How to cook… Rajma Curry

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

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.

What you need…
• 750g red kidney beans
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600g 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
• 2 Tablespoons cream

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

How to make it
1. Soak the kidney beans in water overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans. Cover with fresh water and boil for until the bean are well cooked and completely soft (about 45–60 minutes). Drain and set aside. Alternatively you can use canned beans. Drain them and rinse them well.2.Heat the ghee to a high heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
3. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
4. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat initially to stop the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
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.
Add the kidney beans, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add the garam masala, salt and coriander stems and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked.
8. Serve, garnished with the cream and the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
Spice up the curry with a couple of chopped red chillies. Add them just before stage 5.

If you like this you should try our
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“What are you cooking? Don’t tell me we having another hot curry tonight?” … “Stop naggaing me!”

How to cook… Balti Tandoori Keema

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Balti dishes were elevated to cult status thanks to Birmingham of all places, where inexpensive Balti restaurants can be found everywhere, after first emerging in the 1970s. It’s a style of cooking from Kashmiri, coming from a small area in Pakistan called Baltistan. Cooked in a Balti (sometimes called a karahi) and produces fresh, aromatic and mostly dryish dishes. This Balti Tandoori Keema combines Balti Masala and Tandoori Masala and is added to any mince of your choice.

What you need…
• 3 Tablespoon tandoori powder
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 600g mince
• 3 garlic cloves, sliced
• 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
• 0.3 red pepper, chopped
• 0.3 yellow pepper, chopped
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 2 teaspoon garam masala
• Small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish)
• 2 tablespoons yoghurt
• Salt to taste

Balti Masala
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 3 cardamon
• 2 cloves
• 8 curry leaves
• 3 dried red chillies
• 0.5 teaspoon sea salt


How to make it
1. Dry fry the ingredients of the Balti Masala in a pan until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind them to a powder. Add the tandoori masala, mix together and add some water to form a paste. Set aside.
2. Add the fenugreek seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
3. Add the mince and fry for 10 minutes, making sure all lumps are beaten out and the meat is fully sealed.
4. Add the Balti and Tandoori paste your made in step 1, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Add the peppers and onion and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add the garam masala, the coriander, the yoghurt and salt and cook for another 5 minutes, making sure everything is cooked through with the peppers and onions soft but not mushy.
8. Add the coriander leaves to garnish and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
If you really like creamy keema curry simply add more yoghurt.

If you like this you should try our
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“What are you cooking? Don’t tell me we having another hot curry tonight?” … “Stop naggaing me!”

How to cook… Naga Chicken

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

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.

What you need…
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 2 tablespoons Naga chilli pickle
• Salt to taste
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 0.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600g 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

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


How to make it
1. Rub the chicken with 1 Tablespoon of Naga chilli pickle and a pinch of salt and set aside for 15 minutes.
2.
Heat the ghee to a high heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
3. Add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
4. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat initially to stop the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
5. Add the Spice Mix paste and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce, tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the chicken and the rest of the Naga chilli pickle, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
8. Add the garam masala, salt and coriander stems and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked.
9. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
If you are worried this will be a bit hot taste the sauce once the add the chicken has been added and start adding the rest of the Naga chilli pickle bit by bit until you get the heat you prefer.

If you like this you should try our
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“What are you cooking? Don’t tell me we having another hot curry tonight?” … “Stop naggaing me!”

How to cook… Karahi Paneer

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Named after the pot in which it is cooked Karahi Paneer is also known as Kadhai Paneer. The wide, deep circular pot is popular for cooking all over the sub-continent but especially North India and Pakistan. A karahi masala is made by dry roasting and grinding whole, aromatic spices then adding it to a tomato and onion gravy with red peppers and cream.

