Next time I’ll take a photo before the family tucks in. Authentic and simple. This serves 4 if you include rice, naans and a vegetable side. You can use any cut of chicken, bone in our out, but I prefer boneless thighs for flavour and convenience.
- 1 onion, sliced and chopped
- glug of oil
Gently fry the onion until transluscent. Add
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
Cook for another minute. Add
- 4-6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized chunks
Cook away until coloured. Add
Cook for a few minutes. Add
- 1 green pepper, halved and seeds removed
- 0.5 tsp chilli flakes
- 0.25 tsp turmeric powder
- 1.5tsp garam masala or chaat masala
- 1.5 tsp cumin powder
Stir in and cook for a few more minutes. Add
- 1 cup /250ml boiling water
Stir, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add
- 2-3 tbs chopped coriander
- salt to taste
Cook for another ten minutes. At this point it is ready. If you like thicker sauce, you can add a bit of cornflour to thicken to your preferred consistency.
This is a delicious curry made quickly in the Instant Pot. This serves 6.
- 3/4 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1.5tsp black peppercorns
- 3/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seds
- 3 cloves
- 2 – 3 dried peppers
Dry-fry until they release their fragrance (i.e. start to smell). Then pound to dust in a pestle and mortar or wizz in a flash in a spice mill. I use a cheap coffee mill just for spices.
- 1.5 onions chopped
- dash of oil
Saute in your Instant Pot until translucent
- 1.5 tbs grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
Add to the pot and cook for another minute
Add to the pot and turn around until coloured. Add the dry spice mix and cook for another minute. Add:
- 2 tbs tomato puree
- 100 ml passata
- 200ml yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp salt
Stir and cook on Meat setting for 40 minutes. Allow to depressurise for 15 minutes. If it is to runny, put 2tsp cornflour in a tablespoon or two of water, and stir in briskly. We ate this with saffron rice and Josh’s Dhal
Great for an appetizer for an Indian meal, on their own or even as a side. Serves 3-4 as a starter
- 250g chicken breast, cubed into bite sized chunks
- 1 egg white
- 1tsp garlic paste
- 1 tbs grated fresh or frozen ginger root
- 0.25tsp tumeric
- 1tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 0.5-1 green chilli, seeded and chopped
- 1tbs chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 0.5tsp salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
Mix that lot up and leave for a few minutes while you heat up a pan of oil for deep frying. Warm your oven and have a plate with kitchen towel on handy.
Go back to your chicken and add
- 2tbs gram flour
- 1 tbs rice flour or plain flour
Mix into your marinating chicken. Add a bit more gram flour if necessary to make a sticky coating. When your oil is about 160C, drop pakora individually into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until brown and crispy like the photo abouve. Do this in batches so the pakora don’t clump up and the oil remains hot. Removewith a mesh or slotted spoon and drain on your kitchen towel. Keep warm on the plate in your oven while you fry the remainder.
Great served with a dipping chutney or riata.
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.