Chicken Katsu Curry


Chicken Katsu Curry (2)

Wagamama serve a dish called Chicken Katsu Curry. I have never actually eaten it, but in theory it sounds wonderful. Crispy, breaded chicken with a flavourful curry sauce and fluffy rice.

As we are trying to save money, rather than head out to try this dish, I thought I’d make my own version at home. It was all guess work really, but it turned out well – hubby declared it ‘restaurant quality’, but he is the biggest fan of chicken in any sort of crispy coating so he is biased.

The chicken and curry sauce worked really well together. It’s not the sort of meal you could have every night, but for a hump day treat, why not give it a go?

Try this recipe, and if you’ve had the Wagamama version you’ll have to let me know if it’s at all similar 🙂

This will serve 2, and takes around 40 minutes to make.

Chicken Katsu Curry (1)

Chicken Katsu Curry

4 tbsps vegetable oil

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

2 tsps curry powder

60g plain flour

400ml coconut milk

2 tbsps tomato puree

2 chicken breasts

2 eggs

100g panko breadcrumbs

250g cooked rice, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Start by making the curry sauce. Chop the onion, and put in a large saucepan with 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and all of the spices. Stir well. Add 1 tbsp of the plain flour, stir, then add the coconut milk and tomato puree. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt if required.

3. For the chicken, place the breasts between a piece of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin to squash a little. Take 3 dishes. Pour the remaining flour into the first, break the eggs into the second and beat them, pour the panko breadcrumbs into the third.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Coat the chicken breasts first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Add to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

5. To serve, slice the chicken and serve with the curry sauce poured over the top, and a pile of rice on the side. Enjoy it!

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Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas


Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas (3)

I got this idea when I was recently making tostados. I love pizza, I love tostados, I love any dough-based dish with cheesy toppings which you can eat with your hands. So, why don’t people make Indian style pizzas? (Feel free to educate me if I’m wrong!)

This is a classic quick weeknight dish. If you have people coming round on a weeknight and don’t have time for something seriously fancy, try making these! Your guests will be impressed that you’ve managed to whip up something so exciting so quickly.

I used shop bought naans – make your own if you have time, it’ll be much tastier and I’ll do this next time I make them.

You could easily make this veggie by leaving off the chicken, and why not have a play around with the toppings? I think lamb and red pepper would work beautifully too, or beef and okra.

This was one of those experiments which goes unexpectedly well, and I implore you to try it!

This will make enough for 2-3, and takes no more than 30 minutes to make.

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas (1)

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas

2 large plain naan breads

200g fresh spinach

100g cooked, shredded chicken breast

150g paneer

2 tbsps olive oil

1 small piece ginger

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsps garam masala

150g tomato puree

1 tsp sugar

Yoghurt and a small bunch fresh coriander, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Wilt the spinach in a saucepan with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. When it is all wilted, take off the heat and leave to one side while you make the sauce.

3. Finely chop the ginger and garlic, then add to another saucepan with the remaining olive oil. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the cumin, coriander and garam masala. Cook for 1 more minute then add the tomato puree and 100ml water. Stir well, then add the sugar and a little salt. Remove from the heat.

4. Spread the tomato sauce over the top of each naan bread. Squeeze the spinach to remove any excess water, then dot it over the naans. Sprinkle over the chicken. Chop the paneer and add this too.

5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the naans are crisp and the paneer is golden. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander and with the yoghurt on the side for dipping.

Chicken, Spinach and Paneer Naan Pizzas (2)

Beef Penang Curry


Beef Penang Curry (2)

Fancy a smashing curry to warm the chilliest of cockles? This is the most warming, comforting Thai curry I have ever tasted, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. It has the huge advantage of being ready in almost no time at all – using thin strips of good quality beef means that the curry doesn’t need slow cooking; in fact, this one is almost as fast as a stir fry!

The curry is essentially a mixture of all of my favourite spices, mixed together and mellowed with coconut milk. There is a little heat, but it is gentle rather than burning.

This would be best served with a veggie side dish – some spinach, simply wilted, would be perfect. It’s also important to make sure you have plenty of rice (Thai jasmine rice is best) to soak up the lovely, creamy sauce. Mmmm!

Try this if you’re a curry fan – I’m sure you’ll love it.

This takes 15 minutes to cook, and will serve 2-3.

Beef Penang Curry (1)

Beef Penang Curry

2 shallots

3 cloves garlic

1 red chilli

1 thumb sized piece of galangal

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

4 tbsps tomato puree

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground tumeric

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp ground nut oil

45og steak, sliced thinly

400ml coconut milk

1 lime

A few basil leaves

Thai jasmine rice, cooked, to serve

1. To make your curry paste, finely chop the shallots, garlic, chilli and galangal. Place into a bowl, and add the soy sauce, fish sauce, tomato puree, lime leaves, paprika, cumin, coriander, tumeric, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well to combine.

2. Heat the groundnut oil in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add the steak and brown for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry paste and mix together. Heat for another 2 minutes, stirring often.

3. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Ladle into bowls and squeeze over lime juice and tear over a few leaves of basil. Believe it or not, it’s ready!

Beef Penang Curry (3)

Vegetable Korma


Vegetable Korma (1)

If someone asks you to think of a korma, what do you think of? Do you think of a bright, vibrant curry? Or do you think of a sickly sweet, yellow curry with a claggy sauce and most likely some overcooked chicken pieces?