What you need…
• 500g paneer, cut into chunks
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 0.5 teaspoon ginger paste
• 500g Base Curry Sauce
• 0.5 red pepper, cut into chunks
• 0.5 teaspoon garam masala
• 3 Tablespoons cream
• 2 Tablespoons chopped coriander (to be added and mixed into the curry, but keep a couple for the garnish)
• salt to taste

Masala
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 0.5 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 0.5 fenugreek seeds
• 4 red, dried chillies
• 2 cardomons
• 2 cloves

How to make it
1. Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients for the masala until they release an aroma (about 2 minutes). Grind the ingredients and set aside.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon ghee in pan to a low-medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry until they brown. This should take about 3–4 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan to a medium heat, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the Base Curry Sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add the masala, mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Add the pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
7. Add the garam masala, mix well, then add the cream, coriander and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
8. Garnish with a few coriander leaves and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
For the authentic experience cook and serve your curry in the same karahi.

If you like this you should try our
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What is paneer’s favourite song? … I Did It My Way.

How to cook… Kathi Roll

Recipes

Serves 4 as a snack

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

What you need…
For the warm filling
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 0.5 mustard seeds
• 0.5 cumin seeds
• 1 onion sliced
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 chilli powder
• 0.5 garam masala powder
• 400g chicken breast or thigh cut into small, 2cm chunks
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon coriander chopped (the stems are the tastiest)
• 4 paratha

For the cold filling
• 0.5 onion sliced
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• few coriander leaves
• 4 Tablespoons Coriander Chutney

How to make it
1. Heat the oil to a medium-high heat and fry the cumin seeds and mustard seeds for 30 seconds.
2. Add the onion and fry until it starts to brown (about 5 minutes).
3. Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add in the turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala, mix well and cook for 3 minutes. Avoid adding water if possible as you want the mix to be dry.
5. Add the chicken, salt and coriander, and stir fry until all the pieces are cooked through.
6. Open up the parathas and spread in the hot mixture in a line just off centre. You need less than you think – don’t overload it or you won’t be able to wrap it up.
7. Add the cold filling, making sure the Coriander Chutney is spread evenly, and roll the paratha to create a wrap.

CHEF’S TIP
If there is too much moisture in the pan after cooking the filling then drain this off before filling the parathas or the juices will soak in and they will fall apart.

If you like this you should try our
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Why is this street snack the smartest of all? … Because they are always rapping.

How to cook… Pakistani Fish Curry

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Pakistani Fish Curry, also called Sindhi Fish Curry, is made by marinating pieces of white fish in yoghurt with garlic and spices. Whole spices are then fried, then onion, tomato and chillies added before the fish pieces are cooked. The dish is a popular winter dish and is traditionally cooked using pomfret, but you can use any firm, white fish.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 700g firm white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1.5 medium onions, finely chopped
• 4 chillies, chopped
• coriander leaves, for garnish

For the marinade
• 100g yoghurt
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 teaspoon coriander powder
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon salt

How to make it
1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and mix together. Add the fish pieces and leave for 1 hour.
2. Heat the oil to a high heat and fry the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeks for 15 seconds. The seeds should sizzle immediately (you can test the oil is hot enough by trying a cumin seeds).
3. Turn down the heat, add the onion and cook until it has softened (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the chillies and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add the fish with all the marinade and cook gently until the pieces are all cooked through. Be careful when stirring so you do not break up the fish pieces.
6. Sprinkle a few coriander leaves on top of the dish and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
You can also cook this using whole fish fillets but you need a large flat pan and have to cook very gently to keep the fillets intact.

If you like this you should try our
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Two fish are in a tank going round and round. “Hey,” says one fish. “Can’t you drive this straight?”

How to cook… Lagan Ka Murgh

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Lagan Ka Murgh is a Hyderabadi dish and drawing on it’s royal history is rich in ingredients and flavour. Pieces of chicken are marinated in yoghurt, garlic, ginger and spices and then added to pastes of onion and toasted almonds.

