, curry leaves, garlic, ginger and yoghurt, then added to a sauce of onions, tomato and mixed with spices.

4. Naga Chicken (Nagaland)

Nagaland is one of the smallest states in India with a population of fewer than two million people. Located in the far north-east of the country, bordering Myanmar (formerly Burma) it is famed for the super hot Naga Chilli and this Naga Chicken dish. Used in curries it gives a slightly sweet and tart flavour as well as fierce heat, producing a dish that is on par with a Vindaloo in the hot stakes.

5. Ambot Tik (Goa)

Ambot Tik is another hot and spicy dish from Goa that combines Portuguese and Indian flavours. It can be cooked with any any type of fish but popular choices are shark and prawns. If using the prawns keep their shells on to soak up the range of flavours. To cook this curry, first create the aromatic masala by dry frying spices, combine with a sauce of onions, tomatoes and tamarind and add the prawns.

5 Best African Curries

Curry News

The links and trade between the British and Portuguese African colonies and India ensured that curry became popular in Africa. During those times spices, knowledge and people moved between India and Africa and today the Indian diaspora in Africa numbers three million, with large numbers of people in South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion and the east African nations of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island Tanzania continues to be a major producer of black pepper cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Here are Five of the Best Curries from Africa.

1. Bunny Chow (South Africa)

It’s simple, it’s rustic and it’s tasty… it’s a Bunny Chow! You’ll find someone selling them on every street corner in Durban, South Africa. Ideal for that steamy tropical climate, yet also great comfort food for cold winters. Cut a loaf of bread in half, scoop out the white stuff leaving you with two crust shells. Fill with hot chicken curry, settle down and use the bread you scooped out to mop up and eat your curry. No cutlery permitted.

2. Frango a Cafrial (Mozambique)

In a classic case of coals to Newcastle, the Mozambiquan dish Frango a Cafrial was brought to India by the Portuguese during the colonial-era and is now a popular Goan dish called Cafrael. It’s a simple dish to make – marinate the chicken in a green spice paste, then fry – and although the dish traditionally uses chicken legs you can also use bite-sized chunks of chicken.

3. Mauritian Fish Curry with Aubergine (Mauritius)

Take one Indian Ocean island with great fishing around its coral reefs, add a huge Indian diaspora and it’s not surprising you can get great fish curries in Mauritius. Simply create a mildish sauce with spices and curry leaves then add delicious fresh fish with aubergine slices. Recipe here.

4. Chicken Feet Curry (South Africa)

Chicken Feet Curry is shared at bars in Africa while chatting to friends. This mild recipe is from a small restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa. The best way to eat this curry is with your fingers and to suck each piece to extract the slow-cooked flavour and the (small amount) of meat from the feet.

5. Swahili Chicken Curry (Kenya)

Swahili Chicken Curry, a creamy on-the-bone chicken dish, is a popular East African dish served with rice and chapatti. This recipe is from the Hilton Hotel in central Nairobi, Kenya.

5 Best Goa Curries

Curry News

Goa is the smallest state in India yet it is the home to some great curries – often sizzling hot. The Portguese ruled the state for 450 years until 1961 so Goan dishes are often combine flavours from Portugal, Indi and often Africa (where Portugal had other colones). Here are Five of the Best Curries from Goa.

1. Vindaloo

Vindaloo is probably the best known of all Goan dishes and is now eaten all over the world. As the only state with a predominantly Catholic population there are few food taboos so the tradional dish is a slow-cooked Pork Vindaloo with lots of vinegar. British restaurants used the word vindaloo as a byword for very hot curry so although their Lamb Vindaloo, Chicken Vindaloo and Prawn Vindaloo are vastly different to the tradional pork version they have become hugely popular among fans of spicy curries.

2. Chicken Recheade

As much a pickling paste as a curry, Chicken Recheade is made by combining red dried chillies, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and spices with vinegar to form a paste that is used to marinate the chicken then cooked with chopped onions, tomato paste and garam masala. As with many Goan dishes it combines Indian and Portuguese styles of cooking and ingredients.

