Category Archives: Indian

Indian Mussels Fry

Recipe adapted from

Serves: 2

What you need:
  • 200g Frozen mussels
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 2 Green chillies, slit
  • 5 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
How to put this together:
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add frozen mussels, leave for 1 mins. Drain.
  2. Heat oil on low heat, add minced ginger + garlic. Fry until fragrant.
  3. Add onions. Fry until translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes + green chillies + curry leaves. Fry until tomato is soft.
  5. Add tumeric powder + chilli powder + coriander powder + garam masala + fennel seeds. Fry until fragrant. Add a splash of water to prevent it from burning.
  6. Add mussels. Fry until well browned & dry.
  7. Taste & season with salt.
  8. Serve with rice or chapati

Indian Cauliflower, Carrots, and Peas

Recipe adapted from Simple Indian cookbook by Atul Kochhar

Serves: 2

What you need:
  • 300g Cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 100g Carrots, diced
  • 100g Frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
  • A pinch Asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 Green chillies, slit
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
How to put this together:
  1. Blanch carrots with boiling water for 3 mins, drain.
  2. Blanch frozen peas with boiling water for 3 mins, drain.
  3. Heat oil on low heat, add mustard seeds + hing
  4. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add green chillies + cauliflower florets + 1/2 tsp salt
  5. Cover and cook on low heat until the stems are soft, about 10 mins. Give them a toss every few mins.
  6. Add carrots + peas + cumin powder + coriander powder + turmeric powder + chilli powder. Mix well.
  7. Cover and cook for 5-10 mins more. Add a splash of water if it’s too dry.
  8. Taste & season with salt.
  9. Serve immediately

Mushroom Biryani (Vegan)

Adadpted from this recipe:

Serves: 2

For rice:
  • 1 cup Basmati rice, washed 3 times, and soak in water for 20 mins
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Green cardamom
  • 2 pieces Mace
  • 2 tsp Salt

For mushroom curry:

  • 200 g small white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp Black cumin (shah jeera)
  • 4 Black peppercorns
  • 3 Green cardamom
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 pieces Mace
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 200 ml Coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 cup Fried onions, crushed
  • 4 Tbsp Oil

For layering:

  • 4 Tbsp Fried onions
  • A pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 Tbsp hot water
How to put this together:
  1. Start by making the mushroom curry : heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cinnamons tick + black cumin + peppercorns + cardamom + bay leaf + mace. Fry until fragrant.
  2. Add garlic + ginger. Fry until fragrant.
  3. Add mushrooms. Saute for 5 mins.
  4. Add chilli powder + turmeric powder + garam masala + coriander powder. Mix well to coat mushroom pieces. Fry for 1 min.
  5. Add crushed fried onions. Mix well. Fry for 1 min.
  6. Add coconut milk. Simmer on low for 5 mins.
  7. Add 1/2 cup water. Taste & season with salt and more chilli to taste. Simmer on low for 10 mins, or until you get a thick gravy consistency.
  8. In a pot, add all the rice ingredients + water. Bring to boil. Cook until it’s half done. Drain.
  9. In a pot, start your first layer with half the mushroom curry.
  10. Second layer is half the rice. Sprinkle half the saffron water, followed by half the fried onions.
  11. Repeat with remaining mushroom curry as the third layer.
  12. Final layer is again rice, saffron water, fried onions.
  13. Close the lid. Put on low heat for 10 mins.
  14. Turn off the heat. Leave to sit, with the lid on, for another 15 mins.
  15. Serve hot.

Eggplant Indian Curry

Roasted eggplants has lovely smokey flavour to it. Delicious.

What you need

  • 2 servings portion Basic Indian Curry Sauce (i.e. half the recipe from here)
  • 1 large Eggplant
  • Oil
  • 1/2 cup Frozen peas
  • Salt to taste

How to put this together

  1. Heat oven to 230 C
  2. Line baking tray with foil. Brush eggplant (whole) with oil. Roast for 30 mins.
  3. Soak frozen peas in boiling water
  4. In a pot, heat Basic Indian Curry Sauce with 1/4 cup water. Bring to boil, then turn the heat down to simmer.
  5. Cut open the roasted eggplant. Scoop out the soft flesh and add to the pot. Mix gently.
  6. Drain the peas and add to the pot. Mix gently.
  7. Taste & season with salt.
  8. Simmer for 10 mins. Adding water to achieve the consistency you like. I like mine quite dry.
  9. Serve immediately with chapatis

Basic Indian Curry Sauce

The key to making this sauce is to NOT rush it. You want to slowly cook the onions & tomatoes to extract flavours over low heat.

