How to cook… Prawn Balchão

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

For such a small state Goa has a rich and varied cuisine. Drawing on influences from Portuguese (who ruled Goa for 450 years until 1961) and Indian cooking and naturally using the the abundant fish and shellfish, Goa has produced some superb dishes. Prawn Balchão is one of them. The fiery prawn dish, considered a pickle by many, includes dried chillies, peppercorns and tamarind to create a hot but tart flavour.

What you need
• 600g prawns, shelled and deveined
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• knob of butter
• 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 2 Tablespoons vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 1.5 onions, finely chopped
• 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
• 1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup
• Salt to taste
• 15 curry leaves

Spice Mix
• 2 peppercorns
• 12 dried, red chillies
• 2 cloves
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

How you make it
1. Mix the turmeric and salt with prawns and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Dry roast the Spice Mix in a pan until they release their aromas (about 3 minutes).
3. Add together the roasted Spice Mix, garlic paste, ginger paste, vinegar and tamarind and blend to a paste.
4. Heat the oil in a pan to a medium heat and fry the prawns until they turn pink (about 3 minutes). Set aside.
5. Heat the oil to a medium heat and fry the onions until soft (about 5 minutes)
6. Add the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes, mashing the mixture as it cooks. Add a little water as necessary to start creating a thickish sauce.
7. Add the tomato ketchup, Spice Mix paste and curry leaves, mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
8. Add the prawns and stir fry until they are all cooked through (about 3–5 minutes).

CHEF’S TIP
You can use any vinegar in this dish but for an authentic taste use coconut vinegar which gives added sharpness.

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

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

Vinegar is always struggling through life… Whatever he does he ends up in a pickle.

How to cook… Murgh Nawabi

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

This is a dish from the predominantly Muslim city of Lucknow in North India and dates back hundreds of years to the era of the Nawab-Wazirs (who governed what was known as the state of Awadh at the time). The Nawabs were the royal leaders that followed the great Mughlai era and they were renowned for their great excess. This rich dish of yoghurt, cream, nuts and sultanas is that certainly one that fits the bill.

What you need
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• 1.5 onions, pureed
• 1 Tablespoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 150ml cream
• 1 Tablespoon sultanas
• 1 Tablespoon sliced almonds
• small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish)
• 1 Tablespoon sugar (optional, if you like it sweeter)
• salt to taste (remember there is salt in the marinade)

Marinade
• 100g yoghurt
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon salt

How you make it
1. Rub the chicken with the lemon juice and leave for 10 minutes.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, add the chicken, mix well and leave for 1 hour.
3. Heat the oil in a pan to a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add the curry powder and garam masala and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add the chicken and marinade and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Add the cream, sultanas and almonds, mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the coriander stems, (optional) sugar and salt if needed, mix well and continue cooking until all the chicken pieces are fully cooked.
8. Sprinkle the coriander leaves on top and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
This dish is also delicious with paneer instead of chicken.

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

Why does the cream have so many friends? … Because it’s so cool.

Murgh Nawabi, rich in cream, nuts and sultanas.

How to cook… Smoker Tandoori Chicken

Recipes

Serves 4 as a starter

Classic Tandoori Chicken is great when cooked in a smoker. It’s a fairly long process and the final taste is way smokier than you’d get in a grill or a tandoor but it’s well worth it for tandoori lovers. Marinate the delicious spices in the Tandoori Marinade and then smoke away…

What you need
• 4–6 deboned chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of excess fat
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1 recipe of Tandoori/Tikka Marinade

How you make it
1. Make 2–3 small cuts about 3mm deep into the flesh of each thigh. This helps the chicken absorb the the marinade and gives the cooked thighs a nice look too.
2. Squeeze the lemon over the thighs, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
3. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the thighs in the Tandoori Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours.
4. Heat your smoker to 150 C. If using a manual smoker make sure the flames from your fire have died down and the wood/coals are just producing smoke.
5. Place the thighs in the smoker, keeping them at the farthest end from the heat source, and cook for 90 minutes, turning once.

CHEF’S TIP
When making your Tandoori Marinade you can omit the water to keep the marinade thicker. This helps the thighs retain their moisture.

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

Why should you never smoke pickles? … Because they’ll make you dill.

How to cook… Tandoori Chicken

Recipes

Serves 4 as a starter

It’s hard to resist this classic Indian dish. Marinated in the delicious spices of the Tandoori Marinade and then cooked in a tandoor, Tandoori Chicken makes a great starter with salads and pickles. You can create this classic dish at home using your oven – even down to the iconic charred edges.

What you need…
• 4 chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of excess fat
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1 recipe of Tandoori Marinade

How to make it
1. Make 2–3 small cuts about 3mm deep into the flesh of each thigh. This helps the chicken absorb the the marinade and gives the cooked thighs a nice look too.
2. Squeeze the lemon over the thighs, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
3. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the thighs in the Tandoori Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours.
4. Preheat your oven to 170 C. Place the thighs on a baking tray, ensuring all the pieces are kept well apart and cook for 25 minutes.
5. Turn the thighs over and turn the heat up to 240 C. This will blacken the edges of the thighs, creating the same effect achieved by the tandoor.
6. Serve with salad and pickles.

CHEF’S TIP
You can mimic the smokey taste of the tandoor by using a small amount of smoked paprika in the Tandoori Marinade.
Tandoori Chicken, just add salad and pickles.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken TikkaButter ChickenChicken Rogan

Why did the duck cross the road? … The chicken was on holiday.

Curry Guide… Tandoori Chicken

Curry Guide

Tandoori Chicken is a now popular dish across the world but it has its roots in the region that today comprises Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwest India. The chicken is marinated in yoghurt and a mix of tandoori spices, then cooked in a tandoor oven, with the heat from the wood or charcoal giving the dish its trademark smokiness. The edges of the chicken are often slightly charred and the meat is scored (this was the allow the marinade to penetrate deeper).

Tandoori Chicken Gurkha's InnThe red colour of the meat comes from the cayenne pepper, red chilli powder and turmeric in the spice mix, although some chefs add food colouring. In recent years there has been a backlash against the use of this red colouring and the days of Day-Glo looking chicken are slowly becoming a thing of the past.

Tandoori Chicken is a popular starter with chutneys and makes a great snack with a Butter Nan.It also serves the base for a number of curries such as Butter Chicken. The chicken is often served to the table sizzling and for that reason it is sometimes called a Sizzler.


The Spice Card offers savings on curries, including on takeaways at many venues. You can get your Spice Card here.

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