Dean’s sweet and sour curry

prawn curry


Put the tomato puree and Greek yogurt into a bowl and add the garam masala, chilli powder, garlic, mango chutney, salt and sugar, if using. Stir until they are thoroughly mixed together.

Heat the oil in a deep round-bottomed frying pan or a large karahi. Lower the heat slightly and pour in the spice mixture. Bring to the boil and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are well coated. Add the water to thin the sauce slightly. Continue cooking until the chicken is tender.  Add half the fresh chillies, half the fresh coriander and the cream and cook for a further 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the remaining chillies and coriande

Spiced lamb and coconut pilaf



In a heavy-bottomed casserole dish with a lid, fry the onion, garlic and ginger in the groundnut oil until soft and slightly coloured.

Add the lamb mince and brown. Next, add the rice and spices with a pinch of salt and stir well. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has been mostly absorbed. Add the peas and cook for a further 2 minutes. Check the seasoning, squeeze over the lemon or lime and garnish with the coriander.

Malaysian spiced lamb curry

Malaysian spiced lamb


This is a really great Malaysian spiced lamb curry, beautifully spiced with a creamy coconut sauce and a fresh zing from the mint. Apologies for the slightly blurry picture…must have been the wine!

Split the cardamom pods and extract the seeds. Roughly crush the seeds with the cumin seeds and chilli flakes using a pestle and mortar, then mix in the coriander and paprika.

Roughly chop two of the onions and whizz in a blender with the garlic and ginger to form a paste. Add the spices and mix well. Slice the remaining onion and fry in the oil in a large pan for about 5 minutes until soft and lightly coloured. Add the spice paste and cook gently, stirring, for 5 minutes until darkened slightly.

Add the lamb to the pan and stir well to coat in the spices. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat (about 350ml) and plenty salt and pepper. Next, add the cinnamon stick and star anise. Cover and simmer slowly for 1 and a half to 2 hours until the lamb is really tender.

For the last half hour, add the coconut milk and allow to simmer with the lid off to thicken slightly. Taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.

When ready to serve, add the mint and mix through. Serve with basmati rice and a squeeze of lime.

Mango chicken curry

Chicken curry with mango chutney


This is a really tasty chicken curry – creamy, fragrant and slightly sweet from the mango.

Heat a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the oil, about 3 tbsp. Add the curry leaves and the whole spices and fry for about 30 seconds.

Add the onion and and a pinch of salt and gently fry over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, so that the onion softens and changes colour.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the ground spices and fry for a few minutes more. Don’t let the spices burn or they will take on a bitter flavour.

Next add the chicken with another pinch of salt and stir well until the meat is well coated with the spice mixture.

Set aside a couple of tablespoons of the chopped mango. Put the remaining mango in a food processor or blender and whizz to a smooth puree.

Add the pureed mango to the curry. Mix well then add the coconut milk. Give everything a good stir and add a grind of black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve garnished with the chopped mango and coriander if using. Goes well with pilau or saffron rice.

Beef madras

This is a classic Indian recipe using beef but you could also make it with lamb.

In a small bowl put the coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, pepperorns, chilli powder, turmeric, salt, garlic and ginger. add the vinegar and mix to a smooth paste.
Heat a couple of tbsp of oil in a casserole pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat until just soft. Add the spice paste and stir for 1 minute. Add the meat and cook, stirring until it is coated with the spice paste. Add the tinned tomatoes, water and tomato puree. Stir well to mix, bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat right down. Simmer gently for about 1 and a half hours or until meat is tender.

Serve with Pilau Rice and Cauliflower with Potatoes.

Indonesian Rendang

Place the onion and garlic in a small food processor and whizz until smooth, adding a little water to help it along if necessary.

Place the coconut milk in a pan with a heavy base and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk has reduced by half. Be careful not to let the coconut milk brown or stick to the pan.

Grind the fennel seeds and cloves using a pestle and mortar and add to the pan along with the coriander, cumin and salt and stir for 1 minute. Add the meat and cook for a couple of minutes until it changes colour. Add the onion and garlic mixture, chilli, lemongrass, lemon juice and sugar and mix well.

Bring it back to the boil, cover and reduce the heat right down. Cook for about 1 and a half to 2 hours until the beef is cooked and the liquid is reduced to quite a thick sauce. You will need to check the curry and stir it frequently throughout the cooking to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a little more coconut milk if necessary.
For the last 10 minutes of cooking, simmer with the lid off, stirring all the time. The curry is ready when it is brown and quite dry.

Sri Lankan chicken curry with coconut milk

First make the spice blend. Lightly roast the spices in a dry pan being careful not to brown or burn. Add to a spice blender or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.

Chop the onions and add to a medium pan with a little oil and fry gently for about ten minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for a couple more minutes. Now add the chicken and the spice blend and fry over a higher heat for a couple more minutes. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the spices and bring to a high heat. Add the coconut mik carefully by just using the cream from the can. The sauce should now cover the meat, if you need more liquid add some of the water from the coconut milk can.

Cook on a low heat until the chicken is tender, if the bone is in the thigh it will take about an hour, without the bone a little less. You can;t really overcook this to be honest. If you need to reduce the sauce then take the lid off towards the end.

