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… 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… 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.

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… 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’.

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.

How to cook… Fish Tikka

Recipes

Serves 4 as a starter

Fish Tikka is often overlooked for some of the more popular Tandoori recipes yet fish marinates really well and is quick and easy to cook. Fish makes a top Indian starter but also makes an excellent main dish if combined with Bombay Aloo and Spiced Indian Mixed Salad.

What you need…
• 4 white fish fillets, about 120-150g each
• 0.5 recipe of Tikka Marinade

How to make it
1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and coat the pieces in the Tikka Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours.
2. Preheat your oven to 170 C. Place the pieces on a greased baking tray, ensuring all the pieces are kept well apart and cook, turning once, until the fish flakes with a fork and the marinade is crispy (about 20 minutes). Check one of the largest pieces to ensure it’s cooked. If not return to the oven.

CHEF’S TIP
To achieve those blackened edges the Indian restaurants get by cooking in the tandoor you can finish the fish off for a couple of minutes under a very hot grill. Just remove the fish from the oven a couple of minutes earlier.

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

Try this tandoori dish. It’s sure to go swimmingly.

How to cook… Garlic and Chilli Mushrooms

Recipes

Serves 4 as a side 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 butter
• 1 teaspoon oil
• 6 garlic cloves, sliced
• 3 green chillies (2 chopped and once sliced lengthways for garnish)
• 600g mushrooms, washed and sliced
• 50g Base Curry Sauce (more if you like more sauce)
• Small handful coriander, chopped
• Salt, to taste

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric



How to make it
1. Heat the butter to a low-medium heat. While it is heating mix the Spice Mix with enough water to form a sloppy paste.
2. Fry the mushrooms until they soften (about 4–5 minutes). Set aside.
3. Drain all the remaining butter from the mushrooms into the pan and add the oil. Heat to a medium heat and fry the garlic for 1 minute.
4. Add the chillies and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the Spice Mix and chilli, and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce and coriander, and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the mushrooms and salt and heat through until the mushrooms are fully cooked and soft.

CHEF’S TIP
Always use freash chillies and garlic for this dish.



Garlic Chilli Mushrooms is a super spicy side dish.

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

The perfect dish for warding off vampires!

How to cook… Chicken Chettinad

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Chicken Chettinad tis the trademark dish from the South Indian city of Chettinad, whole spices and coconut are dry-fried and ground, then added to a sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger to create a classic Tamil Nadu dish, with chillies providing the kick.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons sesame oil (you can use vegetable oil but will lose some of the flavour)
• 10 curry leaves
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 400g Base Curry sauce
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric
• 0.5 teaspoon coriander powder
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• A few coriander leaves for garnish

Spice Mix
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 4cm piece cinnamon stick
• 3 cloves
• 3 cardamons
• 6 Tablespoons desiccated coconut



How to make it
1. Dry fry the spices from the Spice Mix on a medium heat in a pan for 15 seconds then add the coconut until it browns (about 2 minutes). Keep stirring and be careful not to burn the Spice Mix. Grind the mixture and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in the same pan to a medium heat and fry the curry leaves for 15 seconds.
3. Add the garlic paste and fry for 1 minute.
4. Add the Base Curry Sauce and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add the Spice Mix, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder and salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
6. Add the chicken pieces and fry until all the pieces are cooked (about 10 minutes)
7. Serves, garnished with the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
If using an electric grinder it’s best to let your dry-fry mix cool down before grinding.



Chicken Chettinad is a popular dish from the heart of Tamil Nadu.

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

If you love South Indian dishes you should Chett this recipe out.

How to cook… Fish Curry (Medium)

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

A delicious dish that is often overlooked by many diners in Indian restaurants, a classic Fish Curry is a simple dish to make. Fry up some firm, white fish, take a good serving of your Base Curry Sauce, add a bit of garlic and a sprinkle of spice for a great medium-strength curry. Garnish with fresh coriander.