3. Ambot Tik

Ambot Tik is another hot and spicy dish from Goa that combines Portuguese and Indian flavours. It can be cooked with any any type of fish but popular choices are shark and prawns. If using prawns keep their shells on to soak up the range of flavours. To cook this curry, first create the aromatic masala by dry frying spices, combine with a sauce of onions, tomatoes and tamarind and add the prawns.

4. Goan Fish Curry

Goa’s location along the western coast of the country, by the ArabianSea, means seafood naturally features prominently in its cuisine. Coconut milk, tamarind, juicy white fish and blazing heat from the chillies creates a delicious Goan Fish Curry.

5. Chicken Cafrael

Chicken Cafrael, a simple dish to make – marinate the chicken in a green spice paste, then fry – is another classic curry from Goa. Originating in Africa (probably Mozambique) it was brought to India by the Portuguese. Although this is a dish that traditionally uses chicken legs you can also use bite-sized chunks of chicken.

5 Best World Curries

Curry News

Curry is usually associated with India, but curries are enjoyed all over the world – and every country has its own favourite. Here are Five of the Best Curries from Around the World.

1. Sri Lankan Fish Curry (Sri Lanka)

As with many South Indian dishes, Sri Lankan cuisine combines the spices of India with the creaminess of the coconut and tanginess of tamarind to create that delicious taste of the coast. Fish is an abundant resource and while it is usually cooked in chunks, with a little extra patience and care cooking the salmon darne whole absorbs the flavours well and looks great. You’ll need a large, flat-bottomed pan to cook the salmon darnes whole or split the sauce into two pans. Recipe here…

2. Chinese Chicken Curry (UK/China)

Chinese Chicken Curry has very little to do with China but everything to do with curries created by Chinese takeaways, which in the UK were initially run by people from Hong Kong who served Cantonese dishes adapted to local tastes. It uses the basic Chinese/Chip Shop Curry Sauce and adds chicken and lots of onion. Some takeaways also add other ingredients such as carrot, peas or potato slices.

3. Curried Sausages (Australia)

Curried Sausages feels like a dish that time forgot. Almost certainly taken to Australia by emigrating Brits in the 1950s or ’60s it’s got all the nostalgia of food served up by granny. And Australia’s contribution to the curry world tastes great. Very simply it combines fried or baked sausages (preferably spicy) with onions, potatoes, peas and carrots, all in a mild curry sauce that is little more than curry powder, flour and water.

4. Sauce Rouge Curry (Mauritius)

A popular Mauritian dish, Sauce Rouge Curry (simply meaning Red Sauce Curry) combines ingredients used in Indian and European cooking to reflect the history of this Indian Ocean island, which has been ruled by the French and the British and has a predominantly Indian population.

5. Swahili Chicken Curry (Kenya)

Swahili Chicken Curry, a creamy on-the-bone chicken dish, is a popular East African dish served with rice and chapatti. This recipe is from the Hilton Hotel in central Nairobi, Kenya.

How to cook… Chicken Livers Curry

Curry News

Serves 4 as a main dish

Often overlooked as an ingredient, chicken livers are excellent when curried. In this Chicken Liver Curry you need to marinate the livers first then cook them in a classic spicy tomato and onion sauce.

What you need…
• 600g chicken livers, washed and drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• 1.5 onions, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced
• 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slivers
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.25 teaspoon ground black powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 3 Tablespoons chopped coriander
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• Salt to taste

Soaking the livers in milk before marinating for 30 minutes will remove the bitterness.

How you make it…
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and coat the chicken livers with it. Set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil to a medium heat and fry the chicken livers until they all brown (about 4-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the onion until it softens (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute.
5. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, tomato, tomato paste and a little water, mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed.
6. Add half the coriander, garam masala and salt and mix well.
7. Add the livers with any juices and stir fry until the are soft and buttery (about 2-3 minutes).
8. Check a piece of liver to ensure it is cooked and once you are happy add the rest of the coriander and serve.

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

People who order this dish never share… They’ll just tell you, “liver my food alone!”

