With the 19th annual National Curry Week taking place this week (10th-16th October), we’ve compiled a selection of curry recipes from a number of chefs and London restaurants. In addition to the many events taking place across the country, these home kitchen-friendly dishes are the ideal way to celebrate National Curry Week at home.
Prawn Malai Curry from Shrimoyee Chakraborty, Founder of Calcutta Street
Makes one portion
King prawns, 200g
Onion, 1, blended
Garlic, 1 large clove, coarsely chopped
Green chillis, 2-3, slit from the centre
Coconut milk, 1 tin
Bay leaves, 4 small
Whole garam masala
Red chilli powder
Sugar, a pinch
Peel the prawns from the centre (but leave the head and tails) and mix it with turmeric and salt and keep aside for about 15 minutes.
Heat oil and shallow fry the prawns so they turn golden in color and keep them aside. In the same oil, add the chopped garlic, bay leaves, garam masala, ginger paste and onions. Cook this for 5-7 minutes and add the can of coconut milk.
Add a little water (about 1/3 of the can) and red chilli powder, very little turmeric powder and salt.
Add the green chilies Mix well and cook the gravy for 10 minutes. Then add the fried prawns and cook on low for 5 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Further information on Calcutta Street can be found at calcuttastreet.com.
Lamb Vindaloo from The Hairy Bikers
“We love our curries and a good hot vindaloo has long been a great favourite. It comes from the Goa region of India, which was once a Portuguese colony, and the cooking there has lots of Portuguese influences. Vindaloo has become a curry house classic.”
Boneless lamb shoulder, 1.3kg, cut into chunks of about 4cm
Red wine vinegar, 100ml
Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp
Bay leaves, 2
Potatoes, 500g, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
Flaked sea salt
For the sauce
Vegetable oil, 125ml
Onions, 4 (3 thinly sliced and 1 chopped)
Garlic cloves, 6, roughly chopped
Long red chillies, 3, (do not deseed), roughly chopped
Fresh root ginger, 25g, peeled and roughly chopped
English mustard powder, 1tbsp
Ground cumin, 1tbsp
Ground coriander, 1tbsp
Ground paprika, 1tbsp
Ground turmeric, 2tsp
Cayenne pepper, 2tsp
Ground cinnamon, 1tsp
Trim the lamb, discarding any really hard lumps of fat and sinew. Mix the vinegar and vegetable oil with 2 teaspoons of sea salt in a non-metallic bowl until well combined, then add the lamb and turn it to coat in the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge for 2 hours to marinate.
For the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Cook the sliced onions very gently over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
While the onions are cooking, put the remaining chopped onion with the garlic, chillies, ginger, mustard powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon in a food processor and blend to a purée. Stir this purée into the fried onions. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and cook together for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and is beginning to colour. Tip the mixture into a flameproof casserole dish.
Drain the lamb in a colander over a bowl, reserving the marinade. Return the frying pan to the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil. Fry the lamb over a medium high heat, turning occasionally until lightly browned – do this in 4 or 5 batches, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Add each batch of lamb to the casserole as it is browned. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
Pour the reserved marinade and 500ml water into the casserole dish, then add 2 teaspoons of salt and the bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover the surface of the curry with a piece of greaseproof paper, then put a lid on the dish. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven and stir the potato chunks into the curry. Replace the greaseproof paper and the lid and continue to cook for a further hour or until the lamb and potatoes are very tender. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste.
Serve with some rice or warmed naan bread and a bowl of cooling yoghurt on the side.
Recipe adapted from The Hairy Dieters by The Hairy Bikers – Si King & Dave Myers. See The Hairy Bikers cooking live at the following BBC Good Food Shows: Belfast Waterfront 14-16 October and NEC Birmingham 24-27 November. Tickets are available now: https://www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com.
Deep Uncle’s Butter Chicken from Roti Chai
“At Roti Chai we make butter chicken the traditional way, which takes a full day and a bit and involves an overnight marination, the intense heat of a tandoor oven and the slow cooked preparation of rich butter sauce. The recipe below is a quicker and simpler version that one of my uncles in Delhi created. Perfect for a quick comfort food fix!”
For the chicken
Chicken breast, 800g, diced into 30g pieces
Ginger paste, 1tsp
Garlic paste, 1tsp
Garam masala, ½ tsp
Fresh lemon juice, 1tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder, 1tsp
Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
Salt, to taste
For the sauce
Rapeseed oil, 5tbsp
Unsalted butter, 80g
Red chilli powder, 1tbsp
Passata or fresh tomato puree, 400g
Garam masala, ½ tsp
Kasoori methi, 1tsp
Single cream or crème fraiche, 250ml
Salt, to taste
Mix all the ingredients for the chicken together in a bowl and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
Heat the oil in a wok or flat non-stick pan and sautée the chicken until it starts to caramelise.
Take the chicken out onto a plate. Add the butter to the oil in the pan and heat until the butter starts to foam, then add in sequence the kashmiri chilli powder, passata/tomato puree, honey and salt. As soon as the sauce comes to the boil reduce the heat, add the cream (or crème fraiche) and carefully stir in to create a rich emulsion on a low heat.
Finally add the cooked chicken and reduce the sauce until it takes on a smooth consistency. Finish with kasoori methi, garam masala and chopped green chillies (if you want a kick!) to taste and serve with naan (or rice).
Further information on Roti Chai can be found at rotichai.com.