What you need…
• 800g of any firm, white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• Small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish)
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• Salt to taste

Marinade
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• pinch black pepper

Spice Mix
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon vinegar


How to make it
1. Dry all the pieces of fish. Mix all the Marinade ingredients and coat all the pieces of fish. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of 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 fish and fry until all the pieces are sealed (about 4 minutes). Set aside.
4. Add the rest of the ghee and when hot add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the Spice Mix paste and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce and the tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the garam masala, salt and coriander stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
8. Add the fish pieces until all the pieces are cooked.
9. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
Restaurants traditionally use tilapia fish in Fish Curry but monkfish or hake is more readily available and makes an excellent alternative.
Pork Vindaloo is the classic Goan dish for heat lovers.

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

Get stuck into this delicious dish. It’s certainly better than a pork in the eye with a sharp stick.

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 Kolhapuri

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Chicken Kolhapuri is a rich, hot dish is from the city of Kolhapur in Maharashtra but is popular all over India, especially in the south west. The chicken is marinated, then a masala mix created. These are then added to sauce of onions and tomatoes to create this extremely tasty curry.

What you need…
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 teaspoons chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric
• 4 green chillies (2 chopped and two sliced for garnish)
• A few coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

Marinade
• 6 Tablespoons yoghurt
• 2 teaspoons garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1.5 teaspoons chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

Masala
• 15 curry leaves
• 4 peppercorns
• 2 cloves
• 2 cardamons, cracked
• 2 star anise
• 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
• 1 teaspoon crushed red chillies
• 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 2 Tablespoons desiccated

How to make it
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients and add the chicken. Make sure all the pieces are coated and set aside for 2 hours.
2. Dry fry all the masala ingredients in a pan until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind them into a powder and set aside.
3. Heat the oil to a medium heat, add the Base Curry Sauce and cook through for 5 minutes.
4. Add the chilli powder, the 2 chopped green chillies, tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add the masala, mix well and cook for 5 minutes, adding a little water as needed.
6. Add the chicken and marinade, stir well, cover and cook until all the chicken is cooked through (about 10–15 minutes).
7. Garnish with the sliced chillies and/or (optional) coriander leaves and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
If the heat is too much for you then skip adding the chilli powder at stage 4.

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

Heat lovers will be flying high with this super spicy chicken dish.

How to cook… Pork Vindaloo

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

As the only state in India that is largely Catholic there are no taboos surrounding the use of pork in Goa. The dish, 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.

What you need…
• 800g pork (a mix of cheek and leg is ideal), cut into largish bite-sized chunks
• 1 Tablespoon ghee
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 2 red onions, finely chopped
• 240ml pork or chicken stock
• 1 Tablespoon coriander leaves
• Salt to taste

Marinade
• 100ml palm vinegar
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 8 black peppercorns, crushed

Spice paste
• 4 large chillies, roughly chopped
• 3 Tablespoons palm vinegar
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 4 cloves, ground (or 1 teaspoon clove powder)
• Seeds from 4 cardamon pods
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste


How to make it
1. Mix all the Marinade ingredients together, add the pork and leave for 2 to 4 hours.
2. Mix all the ingredients from the Spice Paste to form a thick paste and set aside.
3. Heat the ghee and oil in a pan to a medium heat, add the pork with the marinade and fry until all the pieces are browned (about 5–7 minutes). Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
4. Add the onions to pan and fry until they soften and start to brown (about 5 minutes).
5. Add the pork and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add the Spice paste and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add the stock, reduce the heat and cook until the meat is cooked through and tender (at least 45 minutes but up to 90 minutes). Stir occasionally and add water as necessary to stop it sticking.
8. Add salt to taste and sprinkle the coriander leaves on top before serving.
Recipe courtesy @thecurriedlondoner (Instagram)

CHEF’S TIP
If you really want to turn up the heat add more chillies to the Spice Paste.



Pork Vindaloo is the classic Goan dish for heat lovers.

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

Get stuck into this delicious dish. It’s certainly better than a pork in the eye with a sharp stick.