What you need…
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• water as required
• 50g sliced almonds, toasted
• 4 Tablespoons ghee
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon tomato purée

Marinade
• 150g plain yoghurt
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 green chilli, finely chopped
• 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 coriander powder
• 0.5 chilli powder

How to make it
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients, add the chicken and leave for 4 hours.
2. Heat the ghee in a pan to a medium heat and cook the onions until they brown. Remove and blend to a paste, using water as required.
3. Add the toasted almonds to the blender to create a smooth onion and almond paste. Set aside.
4. Reheat the remaining ghee in the pan the onions were cooked in. Add the bay leaves and fry for 15 seconds.
5. Add the chicken and all the marinade to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Add the fried onion and almond paste, the tomato paste and cook with a sealed lid until the chicken is fully cooked (about 10–12 minutes).
7. Leave the dish to rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

CHEF’S TIP
Unfortunately there is no nut-free version of this dish; it just isn’t the same dish without the nutty flavour.
Lagan Ka Murgh, plenty of yoghurt and plenty of nuts.

If you like this you should try our
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Why is this dish healthy? … Because it’s a fitness nut.

How to cook… Chilli Cabbage and Potato Fry

Recipes

Serves 4 as a side dish

This Chilli Cabbage and Potato Fry is a simple dish, using just chilli flakes to give it a kick. Cabbage is often overlooked but it makes a great accompaniment to spicy dishes. This is a Mauritian version of a popular Gujerati dish.

What you need…
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1.5 chilli flakes
• 2 medium-size potato cut into small 1cm chunks
• half a cabbage, shredded
• 100ml water (about half a cup)
• 1 tomato, finely chopped
• salt, to taste

How to make it
1. Heat the oil to a medium heat and fry the onion for 4 minutes.
2. Add half the chilli flakes and potato and stir fry until the potato chunks are starting to brown (about 3 minutes).
3. Add the cabbage and the water, cover the pan, and cook until the cabbage is soft (about 10 minutes).
4. Add the tomato and salt, mix well, and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Serve, with the rest of the chilli flakes sprinkled on the top.

CHEF’S TIP
This is a simple dish. Don’t be tempted to add extras to spice it up; let the simplicity do it’s stuff.

Chilli Cabbage and Potato Fry, for something completely different.

If you like this you should try our
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How do you know when a cabbage is wanted by the police? … Because it has a price on its head.

How to cook… Fish Vindaye

Recipes

Serves 4 as a snack

Fish Vindaye is a popular spicy fish pickle from Mauritius. Fresh tuna is shallow fried, then cut up and added to mixture of garlic, onion, chillies and Vindaye spices, then left to cool and pickle. This is delicious served as a snack with chunks of French baguette.

What you need…
• 8 Tablespoons oil
• 250g fresh tuna
• 0.5 teaspoon cracked pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 6–10 chillies, de-stemmed and sliced longways
• 0.5 onion, thickly sliced
• 0.5 Tablespoon vinegar
• salt, to taste

Spice Mix
• 0.5 teaspoon mustard powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 chilli powder
• 0.5 cumin powder
*or 2 teaspoons Vindaye mix powder

How to make it
1. Sprinkle the pepper over the tuna.
2. Heat 5 Tablespoons oil to a medium heat and shallow fry the tuna pieces whole until they are sealed and brown all over (about 5 minutes). Set the tuna aside.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and once it is safe to do so wipe the pan to get rid of the fish residue.
4. Heat the rest of the oil to a low heat then remove the pan from the heat and add the Spice Mix. Stir for 15 seconds (any longer and it’ll get bitter) then add the garlic, chillies and onion, return to a medium heat and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
6. While the mixture is cooling, cut the tuna into 2cm-square chunks
7. Add the mixture, tuna, vinegar and salt, mix together and add to a jar or bowl.
8. Put into the fridge and leave overnight, or up to two weeks, before eating.

CHEF’S TIP
Don’t be tempted to hold back on the chillies. This is supposed to be spicy
Fish Vindaye, delicious tuna pickle from Mauritius.

If you like this you should try our
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Why do musicians refuse to play a fishy instrument? … Because it will be out of tuna.