Serve with basmati rice. To cook the rice add 1 cup of rice to a pan, add 1.5 cups of water to the pan and bring to the boil with the lid off. Stir once, turn down to a very low heat and put a lid on. Cook like this until the water has been absorbed, if the rice if still a little crunchy then just turn off the heat and leave it to steam. The whole process takes about 20 mins

Kali Murch Murg


Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and add the bay leaf, cloves and pepper.  Fry briefly, stirring then add ginger and garlic.  After 30 secs add chicken and mix well.

Add turmeric, chilli and salt. Allow chicken to cook through in own juices (10-12mins) with the lid on.  Stir in yogurt, heat through and check seasoning.

Serve with rice and tomato salad (4 tomatoes, sliced, salt, lemon juice and fresh coriander).

Sam’s Sunday Curry


Fry onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, cardamom pods and cumin seeds in a little oil until soft and slightly coloured.

Make a paste with the vinegar, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and salt. Add to the pan and fry off for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and mix well. Bring to the boil and add chicken and sultanas.

Cook on the hob or in the oven (180C) until chicken is tender (45 mins).  Add sweet potato 30 mins before end of cooking if using.

Spice box chicken


This is a really tasty Indian recipe which makes a fresh and fragrant curry.

Roughly chop chillies and place in a food processor. Do the same with the garlic and ginger. Whizz together.  Add the coriander leaves (keep some for the garnish) then tip in the yogurt and whizz again until it is a puree.  Peel, halve and thinly slice the onions. Skin the chicken.

Heat oil in a sauté pan until very hot. Add fennel and cumin seeds and let them crackle for 10-20 secs, stirring so they don’t burn.

Add the butter to the pan and let it melt. Then add the onions and turn the heat down slightly. Stir to mix with the spices then cook for about 10 mins until meltingly soft and tinged golden brown.

Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken to the pan. Increase the heat slightly and brown the chicken on both sides. This should take 5-10 mins. Return the onions to the pan.

Stir in a spoonful of the yogurt mixture and cook until it disappears – repeat a dollop at a time. Whizz 150ml cold water in the processor to use the last bits of the mixture and add to the pan with a good pinch of salt. Stir until bubbling, scraping up any crispy bits. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 30-35mins (10-15 mins if using breast), turning chicken half way and adding a splash of hot water if it is too dry.

Garnish with chopped coriander and a wedge of lime to squeeze over.

Spicy Chicken Korma

Fry the onion in 1 tbsp groundnut oil slowly over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until soft and starting to colour. Add a pinch of salt then add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Continue to fry, stirring, for another 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a pestle and mortar, bash the cardamoms to split them open. Discard the husks, keeping the black seeds. Add the fennel seeds and grind both spices to a fine powder. Add the turmeric, white pepper and garam masala and mix well. Add this spice mix to the pan and mix through. Fry off for a few minutes to release the aromas.

Next, add the chicken. Turn the heat up and fry the chicken until it has turned opaque. Add a splash of water to deglaze the pan and then add the nuts. Cook off for a few minutes befroe adding the tomato, coconut and another pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add a little more water if the mixture becomes too dry but it should be quite a thick, rich sauce.

Once the chicken is cooked, add the cream and allow to bubble for a minute or two. Taste to check seasoning and adjust with a little more salt or white pepper if necessary.

Cumin chicken in a thick tomato gravy

Dry roast 2 tsp of the cumin seeds until dark brown. Set aside.  Heat oil in a pan, add remaining cumin seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the onions and fry until soft.

Add chicken and brown. Add garlic and ginger and fry for 3-4 mins. Add tomatoes, turmeric, chilli, salt, garam masala and 2 tbsp coriander leaves. Stir, cover and simmer for 30 mins. Add a little water if mixture seems too dry.

Continue cooking until the chicken is tender and the gravy is thick.
Coarsely pound the dry roasted cumin and sprinkle onto the hot gravy with the remaining coriander. Rest for 5 mins before serving.

Goes well with Spicy Fried Potatoes.

Friday night chicken and prawn curry


Heat a wok and add 2 tbsp groundnut oil. Fry the onions over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until softened and slightly caramelised. Add the ginger garlic and chilli and fry off for a few minutes. Next add the spices and allow them to fry off before adding a pinch of salt. Add the coconut milk and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Season the sauce with the soy, sugar and lime juice. Add the chicken, prawns and tomato and cook for 3-5 minutes until the meat is cooked though. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Mix through the fresh coriander just before serving.

Thai green curry


In a food processor put the onion, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chillies, lime zest and juice and whizz to a rough paste. Add the fish sauce, shrimp paste, basil, coriander and oil and whizz again to quite a fine paste.

Heat a wok or large frying pan and add the paste. Fry for about 5 mins over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and fry for a few more minutes, stirring to coat the chicken in the paste. Pour in the tin of coconut milk, bring to the boil and simmer for around 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Check the seasoning – add salt/more lime juice if needed. Serve with rice.

Indian butter chicken


Mix all marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat them in the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight if possible.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. When it starts foaming add the passata. Allow to bubble away, stirring until some of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is starting to thicken – about 5 minutes. Add the fenugreek and garam masala and mix through. Add the vinegar and salt to taste. (You can turn the heat off and leave to sit until required at this stage).

To cook the chicken, heat 4-5 tbsp groundnut oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the chicken (in batches if necessary), turning until cooked through.

To serve, add the cooked chicken to the sauce and bring back to a simmer. Add the cream and warm through but do not allow to boil or the cream will split.

Serve with Indian breads and pilau rice.