If football teams were curries…

Curry News

Spurs would be a popadom… gets everyone excited by them at the start but is never there at the end.
Southampton would be a Bombay Potato… no-one dislikes it and everyone else nicks the best potatoes.
Manchester United would be a Korma… a lot of people adore it but everyone else hates it.
Chelsea would be a Chicken Tikka Masala… there’s no denying it’s delicious but a lot of people say the dish only has recent history.
Manchester City would be a King Prawn Karahi… ridiculously expensive but it still doesn’t completely deliver the goods.
Leicester City would be a Jalfrezi… came from nowhere to become unexpectedly popular.
Arsenal would be a Fish Curry… one week it tastes great but the next week it’s rubbish.
West Ham would be a Phall… eat it and you’ll be forever blowing bubbles.
Sheffield United would be a Keema Muttar… underrated but a lot tastier than you think.
Aston Villa would be a Ceylon Curry… some older people remember when it was good.
Burnley would be a Tandoori Mixed Grill… ridiculously tough to eat.
Bournemouth would be Chicken Tikka starter… small but very impressive.
Liverpool would be a Biryani… a dish that takes for ever to come good but when it does it’s fantastic.
Everton would be a Basmati Rice… forever wanting to be as tasty as the Biryani.
Newcastle United would be a Vegetable Curry… a lot of people keep ordering it every week no matter how much it disappoints them.
Brighton would be a Bhoona… it’s ok if nothing else is on the menu at lunchtime.
Watford would be a Vindaloo… capable of causing an upset.
Wolves would be a Chicken 65… been around for years and still golden.
Crystal Palace would be a Sizzling Lamb… fans of it make a lot of noise considering the dish rarely does anything.
Norwich would be a kulfi… usually at the end of the menu.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

How to cook… Sindhi Biryani

Curry News, Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Biryani is a rice-based dish, where all the spices, meat and vegetables are slowly cooked together over a long period of time. Although Biryani is a popular dish all over the world there are many variations – this is the version from the Province of Sindhi in Pakistani Punjab.

What you need…
• 400g potatoes, cut into 4cm chunks
• 2 drops yellow colouring
• 10 Tablespoons ghee• 2 onions, roughly chopped• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 500g chicken thighs and legs, on the bone
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 250g yoghurt
• 4 tomatoes, cut into halves
• 100g plums
• small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
• 5 mint leaves, roughly chopped
• 5 green chillies, with a small slit in each
• 300g rice
• 3 Tablespoons rose water
• 0.5 teaspoon nutmeg powder

Spice Mix
• 2 cloves
• 2 cardamoms (cracked but not crushed)
• 10cm piece cinnamon stick
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 Tablespoon chilli powder
• 1 Tablespoon turmeric powder

How to make it…
1. Boil the potatoes in water with a drop of yellow colouring until they are nearly cooked. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Heat 1 Tablepoon ghee to a medium heat and fry the potatoes until they are crisp and starting to brown. Remove the potatoes and set aside.
3. Add 2 Tablespoons ghee and the onions, and fry until golden brown.
4. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and the chicken, and stir fry for 5 minutes.
5. Add the Spice Mix and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Add the yoghurt and fried potatoes, mix well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Add the tomatoes, the plums, coriander leaves, mint leaves and chillies, and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat.
9. Wash the rice until the water is clear. This will take 6–7 washes, maybe more. Boil the rice in fresh water, with a little salt, until cooked.
10. Drain the rice andspread it evenly on top of the chicken mixture.
11. Dissolve a drop of yellow colour in rose water and spread it, with the rest of the ghee, on top of rice. Allow this to dissolve for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the nutmeg powder on top of the mixture.
12. Return the pan to a medium heat and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
13. Remove the cover, allow the steam to escape for a couple of minutes and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Zaynub Mahmood. Photo below: Miansari66 CCA.

CHEF’S TIP There are quite a few ingredients in this dish so get everything ready before you start cooking.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken Bhoona

Never rush a biryani… it’s not a rice.

