OK, true Indian cookery affionados will probably cringe at this, but if you want a tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes and fewer than 100 ingredients you are in the right place. I’m giving the quantities here for one person, you can scale up x2, x3 and x4 but as this is a microwave dish I’m not guaranteeing it will work for larger quantities because I haven’t tested it for more servings. You can adapt it for the Instant Pot then you can go larger.
Here goes, per person. You can chop and change the choice of vegetables. It can be one or two types, or a gathering of anything you have to hand.
- 70gm basmati rice
- 140ml vegetable stock
- 0.5tbs curry paste (any will do)
- 120gm vegetables – sliced mushroom, chopped beans, peas, chopped pepper, chopped carrot, cauliflower florets, diced potato, diced sweet potato or any combo that takes your fancy. You can use chopped onion but best to saute these first.
- 25g dried fruit such as sultanta, raisin, chopped dried apricot
Put the whole lot in a microwaveable container such as a pyrex bowl, and cover. Microwave on full power for 12 minutes. If you are scaling up, you may need to cook for slightly longer but only a minute or two. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up and add:
- 25g shopped cashews or flaked almonds
- 0.5tbs chopped fresh corianer if you have it
Serve with a blob of yoghurt on top and chutney on the side. If you have a few long-life naan breads in the cupboard, heat one in the toaster. If you have grabbed a pack of uncooked popadums you could microwave a couple of those instead. Grab a bottle of lager and away you go.
Thank you Aedy for bringing this one to Arford Books.
- 1kg chicken, jointed or pieces preferably bone-in
- 2.5tsp Sri Lancan roasted curry powder
- 1tsp cayenne pepper or red chilli powder
- 0.5tsp turmeric
- 2tsp salt
- 1tbs white wine venegar
Marinate for 30 minutes
Saute until translucent. Add
- 1tbs minced garlic
- 1tbs minced ginger
Saute for another two minutes. Add your marinated chicken plus
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 green chillies sliced
Stir and fry for two minutes. Add
- 1 large roma/beef tomato chopped
Let it cook down. Add
- 80ml tomato passata/sauce/puree OR 1tbs tomato paste with 2 tbs water
- 250ml water
Let it come to the boil then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve with rice, naan or roti.
This is like a giant samosa. A bit fusion I guess, but very good. To make a pie for four people:
Boil until tender, about 15 minutes
Chop the onion and soften in a pan with a dash of oil. Add
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 0.5tbs black mustard seeds
- 0.5tbs cumin seed
- 1tbs grated ginger root
- 2 tbs curry paste (Korma, Masala)
Heat a bit longer to cook the spices. Add
- 2 large handfuls spinach or chard leaves, washed and still wet.
Cover the pan and wilt the leaves. Add the cooked potatoes plus
- 3 chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Mix and mush the potatoes to break them up but not too much. This is your pie mix.
Now find a springform or loose bottom cake or flan tin about 25cm diameter.
- 6 sheets filo pastry (usually vegan – check)
- Melted butter (or vegan equivalent)
Brush the sheets with butter and also the inside and base of the tin. Lay 3-4 sheets across the bottom of the tin and up the sides, leaving plenty loose. Fill the pie with your pie mix. Fold the pastry sides over the top. Add the remaining sheets, scrunch them a bit and tuck around the sides so you have a wavy, untidy top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 35 minutes. Serve with a side of Josh’s Dhal and some spicy chutney.
This is a very liquid stew really, so get ready with bowls and spoons! This is for four people, easily halved. There might seem a lot of ingredients but it is a quick and easy dish once everything is prepared.
- 1 onion, halved then sliced
- 1 tbs oil
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently ccok the onion until soft and golden
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 2 red chillis, deseeded and sliced
- 3cm of ginger, grated
Add to the pan and cook two minutes
- 400ml can coconut milk
- 750ml chicken or fish stock
Add to the pan and bring to a very gently simmer. Don’t let it boil or it will go curdly.
- 350g squash or pumpkin, cubed
- 150g new potatoes, halved or quartered
Add to the liquid and simmer until cooked 915-20 minutes). Watch it doesn’t boil away, you may ned to partially cover with a lid. If you want to thicken the stew you can mack some of the squack/pumpkin.
- 400g prawns, raw preferably or or cooked
- 300g baby spinach
Add to the pan and cook until the prawns are pink and the spinach wilted (about three minutes)
- Juice of 1 lime
- .5tbs golden caster sugar
- 1tbs fish sauce
Add to your stew and stir. If it is not salty enough add more fish sauce.
- Coriander leaves, chopped
- red chilli, sliced
Serve into bowls and top with the coriander and chilli. You could serve with more lime wedges. This is fairly substantial already but you could serve with jasmine or basmati rice to help soak up the juices.
Alternatives (you will need to adjust cooking times):
Fish balls, salmon pieces, shellfish mix instead of prawn.
