Curry Guide… the Staff Curry

IMG_7178Are you fed up with the same old menu choices when you go out for a curry? Ask the waiter if you can try the Kitchen (or Staff) Curry – the curry the chef will have cooked for the staff to eat when the night’s work is over. This is unlikely to be a dish you will find on the menu; it’s most probably a dish from the home region of the chef and it will be different every day. There’s not always some spare but if there is then most restaurants are usually more than happy for you to try the dish. Obviously if you are eating early you may be out of luck as the Kitchen Curry may not be underway until later in the evening!


The Spice Card offers savings on curries, including on takeaways at many venues. You can get your Spice Card here.

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Recipe… Handi Chicken

Handi Chicken.jpg

Handi Chicken
Serves 4

What you need
• 3 tsp ghee
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed
• 3 whole chillies
• 3 onions sliced
• 2 tsp ginger paste
• 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• 1 tsp dried fenugreek
• salt to taste
• 750g chicken cut into bite-sized chunks
• 5-6 tomatoes chopped
• 1½ cup plain yoghurt
• 1 cup cream
• Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

How you cook it
1. Heat ghee in a pan.
2. Add the cumin seeds, crushed coriander, whole chillies and fry for 20 seconds (to test if ghee is hot enough put in one cumin seed. It should sizzle immediately).
3. Add the onions and fry until they are golden brown.
4. Add the ginger paste, chopped garlic, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, dried fenugreek, salt and stir well.
5. Add in the chicken and cook until all the pieces are white (but not fully cooked). This should take about five minutes.
6. Add in the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
7. 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.
8. Once ready put into a serving bowl and garnish with the remainder of the fresh coriander.
9. Serve with rice, chapati and a yoghurt and tomato raita.

Recipe by Kedar Chandra, chef at Pakbo restaurant in Flic en Flac, Mauritius.



The Spice Card offers savings on curries, including on takeaways at many venues. You can get your Spice Card here.

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Recipe… Chicken Wings Curry

Chicken wing curry

Chicken Wings Curry
Serves 6-8
Preparation and cooking time: 2 to 2.5 hours

What you need
• 125gm butter
• 20 green chillies chopped
• 6 medium-sized onions chopped
• 8–10cm piece of ginger chopped
• 2 whole garlic bulbs with cloves chopped
• 800g chopped tomatoes
• 1.5 tsp salt
• 0.5 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 2kg skinless chicken wings
• 2 cups boiling water
• 1.5 tsp garam masala
• bunch coriander chopped

How you cook it
1. Heat butter over a medium heat.
2. Add chillies, onions, ginger and garlic and cook until golden brown.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds. Cook on a low heat until the butter starts to rise to the edge of the masala sauce.
4. Add the chicken wings. Cook on low heat until the water comes out from the meat. Then raise heat for 5–8 mins to dry out the water.
5. Add boiling water.
6. Add garam masala and coriander. Cook on high heat for 5 mins then low heat for 15 mins. You will see the butter on the surface.
7. Serve with basmati rice and salad.

Note: you can add more or less chilli according to your tastes. Check the pot for salt levels before serving. You can cook this on a higher heat quicker if you are in a rush!

Recipe courtesy: Desi Indian stall (at Greenwich covered market)

Recipe… Chicken Phall

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Chicken Phall
Serves 4

What you need
• 675 g chicken
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 8 cloves garlic finely chopped
• 25 g fresh ginger finely chopped
• 3 tbsp oil
• 400 g tomatoes
• 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 12 fresh or dried chillies (or more to your taste)
• salt
• 1 tsp cumin (ground)
• 1 tsp coriander (ground)
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• 1 tsp fenugreek leaves (dried)
• 1 tsp garam masala

How you cook it
1. Chop the meat and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until golden in half the ghee or oil. Mix the spices with a little water to make a paste.
2. Add to the onion mixture, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the tomato (tinned, ketchup and paste) and chillies.
Cook for a further 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile fry the meat in a separate pan in the remaining ghee or oil, until sealed (5-10 minutes).
5. Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish and cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 45-60 minutes.

This curry can be left to marinate overnight or it can be frozen.

Recipe courtesy of Sweet ‘n’ Spicy phone app.