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… Spinach and Lentils Masala

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

There are an estimated 375 million vegetarians in India, mainly for religious reasons. Menus usually list dishes as Veg and Non-Veg rather than the mian or side dishes that is more usual in the Western world. Lentils are one of the Veg staples, and as well as being tasty with spices they also provide many essential nutrients. Combine them with spinach for a filling and healthy meal. Lentils are usually served with rice or roti.

What you need
• 250g brown lentils
• Salt to taste
• 1 teaspoon oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1.5 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 200g spinach, chopped
• A few coriander leaves to garnish

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• I Tablespoon curry powder
• 5 curry leaves


How you make it
1. Soak the lentils for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. Drain the water and add to a pressure cooker, add a pinch of salt and cover with fresh water. Cook until the lentils are soft (about 30 minutes). Set aside.
2. Heat the oil to a medium heat and cook the onion until it softens (about 5–7 minutes).
3. Add the garlic, ginger, the Spice Mix, tomato paste and tomato with a little water, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add the spinach until it wilts (about 3 minutes).
5. Add all the ingredients into the pressure cooker with the lentils and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
6. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves

CHEF’S TIP
To save chopping the spinach freeze it in the bag then remove it and bash the bag with the back of your hand. The spinach will snap into small pieces.

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

Why were these cakes shivering? … Because they were chilli.

How to cook… Rougaille Gateaux Piment

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Gateaux Piment (Chilli Cakes) is a popular street-food snack in Mauritius, and is sold in small shops or from homes of people looking to earn a bit of extra income. It is particularly popular at breakfast time and locals often eat it with bread and butter. You may also see these advertised as Gato Pima, which is the Creole spelling of the snack. In this curry the Gateaux Piment are added to a red, very lightly spiced rougaille, with a touch of French influence.

What you need
• 1 recipe Gateaux Piment
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 2 green chillies, sliced
• 2 sprigs of thyme, chopped
• 4 curry leaves
• 6 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 spring onions, chopped
• Few coriander leaves, for garnish


How you make it
1. Heat oil, fry onions, garlic and ginger until the onions soften (about 5 minutes).
2. Add the chillies, thyme, curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed. The tomatoes should have broken down and formed a sauce. If they haven’t then continue cooking.
4. Add the Gateaux Piment, spring onions and coriander leaves, and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
The Gateaux Piment will soak up the juices of the rougaille so make sure it’s not too thick before adding them.

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

Why were these cakes shivering? … Because they were chilli.

How to cook… Railway Lamb Curry

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Created, as legend has it, when a British army officer travelling on the railway in the 1900s found his curry too hot. The chef added some yoghurt to cool it down and the legendary Railway Curry was born. Traditionally cooked with on-the-bone mutton, this dish is often compared to an English stew, as later versions would cut out some of the spices to mellow the dish further. This recipe uses chunks of lamb but retains the yoghurt.

What you need
• 600g lamb, cut into large bite-sized pieces
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 1.5 onions, finely chopped
• 250ml hot water
• 250g potato, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces
• 1 Tablespoon curry powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder
• 200ml pureed tomato
• 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• 2 Tablespoons yoghurt
• Salt to taste

Marinade
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 teaspoon black pepper

Whole spices
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 3 Bay leaves
• 2 red chillies
• 2 cardamons, cracked but not crushed

How you make it
1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the lamb, making sure all pieces are well coated. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour if possible
2. Heat the oil to a high heat and cook the whole spices for 20 seconds, stirring quickly to avoid them burning.
3. Turn down the heat and add the lamb, and keep stirring until all the pieces are sealed (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes.
5. Add the hot water, stir well, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.
6. Add the curry powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, tomato and tamarind, mix well, cover and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.
7. While the lamb is cooking boil the potatoes in water until they are almost cooked. Ensure they are not soft as they will be added to the main pot to boil a bit longer. Once they are ready remove from the hot water so they do not keep cooking.
8. Add the garam masala to the lamb and cook for 5 minutes.
9. Add the yoghurt, mix well, then add the potatoes and cook until the lamb is tender and the potato pieces are cooked through. Check a piece of each to ensure they are ready.

CHEF’S TIP
This is a rustic curry so eat it with nan or even chunks of bread.

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

The lamb in the Railway Curry should be tender and soft but don’t forget to chew chew.

How to cook… Chicken Dhansak

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

A thick, sweet and sour dish, Dhansak originates from Persia (Iran). The dish was introduced to India by a group of Parsees (from Persia) spread south to Gujarat to escape persecution in 1500BC. Lentils and mixed vegetables are added to some Base Curry Sauce, with sugar and lime (or lemon) juice adding the sweet and sour tastes.

What you need…
• 120g red split lentils, washed and well rinsed
• 3 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 400g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 400g mixed (frozen or tinned) vegetables, cut into small pieces
• 1 green chilli, chopped
• 1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 1 Tablespoon garam masala
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 1 Tablespoon lime or lemon juice
• salt, to taste

How to make it
1. Boil the lentils with water until cooked (about 25–30 minutes).
2. While they are cooking heat the ghee in a pan to a medium heat. Add the turmeric and 3 Tablespoons of the Base Curry Sauce. Once warmed through add the chicken and stir fry until all the pieces are sealed (about 2 minutes).
3. Add the rest of the Base Curry Sauce, the cooked lentils and the rest of the ingredients, mix well and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
4. Stir, add a little water if needed, and continue cooking until all the chicken pieces are cooked through.

CHEF’S TIP
If you are really looking for a really old-school version of this dish you can add a couple of chunks of pineapple.
Chicken Dhansak, sweet and sour, and full of flavour.