Make a large batch, and keep in the freezer

Simply re-heat the sauce with a bit of water, add meat or vegetables and simmer until cooked.

Makes: sauce for 4 servings of curry

What you need

  • 400 g Onions, chopped
  • 400 g Tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 5 Tbsp Coriander powder
  • 3-5 Tbsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

How to put this together

  1. Heat oil in a pan, on medium heat, add onions. Fry until translucent. Do not rush this step.
  2. Add garlic + ginger. Fry until fragrant
  3. Add tumeric powder + coriander powder + red chilli powder + cumin powder. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes. Fry until soft.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, and cook on low heat until the mixture has a jam consistency

Chettinad Chicken

Amazing flavours. Just make it.

Recipe from Rick Stein’s “India” cookbook.

Serves: 4

What you need

  • 700g chicken thighs (skinless & boneless), cut into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 Tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 x 1 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 150g shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cm ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Handful curry leaves
  • 100ml water
  • Handful coriander leaves, for garnish

How to put this together

  1. Put fennel seeds (1 Tbsp) + cumin seeds + coriander seeds + black peppercorn + chilli powder into a spice grinder (I use magic bullet). Grind to a powder.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat
  3. Add fennel seeds (1 tsp) + cinnamon sticks. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add shallots. Fry until soft & golden brown.
  5. Add chicken. Fry for a few minutes.
  6. Add garlic + ginger + sugar + salt + spice blend + curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes.
  7. Add water, and keep stirring until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick & cling to the chicken.
  8. Sprinkle over chopped coriander leaves
  9. Serve with rice

How to cook rice, without rice cooker

We are rice eaters.

We eat rice on a very regular basis, I’d say we eat rice 5 days out of 7.

If I had a bad day, I want to eat rice. If I feel under the weather, I want to eat rice. If my previous meal was a non-rice meal, I want rice in the next meal.

Imagine my mum’s surprise when she visited and we told her we no longer use our rice cooker. She was skeptical at first, but was very impressed (and, dare I say, got hooked) with the idea of cooking rice this way.

For us, we cook rice this way for 2 main reasons:

  1. Normal rice cooker is great if you’re cooking rice for a big family (5-10 cups). When you cook a cup of rice for 2 people, a lot of the rice just get stuck to the bottom of the cooker, and you end up with a lot of sticky / crispy rice (and a lot of waste!)
  2. Rice cooker takes up quite a bit of kitchen bench space. Living in London means limited space. Being able to get rid of an appliance on your precious kitchen worktop is most excellent.

Serves: 2

What you need:

  • 1 cup rice
  • For Thai jasmine rice, you’ll need 1.2 cups water
  • For Basmati rice, you’ll need 1.5 cups water

How to put this together:

  • Wash the rice
  • Put rice + water in a pot. Bring to boil on high heat
  • When the water start to boil, put the lid on, and turn down to low heat
  • Cook, with lid on, for 8 mins
  • Turn off the heat. Do NOT open the lid. Leave it sitting there with the remaining steam for 15 mins
  • Fluff the rice to loosen up the grains
  • Serve

Soft & Fluffy Dinner Rolls (Pav) – with KitchenAid

These make a perfect partner in Pav Bhaji

Original recipe:

What you need

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 g instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk powder
  • 190 ml milk
  • 20 g butter, room temp
  • Oil

How to put this together

  1. Put plain flour in mixing bowl. Add salt to one side of the bowl. Add yeast to the other side of the bowl.
  2. Add sugar + milk powder. Give the mixture a quick stir.
  3. Using the dough hook, start mixing on low speed
  4. Slowly add milk. Continue mixing until it forms a rough dough
  5. Add butter. Mix on medium speed for 15 mins. The dough should be quite wet & sticky.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover with tea towel, and leave for 1 hour, or until double in size.
  7. Grease an 8 inch square cake tin with oil
  8. On a lightly floured work surface, tip out the dough (use a dough scraper to help).
  9. Flour your hands, and knead for a minute or so
  10. Cut it up into 16 equal portions
  11. Roll each portion into a round ball. Place them in the greased cake tin (4 x 4)
  12. Cover with tea towel, and leave for 1 hour, or until double in size.
  13. Heat oven to 200 C
  14. Bake for 13 – 15 mins, or until the top is nicely browned
  15. As soon as the baking is done, with the bread still in the tin, brush the top of the buns with oil
  16. Leave in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out to cool

Okra fry (Bhindi fry)

I’m not a big fan of okra, because it’s quite slimy, but apparently they have loads of health benefits. More importantly, my hubby loves them.

