Category Archives: Indian

Baked Beef Curry With Cashew Cream and Coconut Milk


I’m afraid that this is a totally unauthentic curry with little bits of everything in it but we really enjoy it!

The cashew cream is made from whizzing raw cashews and water and really does add a lovely richness to this dish.

Serves 10-12 and freezes really well.

To make it dairy free just use oil.


6 large tomatoes, quartered

2 thumb size pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 red onion, peeled and quartered

500mls water

3 x 5cm cinnamon sticks

5 whole cloves

80g ghee

1.7kg diced beef

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 dried chillies

440mls coconut milk

270g raw cashews

500mls beef stock

salt and pepper


Process the fresh tomatoes, ginger, garlic and onion with 100mls of the water. I use a stick blender.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the ghee and once melted, pour in the tomato mixture.

Cook over a medium to high heat until the sauce has thickened and darkened, this can take 30-45 mins.

Pour the cooked tomato paste into a large oven proof casserole with a lid.

Heat the casserole over a medium heat and add the cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, dried chillies, salt and pepper, mix well.

Turn the heat to high and add the beef, brown the meat.

Pour in the coconut milk and stock, process 150g cashews and 400mls of water, add this to the meat and stir well.

Cover and pop in the oven for 4 hours.

While the beef is cooking, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and roast the remaining cashews. Allow to cool and then chop lightly.

Serve the beef with the roasted cashews sprinkled on top.


Urid Dhal With Cinnamon And Cloves


This is a variation on my black dhal recipe.

We all seem to have head colds at the moment so I wanted to add some spicy warmth to the dhal using cinnamon and cloves, it worked really well, soothing and calming!

This makes a BIG pot of dhal but I freeze leftovers for another night, defrost fully, heat gently, you might need to add a little water or cream to loosen it up again.

Serves 12-14.


50g ghee

3 cloves garlic

60g ginger, peeled

5 large tomatoes

1 red onion, peeled and quartered

400g urid dhal

2 large dried chillies

4 x 5cm cinnamon sticks

8 cloves

750mls water

600mls cream

200g tomato paste


Preheat the oven to 150degrees Centigrade.

In a processor, process the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and onion with a little water until lump free.

In a large oven proof pan with lid, heat the ghee.

Add the processed paste to the pan and cook gently until it has thickened, this can take 30-40 mins, it should darken in colour too.

Add the dhal, chillies, cinnamon stick and cloves, mix well.

Pour in the water, cream and tomato paste, again, stir well.

Pop in the oven and bake for three and a half to four hours, stirring occasionally.

You may need to add a little water if it is thickening up too quickly.

Season with salt towards the end of the cooking time.

Beetroot With Paneer and Spices


This is one of the quickest ways I know to cook beetroot, with a little zing from the chilli and crunch from the mustard seeds, we have this as part of an Indian inspired vegetarian meal and even the boys love it.

Part of their love for beetroot stems from eating enough of it to turn their pee pink! But, if that’s the only reason they’ll eat it I’m fine with it!!!!

Remember to wear gloves while dealing with the beetroot, pink hands are not a good look!

If you don’t have paneer, feta works very well too but has a habit of falling apart a little more!

To make this vegan and dairy free  use olive oil and omit the cheese.

Serves 8.


50g ghee or olive oil

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 onion, very finely sliced

2 small red chillies, deseeded and diced

1kg beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated

a pinch of salt

200mls water

200g paneer, cubed


Heat the ghee in a large shallow pan with a lid over a high heat.

Once hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds.

As soon as the mustard seeds start popping, add the onion, stir well and turn the heat down to medium.

Add the chilli to the onion mix and cook until the onions are beginning to crisp up a little.

Add the beetroot to the pan and fry for 1-2 mins.

Pour the water in and add the pinch of salt,  stir and cover. Cook for 10mins.

Uncover and turn the heat up to high, heat until most of the liquid had evaporated.

Add the paneer and stir well in, cook for a further 1-2 mins to allow the cheese to warm through.

