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.

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.

Charlton (Kasturi)

1. Reviews (London)

LalMaas_2880x2304 Low Res

10 The Village, Charlton, SE7 8UD

Tel: 020 8319 3439 or 020 8319 3436
E-mail: info@ kasturi-restaurant.com
www: kasturi-restaurant.com
Sunday–Saturday 5.30pm to 11.30pm
Monday closed

Where is it? In Charlton Village near the historic Charlton House.

How do I get there?
Buses: 53, 54, 422, 380 and 466 all stop nearby.
Train: Charlton train station is a stiff 10-minutes walk up/down the hill of Charlton Church Lane.
Parking: The smallish Village car park is in Torrance Close, a couple of hundred metres away.

What’s their story? Kasturi opened in the City of London in 2002 and was part of the Kohinoor Group os restaurants. It relocated to Charlton a couple of years ago and was named “Best Newcomer” in the Greenwich Curry Club’s Awards 2017.

What’s the menu like? You’ll find all the curry favourites but Kasturi specialises in Pakthoon cuisine from the North-West Frontier state of India. Think influences of North India, Afghanistan and Pakistan around the famous Khyber Pass area so hearty meats, breads and dairy products cooked in style.

Oh, please tell me more…
Popadoms: 60p each and 60p per person for chutneys.
Starters: Lamb Adraki Chops (£5.95), Onion Bhaji (3.50)
Mains: Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani (£10.95), Chicken Tikka, Shahi Gosht (£9.95), Butter Chicken (£8.95), Chilli Pudina Murgh, Keema Mator, Chicken Korma (£7.95)
Sides: Bombay Aloo, Saag Aloo, Mushroom Bhaji (£3.95)
Rice: Pilau Rice (£2.95), Mushroom Pilau (£3.95)
Bread: Peshwari Nan, Keema Nan (£3)
* You will enjoy a 20% off these prices with your Spice Card

Kasturi PDF Menu

Tell me something about one of the dishes… Shahi (meaning Royal) and Gosht (meat) would traditionally be cooked with mutton (sometimes on the bone) but chunks of boneless lamb are now commonly used. The lamb is cooked in a rich, thick gravy and is delicious when eaten with a buttery nan bread. A dish like this was made popular by Bhupinder Singh, who was the Maharaja of Patiala at the turn of the 20th century.

What about drinks? The rather snazzy bar in the middle of the restaurant has a good selection of wines and spirits as well as the popular Cobra in the 660ml bottles

What they say… “Kasturi will accommodate the popular palette with its own Kasturian interpretations as well as providing dishes for the culinary purist.” – Bashir Ahmed, Director and Manager.

What we say… “This restaurant has brought a touch of the class to South East London that is usually only found in the top Indian restaurants in the centre of the capital. We love the food in this stylish restaurant.” – Greenwich Curry Club

What can I enjoy at Kasturi with my Spice Card?
YES 20% Discount • Sunday to Thursday • Eat-in, Delivery & Collection • 12 diners per Spice Card • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day
NO Friday and Saturday, 20 Dec to New Year’s Day
Minimum for delivery: £25 (after discount)

Curry Night at Pelton Arms

Curry News

Join us for the Greenwich Curry Club’s fortnightly pop-up Curry Night at the Pelton Arms, Pelton Road, Greenwich, SE10 9PQ from 6pm on Monday 1st October…

Menu 1 Oct Menu

Bengal Lounge (Wrecclesham, Surrey)

2. Reviews (Other UK)

Bengal Lounge, Wrecclesham, Surrey

What a great find this restaurant is. Unless you live in this village or nearby, of course, in which case you’ll know all about it.

Housed in a former pub, and retaining all the interior nooks and crannies and split levels that make (or made in this case) country pubs so appealing, the Bengal Lounge is a gem with some great food. Smart and modern, and, so the owner told me, operating for umpteen years, this is clearly a popular place among locals. It’s got a bit of that local feel to it as if everyone knows each other (as perhaps they did when it was a pub) so expect a few of those “who are they?” looks.

You can also enjoy a huge car park and one of those huge menus too (something for everyone). I must say I’m usually a little suspicious of those (huge menus not huge car parks) with the obvious thought being that can a place really cook all those dishes really well? But on that front I was wrong (at least with the dishes we tried but I’ll report back when I’ve worked through the rest of the 158 items listed on the menu).

The Chicken Dhansak (£6.95) was declared as good as the best from the Dhansak lovers, the Lamb Shashlick (£8.50) was succulent and fresh, as this kebab should be, and the Mishti Kodhu Bhaji  (sweet butternut, £3.50) a delight of a side dish. Based on the experience of the latter two dishes mentioned the Lamb Mishti Khodu (£9.95) is a must try next time.

The service was friendly, if a bit random at time (loads of waiters, so you never know who is supposed to be doing what). But, hey, we’re not locals yet so I’m sure we’ll work this little thing out.

Bengal Lounge, 1 The Street, Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4PP. Tel: 01252 713222. Open: daily noon–2pm and 5.30pm–11pm (10.30pm Sundays).

Scores on the Tandoors
Food 8.5
Service 7
Decor 8.5
Vibe (early Saturday night) 7
Value 8

Curry tip 9

Curry News

Put a piece of asafoetida in the same container as your chilli powder to keep it fresh for longer.

Curry tip 8

Curry News

You can’t enjoy that curry with a toothache now, can you? Chew on a clove to alleviate the pain. Right, now get to the dentist to sort it out properly…