The recipe is inspired by Rick Stein’s “India” cookbook, and the flavour is just amazing (if you don’t mind the sliminess)

Serves: 4

What you need

  • 450g okra, trim off the stem, and halved length-ways
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp garam masala

How to put this together

  1. Heat oil on medium heat, add onions, fry until soft and golden brown. This should take 5-7 mins.
  2. Add garlic. Fry until fragrant
  3. Add cumin powder + chilli powder + turmeric powder. Fry until fragrant
  4. Add okra + salt + lemon juice. Mix well.
  5. Cover & cook for a few minutes until the okra is almost cooked through. Add a splash of water if it’s too dry.
  6. Add garam masala, and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes.
  7. Serve immediately

Black Eyed Peas Dry Curry (Chawli)

My mother-in-law’s recipe – very very delicious!

Serves: 4

What you need:

  • 1 cup dried black eyed peas, soaked in plenty of water overnight
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, pounded
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, pounded
  • 2 Tbsp bottle masala powder (recipe is coming)
  • salt
  • tamarind juice
  • coriander leaves, finely chopped
How to put this together:
  1. Soak black eyed peas in plenty of water overnight. Drain.
  2. Heat oil, add chopped onion, fry until fragrant
  3. Add ginger & garlic. Fry until onions are translucent
  4. Add bottle masala powder. Fry until fragrant.
  5. Add drained black eyed peas + 2 cups water
  6. Pressure cook for 5 minutes. The beans should be soft, but not mushy soft. They should still retain their shape
  7. Season with salt + tamarind juice
  8. Simmer on low heat to reduce the liquid down to your preferred consistency. 10-15 minutes.
  9. Turn off heat, add chopped coriander leaves
Serve with basmati rice or chapati

Basmati Rice

Serves: 2

What you need:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, wash 3 times, and soak in plenty of water for 20 mins
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp oil

How to put this together:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick pot
  2. Add drained basmati rice. Stir to mix the oil through for 1 minute
  3. Add water and bring to boil
  4. Once it starts to boil, put the lid on, and turn the heat down to very very low
  5. Keep the lid closed for 8 minutes
  6. Turn off the heat. Do NOT open the lid yet.
  7. Leave the lid on for 5 mins
  8. Fluff the right & enjoy!

Optional: for extra aroma, add a pinch of spice (e.g. cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick) to the oil before adding rice.

Butter Chicken (No butter)

This recipe is adapted from two recipes from my dear friends. My hubby doesn’t normally like curries with dairy in it, but he loves this one.

The tandoori chicken is so good when it comes out of the oven you may end up eating them all before you get to curry them!

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 600g chicken thigh, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

Tandoori Mix

  • 200 g thick yogurt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp kasoori methi
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red colour
  • 2 Tbsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 4 cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 2 can 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp kasoori methi
  • 200 ml full fat milk
  • Salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Satay skewers, soaked in water overnight

How to put this together:

  1. Mix together salt + chilli powder + lime juice. Marinade chicken for 15 mins
  2. Mix together tandoori mix (except for oil). Coat chicken well. Drizzle with oil. Mix again. Marinade overnight.
  3. Heat oven on grill at 270C. Line a baking tray with tin foil.
  4. Skewer chicken pieces, leaving behind excess marinade. Using the tray height, arrange the skewers so that they are elevated. This will allow for the chicken to grill, rather than boil in their own juices.
  5. Grill (close to top heat) for 10 mins. You want slightly charred bits on the chicken, for added flavour.
  6. Turn over, grill the other side for 10 mins. Pour chicken juice (collected in the tray) into excess marinade
  7. Heat oil, add cardamom + cloves + bay leaves + cinnamon stick
  8. Add excess marinade + garam masala
  9. Add tomatoes. Bring to boil
  10. Add kasoori methi. Turn heat down to simmer.
  11. Add chicken pieces
  12. Taste & season with salt & sugar
  13. Add milk. Bring to boil. Taste & season. Turn off heat
  14. Add coriander leaves. Mix well.

Serve with steamed rice or chapati

Tadka Dal

Dal is one of my all time favourite dishes. It’s such a delicious comfort food. I can eat bowls and bowls and bowls of them (with rice of course).