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

Don’t have a food fight with Dhansak. It’s only funny lentil someone gets hurt.

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… Butter Chicken

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Butter Chicken is probably the most moreish Indian dish. Marinated in Tikka Marinade, cooked in the oven or grill, then added to a sauce with lots of butter and cream, this is a rich and delicious dish that will have you mopping up the last drips with your nan bread.

What you need…
• juice of 1 lemon
• 800g chicken breast or deboned thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 recipe Tikka Marinade
• 150g unsalted butter
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or finely chopped)
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or finely chopped)
• salt to taste
• 6 fresh tomatoes, chopped
• 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, if you like it sweet)
• small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish)
• 1–3 fresh green chillies (depending on the heat you prefer)
• 100ml cream

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon cumin powder

How to make it
1. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
2. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the pieces in the Tikka Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours.
3. Place the chicken pieces on a grill tray (you can use skewers if you choose) making sure you do not cram the pieces too closely together. Grill until the chicken is half-cooked and still pink inside (you can check this by cutting through a large piece). This will take approximately 6–10 minutes on a high heat, turning the chicken once during this time. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
4. Heat 100g of the butter on a low-medium heat until melted, add the onion and cook until it starts to brown (about 4–5 minutes).
5. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the Spice Mix, salt and chillies, stir well and cook for 1 minute.
7. Add the tomatoes and coriander stems cook for 3-4 minutes, then add 250ml water and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.
8. Transfer the ingredients to a blender (or use a hand blender) until smooth.
9. Return the mixture to the pan and reheat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken (use the juices that will have drained from the chicken for a better taste) and cook gently for 3–4 minutes. You can now add in the optional sugar.
10. Add the cream, the other 50g of butter and and cook on a low-medium heat until the chicken is cooked (about 5 minutes). To check the chicken is cooked, remove and cut through one of the larger pieces.
11. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
You might come across some versions of this dish with less butter and cream. Seriously, what’s the point? This is Butter Chicken, just enjoy it.
Butter Chicken, rich in butter, cream and tomatoes.

If you like this you should try our
Butter PaneerChicken Tikka MasalaMughlai Malai KoftaPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Tikka Masala

Get rid of margerine and the world will be a butter place.

Liss, Hampshire (Madhuban)

2. Reviews (Other UK)

Madhuban, Liss, Hampshire

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Ok, where’s this place?
It’s a village of about 6,000 people, about 20 miles north of Portsmouth.

What’s its Indian restaurant like?
It’s actually got two but Madhuban is the famous one.

Famous?
Absolutely, people travel from far and wide to eat here and the curry guru Pat Chapman raves about the place. He even named it as one of the top restaurants in the country in his Cobra Good Curry Guide.

Have you been here before?
Been here before? I came here the year it opened in 1987 and have been coming here whenever I’m in the area ever since.

Wow you must have seen some changes?
You bet. It was a 30-seater restaurant when it started and now it has 130 covers. It’s well designed, with a modern bar and waiting area and side-lit carvings of classical dancers (Bharat Natyam) and plants in the wall recesses. It was even packed on my last visit on a Wednesday night. It felt like everyone turned up at the same time which meant the service was a bit slow but it was still as friendly and warm as the first day I visited the restaurant.

And so to the food then?
The Railway Chicken and Egg Curry is a nod to the famous food found on the Indian railways. I’ve had it a few times. It’s thick with meat, vegetables and sauce, with a boiled egg in the middle. Rustic, just as it should be. The Chicken Tikka Darjeeling Masala is also highly recommended, with green tikka a great change (and very fresh tasting). According to the menu, the dish is in tribute to the garden in the Bangladeshi home of Lodue, the man behind the Madhuban. The Achari Chicken and Kashmiri Pilao (with lychees) was also devoured, as was the Madhuban Special Chicken, which  is a combination of the flavours of Bhoona, Korma and Tikka Masala.

What else is on the menu?
Maybe you should ask what isn’t on the menu! It’s one of the biggest menus I’ve every seen – and I don’t mean just the printed menu, which is a large-format eight-page masterpiece of information on dishes and spices. There are something like 150 menu options (I gave up counting after page three) and a promise to try to make anything that’s not on the menu if you ask!

The chefs must be superhuman.
They certainly do a top job with all those options. Everything on our table of eight was very good. The bill, including drinks, came to just over £160.

What’s the damage?
Drinks: Cobra (draught) £3.95 (large bottle) £4.75, white wine (large glass) £5, Lemonade (pint) £3.50, Diet Coke or Lime and soda (small) £2.50
Popadoms: 60p each and 60p each for pickles
Starter: didn’t have any
Mains: Zeera Prawn Masala £11.50, Chicken Tikka Darjeeling Masala, Achari Chicken, Railway Chicken and Egg Curry £10.95, Madhuban Special Chicken £10.50, Jungli Maas Chicken £9.95, Rogon Chicken £9.50
Sides: Sag Paneer, Bombay Aloo £3.95
Rice: Mushroom Rice, Kashmiri Pilao £3.50, Pilao Rice £2.95
Nan: Keema Nan £3.95, Peshwari Nan £2.95

Madhuban, 94 Station Road, Liss, Hampshire, GU33 7AQ.
Tel: +44 1730 893363 or +44 1730 894372.

Open
Monday to Thursday: 5.30pm–10.30pm.
Friday: 5.30pm–11.30pm.
Saturday: noon–2.30pm and 5.30pm–11.30pm.
Sunday: noon–2.30pm and 5.30pm–10.30pm.