In my opinion, the korma has been the ‘go to’ curry for when curry houses need to sell something mild. It feels unloved. There is no reason a korma needs to be like this; it is defined as a dish originating in South Asia or Central Asia[1] consisting of meat and/or vegetables braised in a spiced sauce made with yogurt, cream, nut or seed paste. There is nothing in there to say it needs to have a dyed yellow sauce, or that says it needs to taste overwhelmingly of dessert.

This particular version makes vegetables the star of the show, and is in fact vegan (I used coconut milk rather than yoghurt or cream to make the sauce). It’s also so tasty you won’t believe it’s good for you. Make it when you’re craving a curry – trust me, you’ll love it and you’ll feel much better afterwards than if you got a takeaway.

This will take 30-40 minutes to make, and will serve 4.

Vegetable Korma (2)

Vegetable Korma

1 baking potato

3 tbsps vegetable oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tsps garam masala

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped

1/2 green chilli, finely chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1cm pieces

300g dwarf beans, cut into 1 inch lengths

100g frozen peas

1 tin coconut milk

1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Peel the potato and chop into 1.5 cm chunks. Par boil for approximately 10 minutes.

2. In a large, high edged frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and onion; cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.

3. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the garam masala, cumin and coriander.

4. Add the carrot. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the green beans. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring often.

5. Tip in the peas. Mix well, and when the peas have defrosted, add the potato. Tip in the coconut milk, bring to a simmer and season with salt. Put a lid on and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add a little water if it’s too thick.

6. Serve with a pile of fluffy rice. Delicious!

Curried Rack of Lamb with Pilau Rice


This is a delicious twist on a Sunday roast and is the first in my series of Cheap Eats; simple, quick recipes where you can cook fresh, tasty food for up to four people, all for under £50 per week.

Rack of lamb is a lovely cut and always looks tasty. The fatty layer on top is perfect for rubbing in spices, and the lamb works beautifully well with the Indian spice mix.

I chose to serve this with pilau rice, and if you’ve never made your own then forget the sweet, multi-coloured stuff you’ll find in supermarkets – real pilau rice is fragrant, delicious and a dish in its own right.

Try it out – this looks so impressive!

This will serve 4 and take up to 40 minutes to make.

IMG_1046

Curried Rack of Lamb with Pilau Rice

For the spice rub:

4 cardamon pods

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp medium curry powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vegetable oil

For the pilau rice:

450g basmati rice

1 onion

15g butter

1 cinammon stick

4 cardamon pods

8 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 small pinch saffron

Additional:

1 rack of lamb (approx 500g)

200ml natural yoghurt

1/2 cucumber

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. To make the spice rub, crush the cardamon pods in a pestle and mortar and remove the seeds. Discard the outside shell and keep the seeds in the mortar. Crush them as much as you can, then tip in the rest of the spices. Stir, and add the oil. Stir to create a paste, then rub this into the fatty side of your rack of lamb. Place in a roasting dish in the oven. Cook for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your lamb and how rare you like it (you can tell how well done it is by checking the sides, but remember the inside will always be rarer). Leave to rest for 5 minutes when it’s cooked.

3. To make your rice, chop the onion. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Gently soften over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then add the spices, bay leaves and saffron. Stir, then add the rice. Coat the rice in the butter, then tip in 650ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

4. Slice your cucumber and mix with the yoghurt and a pinch of salt in a bowl. You can serve this alongside your rack of lamb and rice. Enjoy!

IMG_1053

Thai Fish Curry


Coriander and ginger are two of my favourite flavours, and so Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines.

This curry is one of my own making, so true Thai food masters will frown on it, but I love it. It’s sweet, spicy, salty and sour, and warms you up after a long, cold day.

I love cooking with fish, too, because it is so quick to cook and so this recipe is perfect when you want something packed full of flavour but quick and easy to make.

This curry will serve 4 (we’re having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow), but if you’re cooking for 4 you’ll need to double the amount of rice. This takes 20 minutes to cook.

Thai Fish Curry

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

Large bunch coriander

2 sticks lemongrass

2 x 400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsps fish sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp palm sugar

8 kaffir lime leaves

250g white fish, e.g. cod, chopped into bitesize chunks

200g sugar snap peas

10 basil leaves

250g thai rice, cooked

1. Put the sesame oil in a large saucepan and put on a medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and chopped coriander stalks. Sizzle for 2 minutes, stirring often. Bash the lemongrass with a knife (don’t cut into slices, just bruise the flesh) and add to the pan.

2. Pour in the coconut mik, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a simmer.

3. Add the fish and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the sugar snap peas and simmer for another 2 minutes.

4. Finally, chop the coriander and basil leaves and stir in. Take off the heat. To serve, ladle the curry over bowls of rice, and enjoy!

Curried Lentil Soup


This is another great recipe for when it feels as though you may have over-indulged slightly at the weekend, and need something packed full of goodness to make up for it.

This soup is overflowing with nourishing things. If you ate it everyday you’d probably be a superhero (it contains no cheese though unfortunately, so I could not eat it everyday).

This will take half an hour max to make, less if you aren’t being distracted by water pouring from your ceiling, and will serve at least four.

Curried Lentil Soup

1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsps medium curry powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 carrots, sliced

1 leek, sliced

1 litre vegetable stock

500g green lentils (I used the ready to eat pouches)

1 large handful coriander, chopped

Plain yoghurt, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Sprinkle in the spices and sizzle for 30 seconds.

2. Add the leek, carrots and garlic, stir, then pour in the vegetable stock. Put the lid on the casserole dish and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and most of the coriander – bring back to the boil and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Using a hand held blender, blitz the soup roughly to make a chunky soup.

5. To serve, top each bowl with a spoonful of yoghurt and a few coriander leaves.