Green beans, peas, sugar snap peas, baby corn instead of spinach
- 200g dried chickpeas (or 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed) – dried chickpeas have a better taste and texture than tinned
If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, covered, in a pan of lukewarm water. The next morning, drain the water and cover with fresh water. Add ½ tsp salt and boil until soft (about 1½-2 hours). Drain and set aside.
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 medium green chilli, finely chopped
Put the garlic, ginger and chilli in a small bowl and mix together into a coarse paste.
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 400g tin chopped tomato
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 10-15 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Add the cumin seeds and the ginger, garlic and chilli paste, and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes, adding salt to taste.
- 1 level tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
Add the turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, ground coriander and ground cumin and stir well, then add the chickpeas and cook for 15 minutes.
- Handful fresh coriander, chopped
- Natural yogurt and lemon wedges to serve (vegan yoghurt for vegans)
Stir in the chopped coriander and serve with a dollop of yogurt and lemon wedges to squeeze over.
This takes a lot of time but not much work. First make a curry paste and marinate your lamb, half an hour minimum or up to two days in the fridge.
- 1 lamb shoulder or two halves
- 1.5tbs mustard seeds
- 4tbs coriander seeds
- 2tbs cumin seeds
- 2 tsp cardamom seeds from inside the husks
Dry fry until they give off a scent. Grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Add
- 5 red chillies
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 x 5cm pieces of ginger
- 1-2tbs chilli powder
- 1stp turmeric
- 3tbs tomato puree
- 1tbs vinegar
- 60ml oil
Whizz to a paste. Smear all over the lamb and set aside to marinate (in a plastic bag works well)
When you are ready to start cooking, scrape all the paste off the lamb and reserve. Put the oven on 220C and sear the lamb for 20 minutes. Meanwhile start on the sauce.
Sweat the onions very gently in a pan for 10 minutes. Add the reserved curry paste and cook another 5 minutes. Add
- Can of chopped tomatoes
- 400ml lamb or chicken stock
- 1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
You can either cook in a very low oven or in the Instant Pot/Slow cooker. For the oven method, put the lamb and sauce in a pot with a tightly fitting lid and cook 170C for 3.5 hours. Watch it doesn’t dry out. A safer option is put it all in the Instant Pot and put on Slow Cook High Heat for 5 hours. You will probably need to reduce the sauce at the end if you have used the Instant Pot – simply take the lid off, put on Saute and bubble away. When you are ready to serve, take the meat off the bone (it will fall off), remove fat etc and put the lean meat chunks a serving bowl with the sauce. Top with plain yoghurt and fresh coriander. We served this with naan and a dhal.
- prepared squash
- 2 tbs mild curry paste
Put cubes of squash in an oven tray, toss in oil and curry paste and season. Cook in a 200C oven for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile…
- 200g green lentils
- 600ml vegetable stock
Put in a pan and simmer 40 minutes or in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes.
- 100g spinach
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- pack of coriander, leaves chopped
Add to the lentils. Add the squash and heat until the spinach has wilted.
Heat in a pan until slightly brown
Serve in bowls. Add pomegranate seeds and coconut on top. Serve with warm naan breads and plain yoghurt.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large red chilli, halved, de-seeded and finely sliced
Fry gently. Add
- 500g potato cut into small cubes
Fry some more. add
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- ½ tsp each black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric
Fry some more. Add a splash of water and ½ tsp salt, cover and let cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add
Continue cooking until wilted. Done!
This is from “This Muslim Girl Bakes” and is an authentic Pakistani recipe. We tried it and want to try it again! Serves four with sides. Start with a frying pan or wok.
Heat the oil and fry the onion until just starting to brown
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 2cm of fresh ginger, grated
Add to the onion and fry one more minute
Add to the pan and brown
- 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chilli powder (for mild, more if you want)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
Add these to the pan mix in a bubble away, covered for 30 minutes. Add more water if it needs it
Add the peas and cook for another five minutes.
Serve with rice, naan or paratha and Josh’s Dhal like so:
Son Josh has decided to be vegan. Apparently he has halved his grocery bill! I find vegan food often lacks a bit of substance, but not this recipe. I call it Josh’s Dhal because it is always a hit when he comes home and it is great alongside a curry. So easy.
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 4 cups water
Boil for 40 minutes
Add to your split peas and boil another 20 minutes more. Keep an eye on it, because it will probably dry out and catch. Just add some more water if it getting too thick too soon. While that is boiling, take the following:
- 1 chilli, copped
- 1 inch of root ginger, grated
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Ghee or oil
Gently fry all these to create a browned topping to put on your dhal to serve. Finally:
Add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Add
- 1 tsp salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
When the spinach has wilted and the dhal cooked to a gloopy consistency, put it in a serving bowl and top with the spicy garlicky mix. Serve as a side for a curry or a main course with rice or Indian bread and chutney. For a vegetarian rather than vegan meal you could top with quartered hard boiled egg.