Indian Inspired Chicken Fillet Burgers


Apologies, I know this may seem a bit out there but bare with me!

Friday night is fast food challenge night, I have to make something that the boys would class as unhealthy and available from a fast food dining establishment!

So, the initial idea was to just marinade the fillets and do them on the BBQ but as time went on I felt I wanted something with a bit more oomph and these burgers were born!

The base of the roll, is spread with thick natural yogurt and topped with cucumber, think raita. That’s then covered with some baby salad leaves, the chicken and then a good handful of fresh coriander. The lid is spread with mango chutney to top off this taste sensation.

The chicken can be baked instead of fried if you would prefer, a preheated oven at 190 degrees Centigrade for 25mins.

For the gluten free option I just omit the roll or use a GF one.

Serves 6.


4 large chicken breasts

100g ground almonds

50g rice flour

2 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

salt and pepper

2 eggs, beaten

oil to fry


Cut each breast into three pieces.

Line a chopping board with baking parchment, pop a piece of chicken on top and cover with another piece of baking parchment, using the flat side of a meat tenderiser or the end of a rolling pin, hit the chicken until it is around 1cm thick. Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.

In a bowl, combine the ground almonds, rice flour, garam masala, coriander, chilli, salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken into the beaten egg and then into the coating mix, ensure it is well covered.

Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan, once hot, cook the chicken in batches.

The Ultimate Butter Chicken

image  This is an absolute favourite in our house.

A long list of ingredients I know, but, they will reward you with an amazingly rich dish and lots of it! This freezes really well so I always make this large quantity to give me a night off another night.

Please note, the tomato paste is not a typo! I use a large jar of the triple strength paste that we can buy here in Australia. The tomato paste, paprika and Kashmiri chilli will give you the amazing colour so associated with butter chicken.

Start this recipe the day before.

Serves 12.


1.8kg chicken thighs, diced

250mls natural yoghurt

40mls lemon juice

2 tablespoons garam masala

4 teaspoons paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

50g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

100g ghee

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 cinnamon sticks/quills

4 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed

16 black peppercorns

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

3 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

80g raw cashew nuts

450mls cream

500mls tomato paste

250mls water

fresh coriander to serve


In a large zip lock bag, combine the chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, paprika, cumin and ginger. Seal the bag and give it a good squish around to make sure all of the chicken is covered. Pop in the fridge for 24hours.

In a large pan, I use a very large shallow pan,  heat the ghee.

Once hot add the cinnamon, cardamom seeds and black pepper, once fragrant add the chilli, turmeric, garlic and onions and cook over a medium heat until the onions are very soft, around 30mins.

Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, stir well.

Process the cashews and water, add to the chicken, along with the cream, tomato paste, salt and sugar.

Bring up to the boil and gently simmer for 30-40 mins until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Check the seasoning, you may want to add more salt and or sugar.

To serve, just sprinkle over a little fresh coriander.

Chickpea Dosa


These are a brilliant alternative to nan, paratha or chapatti, gluten free, spiced chickpea pancakes that everyone enjoys.

I regularly make a batch when I have some sag aloo on the stove, served with some yogurt, I don’t think food gets much better! I happily eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I have a particularly good non stick pan that I use for all my dosa and crepe recipes, if you find the dosa are sticking, grease your pan with a little ghee or butter between each dosa.

Makes 20 dosa


250g besan, chickpea flour

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

500mls water

salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large bowl, weigh out the chickpea flour, chilli, cumin, salt and pepper, whisk to aerate.

Make a well in the centre and add a little water, whisk gently, bringing the flour in from the sides, continue adding water and whisking well in.

Set aside for 30mins.

Heat a small non stick frying pan over a medium high heat.

Pour a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl around, as if making a crepe.

Once the surface is drying out and the edges are darkening, loosen with a fish slice and flip over, cook the other side just until speckles appear.

Set aside in a clean tea towel and continue with the remaining batter.


Sag Aloo or Potato and Spinach Curry


Food like this is enough to make me vegetarian!