Serves: 4-5
For dal
  • 1 cup Moong dal, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Green chilies, cut lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, pounded
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida/hing
  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt
For tadka
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, pounded
  • 3 Dry whole red chilies
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
How to put this together
  1. Wash the soaked moong dal a couple of times.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil, add onions. Fry until fragrant.
  3. Add green chillies + ginger + turmeric powder + hing. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add moong dal + water + onion mixture to pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 5 minutes. The consistency should be like a thin pumpkin soup
  5. Add garam masala powder + crushed kasuri methi. Mix with hand whisk.
  6. Season with salt. Taste
  7. Take off heat. Add coriander leaves, mix well.
  8. Heat 1 Tbsp oil on low flame in a small pan.
  9. Add cumin seeds + dry whole red chillies + garlic. Fry until the cumin seeds crackle, the garlic brown, and the chillies change colour. Be patient, don’t increase the heat – you don’t want to burn them.
  10. Add curry leaves, fry for a few seconds
  11. Add red chilli powder. Mix well and turn off heat.
To serve
Serve dal in a bowl topped with tadka. Serve with basmati rice

Lamb Fry

I had a few Indian work colleagues when we first moved to London. These lovely Indian ladies would bring their lunchboxes, and I would bring mine, and we would have lunch together everyday. It’s amazing how fun it is to bond over food.

Their lunch boxes would not contain the typical Indian food you get in the restaurants, but rather simple vegetable or meat dish. These always look fantastic and smell amazing. They would offer me some to try, and I would ooh and aah with delight, because everything tasted divine.

One day, this lady brought in something that smelled out of this world. She said her husband made this, please try some. I took a small spoonful, and I was hooked!

I told her it’s so good! They laughed, because I say this about everything (I’m easy to please when it comes to food). She said it’s called Lamb Fry.

I asked her for the recipe – and that’s when I first heard about vahchef from He’s like the Jamie Oliver of indian cooking – he has a ton of recipe videos on youtube, and has his own website of course.

My colleague’s husband made the dish from this vahchef’s recipe:

The recipe below has been tweaked from the original to our liking:

Whole Garam Masala
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 inches cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 4 black cardamom
  • Oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black cumin seeds (shajeera)
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic paste
  • 1 kg Lamb (with bone), cut into chunky pieces. Alternatively use chicken thigh (with bone)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 3-5 Green chillies, sliced (v. spicy Kenyan chillies)
  • 20 Curry leaves
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup Coriande leaves, chopped
  • 1 lime
 How to put this together:
    1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium heat, add Whole Garam Masala. Fry until fragrant.
    2. Add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds. When it splutters add onions + turmeric powder + ginger paste + garlic paste. Fry until onions are translucent.
    3. Add lamb or chicken. Fry until the outside is brown.
    4. Add 1 1/2 cup water, and transfer to pressure cooker. Pressure cook until meat is tender (10 mins in my pressure cooker).
    5. Pound together garlic + cumin seeds + peppercorn
    6. Heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium heat, add mixture from previous step. Fry until fragrant.
    7. Add green chillies + curry leaves. Fry until fragrant
    8. Add red chilli powder + cumin powder + coriander powder. Fry until fragrant
    9. Add meat, season with salt.
    10. Keep cooking until you’re left with thick curry sauce.
    11. Turn off heat. Add chopped coriander leaves + juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well. Taste. Add more lemon juice to your liking.

Serve with

  • Chapati, Roti, Naan, or any kind of thin bread you can get your hands on, or
  • Basmati rice

Here’s the chicken version

Seekh Kebab

Makes: 15-18 kebabs

What you need:

  • 500 g Mince – chicken or lamb (or even turkey mince – we tried it because we couldn’t find chicken mince and turned out super yummy)
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, pounded
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, pounded
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (or 1 tsp normal salt)
  • 4 Tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp White pepper powder
  • 2 Green chillies, finely chopped. Use only 1 if you’re not very good with heat.
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Chaat masala (store-bought, or see recipe here)
  • 1/2 tsp Oil

For condiments

  • Onion, finely sliced
  • Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Green chilli chutney – see recipe here

How to put this together:

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Knead for 5 mins.
  2. Wet your hands slightly so it doesn’t stick. Take about 40-45 g of mince mixture, and form a long kebab of about 4 inch in length. Leave on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the mince.
  3. Brush a griddle with oil and put on medium heat
  4. When hot, put the prepared kebabs on – make sure to leave enough space between the pieces so the heat can get through. After 1.5 mins, turn them 90 degrees, Repeat until all 4 sides are cooked.
  5. Serve hot with sliced onions, coriander leaves, lime wedges, and green chilli chutney. These kebabs can also be served with bread to make tasty sandwiches.