Curry Quiz Phall (difficult)

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Curry Quiz Vindaloo (difficult)

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Curry Quiz Madras (medium difficulty)

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Curry Quiz Bombay Aloo (easy)

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Curry Quiz Korma (very easy)

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How to cook… Handi Chicken

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Serves 4 as a main dish

Handi Chicken is a popular Punjabi dish named after the wide Indian cooking pot used particularly in north India and Pakistan. The famous Balti has origins in dishes such as these.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 3 onions sliced
• 2 teaspoons ginger paste
• 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• salt to taste
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
• 5-6 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 Tablespoons plain yoghurt
• 1 Tablespoon double cream
• small handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Spice Mix 1
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds crushed
• 3 whole chillies

Spice Mix 2
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder

How to make it…
1. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add Spice Mix 1 and fry for 15 seconds. to test if ghee is hot enough put in one cumin seed. It should sizzle immediately).
2. Add the onions and fry until they are golden brown.
3. Add the ginger, garlic, Spice Mix 2 and salt, stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add in the chicken and cook until all the pieces are white. This should take about 3–4 minutes.
5. Add in the tomatoes and cook for 8 minutes.
6. Add in the yoghurt, cream and most of the fresh coriander (keep a small bit for the garnish), stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Ensure that the chicken is cooked through.
7. Serve, garnished with the remainder of the fresh coriander.
Recipe by Kedar Chandra, chef at Pakbo restaurant in Flic en Flac, Mauritius.

The stalks of the coriander have the most flavour, so mix them in with the curry and keep the leaves for the garnish.

If you like this you should try our
Sindhi BiryaniMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken Bhoona

Why did the chicken cross the leather? … To get to the other suede.

How to make… Paneer

Curry News

Makes 250g of paneer

What you need…
• 6 pints full cream milk
• 1–2 Tablespoons white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

How to make it…
1. Put the milk into a pan and bring to the boil. Keep stirring to ensure the milk does not stick or burn as this will ruin the taste of the paneer. You’ll know it has boiled when a mound forms on the surface of the milk
2. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice a little at a time until the milk separates (these are the curds forming). The separation is pretty obvious so if the whey (what’s left after the curds are forming) still looks like milk, keep going with the vinegar or lemon juice. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
3. Next, remove the curds from the whey. Put some cheesecloth (you can also use muslin or even a J-cloth) over a large bowl and pour the mixture through it to strain out the whey. Rinse the curds with cold water to wash away the taste of the acid.
4. Bring the edges of the cloth together to wrap the curds and squeeze as gently as possible (this ensures the paneer will be soft and crumbly and not flattened completely). Make sure all the liquid had been removed.
5. Put a weight on it and leave it for an hour or more. Some more liquid will come out so put something underneath it.
6. The paneer will have formed and you can now cut it into chunks or strips for use.
Thanks to Chili Paper Chains. Main photo: Sonja Pauen, CCA.

Full cream milk is essential for the proper taste of paneer.
Paneer is beautiful with creamy sauces such as Butter Paneer or as a side dish with spinach.

If you like this you should try our
Butter PaneerMuttar PaneerSag Paneer

What is a paneer diet? … Curds and weigh.

Get your Spice Card and love curry more!

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You can save 20% on curry every time you use the Spice Card – on dine-in and takeaways (including takeaways!)

The Spice Card is for lovers of spicy food, whether it’s Indian, Thai, Chinese or Vietnamese – and for just £15 a year you can enjoy savings at restaurants and takeaways across South East London – from Greenwich to Blackheath, Lewisham to Charlton, New Cross, Grove Park, Bexleyheath and the Isle of Dogs.

You will enjoy the savings for dine-in and takeaways (including deliveries) at most venues. You can use the Spice Card as many times as you like during the year.

Yes! I want to buy my Spice Card now!

First you buy your Spice Card for £15. Then you enjoy a curry at one of our partner restaurants or takeaways. Your bill will include a 20% discount on your food. Repeat for a year…

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To see which restaurant and takeaways offer the Spice Card discount head check out the website.

The chart below shows the annual savings you could enjoy with your the Spice Card

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