The ingredient list may seem long but most of it is actually the paste that you cook to then make the curry, I don’t peel the potatoes, think of it as time saving!

I serve this with chickpea dosa and yogurt, it really doesn’t need anything else, just too yummy!

Leftovers are fab in lunch boxes and I love them for breakfast with an egg.

Serves 6.


80g ghee or oil

2 shallots, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic, peeled

4 tomatoes

Thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced, around 25-30g

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chilli powder, I use Kashmiri

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

120mls water

1.2kg potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes, skin on

250g baby spinach


Place the shallots, garlic, tomatoes, ginger, spices and water in a food processor and blitz to a paste, otherwise use a stick blender.

In a large frying pan heat the ghee over a medium heat, add the paste and cook for 30-40 mins until the water has all evaporated and the paste has darkened.

Add the diced potatoes and fill the pan with water to come half way up the potatoes.

Cover the pan, bring up to the boil and simmer for 10mins until the potatoes are just cooked through.

Uncover and boil off all the liquid in the pan.

Add the spinach and stir in, cook until the spinach has wilted and any liquid has evaporated again.

Chicken Chappali Kebabs or Indian Inspired Chicken Patties


Food eaten with your hands tastes so much better so I serve these with paratha, fresh baby spinach leaves and a yogurt dressing of 300mls yogurt, 10g chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper.

For the gluten free option I have either have rice or chickpea dosa. The boys happily eat these cold so I then serve them with nan for an easy lunch the next day.

These cook very well on the flat plate of a barbecue too.

Makes around 20 kebabs/patties.


1kg minced chicken

200mls natural yogurt

5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

50g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, chopped

10g fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons ground cumin

3 tablespoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons Kashmiri ground chilli

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon salt

freshly ground pepper

oil to fry

lime wedges to serve


Place a sieve over a bowl and spoon the yogurt into it, set aside for 30mins.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except oil and lime wedges.

Using your hands, mix the meat, herbs, spices and yogurt.

Set aside in the fridge for 24hours.

When ready to cook.

Heat a large frying pan over medium to high heat with the oil.

Using damp hands form the chappalis into small patties and fry in batches until golden on both sides and cooked through.

Roasted Moong Dal


I love dal/dhal.

This is one of the easiest dals to make and packs a real flavour hit. I tend to make this dal in the morning to let the flavour develop through the day, leftovers are fantastic the next day, I often have them for breakfast, and I also freeze some with cooked rice for quick and easy meals in the future.

For the vegetarian or dairy free options use coconut oil or a vegetable based oil.


360g moong dhal/dal

1.5l water

2 pinches saffron

1 tablespoon salt

75g ghee or coconut oil

2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons nigella / koolanji seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, crushed chilli


In a large heavy based pan, warm the dry dal over a medium heat until slightly browning and smelling nutty.

Pour the dal into a sieve and wash under running water.

Return the dal to the pan with the water and saffron.

Bring up to the boil and cook over medium to low heat for 40mins, skimming off the foam as it rises to the surface and stirring regularly. Towards the end it will want to burn to the bottom of your pan!

Once the dal is cooked, take a small frying pan, over high heat, heat the ghee, until very hot, add the spices, as soon as the mustard starts popping, turn off and add to the dal, it will spit as the ghee hits the dal! Stir well in and set aside.

Reheat gently to serve.

Broccolini with Whole Spices


The boys have always loved broccoli in any form, now broccolini is challenging for a new favourites spot!

This is based on and Indian dish, Karhai Broccoli, using a stir fry and then steaming method you end up with beautifully flavoured broccolini that still has a little bite.


2 tablespoons ghee

1/8 teaspoon ground asafoetida

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds

500g broccolini, cut into 5-7cm lengths

a  good pinch of salt

a good pinch of ground cayenne


Heat the ghee in a large frying pan or wok that you have a lid for.

Heat over medium to high heat.

Once hot add the asafoetida, cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop throw in the broccolini and stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the salt, cayenne and 3 tablespoons of water, bring up to simmer and cover.

Steam for 4-5 minutes and serve.