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.

How to cook… Chicken Cafrael

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

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.

What you need
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 6 Tablespoons oil

Marinade
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 15 pepper corns
• 3 cloves
• 6cm stick of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 4 green chillies, roughly chopped
• small handful of fresh coriander (make sure you include plenty of the stalks), roughly chopped
• 8 mint leaves (or 1 teaspoon mint sauce)
• 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar
• Water as needed

How you make it
1. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
2. Blend all the Marinade ingredients to a thick paste, using a bit of water if needed.
3. Shake the excess lemon juice off the chicken pieces and coat them in the Marinade, maing sure all the pieces are well coated. Leave for at least 30 minutes but preferably for 6 hours.
4. Heat the oil to a medium in a pan, add the chicken pieces and fry until all the pieces are cooked through (about 10 minutes).
5. Remove with a slotted spoon so the excess oil is removed and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
The chicken can also be deep-fried.

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

Check out 5 Best Goan Curries

What do you call a chicken crossing the road?… Poultry in motion.

Curry Guide… Goan Cuisine

Curry Guide

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The food in Goa is quite distinctive from the rest of the India, despite it being one of the smallest states in the country and home to fewer than 1.5 million people. Its location along the western coast of the country, by the Arabian Sea, means seafood features prominently in its cuisine and because its population is largely Christian (Catholic), thanks to just over 450 years of Portuguese occupation, beef and pork are also common, unlike in the rest of India. Chillies are also important in Goan cuisine having been introduced to to the country by the Portuguese in 1498. Curries without chillies, who’d have thought? The Indians used peppers for heat before that.

The most famous Goan dish is Vindaloo, which is a favourite of all heat lovers. Vin means vinegar, thanks to the southern Europeans and the aloo bit is for the amount of garlic in it (the aloo bit is commonly confused as meaning potato because “aloo” means “potato” in Hindi and chunks of the good old spud is in the dish. The traditional dish, cooked with loads of vinegar and pork, is nothing like the curry house dish you’ll get in Britain, although it does share the heat levels.

Other well-known Goan dishes are Xacuti, a dish of chicken or prawns with chilli, white poppy seeds and coconut, and Cafrael, a Portuguese-Indian combination dish which uses a lot of coriander and lime juice and has its roots in Africa.

Photo: Zerohund Wikipedia.