Northern Thai Pork Belly Curry with Pickled Garlic & Ginger (Geng Hung Lay) from Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie, Joint Head Chefs at Som Saa
Rendered pork fat, 150ml
Palm sugar, 100g
Fish sauce, 110ml
Pork belly, 250g (skin removed)
Kecap manis, 30ml
Chicken stock, 800ml
Thai shallots, 8, peeled
Ginger, 6-8cm finely sliced
Pickled garlic, 20 cloves
Pickled garlic liquid, 30ml
Tamarind water, 15ml
Thai cardamom pods, 3
Shallots, 1tbsp, deep fried (below)
For the deep fried shallots
Shallots, 5 large, peeled
Vegetable or rapeseed oil, 2 litres
For the curry paste (makes enough for 2 recipes)
Dried long red chillies, 1 cup
Lemongrass stalk, 1 ½ cup, peeled and chopped
Galangal, ½ cup, peeled and chopped
Ginger, 1 cup, peeled and chopped
Turmeric root, ¼ cup, peeled and chopped
Garlic, 2 ½ cups, peeled
Banana shallots, 5 cups, peeled and chopped
Maldon sea salt, 1tbsp
Star anise, 7g
Coriander seed, 12.5g
Cinnamon stick, 7g
Fennel seed, 4g
Cumin seeds, 30g
Hung lay curry powder*, 2tbsp, briefly dry toasted at a low heat until aromatic
To prepare the shallots
Peel the shallots, cut off the core and discard. Slice thinly (1mm).
Fill a wok or pot (6 litre capacity) 1/3 full with oil and heat to 180 degrees on a medium flame. Add the shallots and stir with a slotted spoon. Remove shallots when they begin to turn golden brown and drain on paper towel.
To make the curry paste
Snip the large dried chillies, and soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes. Dry toast the spices then pound them in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder, add the hung lae powder to it and set aside. After the chillies are soaked, wash the chillies using a colander to remove the seeds.
In a pestle and mortar pound the paste – starting with the dried chillies and the Maldon sea salt – until smooth and then add the rest of the ingredients one by one, starting with the hardest working down to the softest until it’s a smooth and completely incorporated paste. Once mixed, add the ground spices and amalgamate into the paste.
To make the curry
Cut the pork belly into cubes (1-inch x 1-inch). From a cold water start, blanch the pork in salted water. Removed the pork just before the water simmers. Drain and wash the pork. Once dry coat in the ketjap manis.
In a medium-sized wok or pot, fry off curry paste in pork fat until aromatic and the rawness from the ingredients has been removed. Stir often to prevent sticking adding oil left over from deep frying shallots if necessary. Add toasted Thai cardamom. Season with palm sugar and fish sauce. Cook out briefly until aromatic.
Add the blanched pork belly and coat in the curry paste. Add the chicken stock, and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes. Add the shallots, pickled garlic and ginger, and cook until the pork belly is soft and tender. Season with the tamarind and pickled garlic liquid and adjust if needed. It should be a bit oily, sweet, rich, and a little sour.
Serve in a bowl with a small amount of the oil, garnish with deep fried shallots and some finely sliced ginger. Accompany with Jasmine or sticky rice.
*Hung lae curry powder is a specific type of curry powder that can sometimes be found at Asian grocers and supermarkets.
Further information on Som Saa can be found at somsaa.com.
Jungle Curry with Grilled Venison & Green Banana from Andy Oliver for Singha Beer
“Jungle curries aren’t seen so much on menus over here in the UK but they are great. Herbal, full of fresh vegetables and very spicy! It’s a really Thai taste.”
Preparation time: 1.5 hours
Cooking time: 25 minutes
For the venison
Lean venison haunch or loin meat, 600g, trimmed of sinew or gristle
Fish sauce, 2tbsp
White sugar, a pinch
For the curry paste
Long dried chillies, 25g, (deseeded, cut into pieces and soaked in water for 15 mins then drained)
Dry birds eye chillies, 10, (seeds left in, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained)
Grachai root, 2tbsp, peeled and chopped (optional)
Sliced lemongrass, 3tbsp
Galangal, 2 tbsp, peeled and sliced
Sliced shallots, 3tbsp
Chopped garlic, 3tbsp
Coriander roots, 2-3, (or a large handful of ground coriander stems)
Gapi (Thai shrimp paste), 1tbsp
Kaffir lime zest, ½ tsp (optional)
Black peppercorns, 1tsp
Sea salt, ½ tsp
For the curry
Chicken stock, 850ml
Plain oil (sunflower or similar), 4tbsp
Fish sauce, 4tbsp
Palm sugar or golden caster sugar, a tiny pinch
Green banana or plaintain, 1 large, pre boiled (see below)
Picked pea aubergines, 2tbsp
Thai bird eye chillies, 2-3, bruised
Thai ‘apple’ aubergines, 2, sliced into bite sized wedges
Thai long beans or fine green beans, a small handful
Peeled grachai, 2tbsp, sliced into thin long strips
Picked Thai holy basil leaves or Thai sweet basil leaves, a small handful
Kaffir lime leaves, 5-6, fresh or frozen
Fresh green peppercorns, 4-5 stalks (optional)
To make the paste, use a heavy pestle and mortar and add the sea salt, drained dried chillies and pound until smooth, now add the rest of the ingredients one by one, pounding until smooth before adding the next. Once complete set aside for later (this stage can be done up to 2 days in advance).
Now grill the venison: rub the meat with the fish sauce and sugar and charcoal grill (or use a griddle pan) until nicely coloured and medium rare (about 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of your cut). Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice into bite sized pieces and set aside.
For the green banana, peel and slice into bite sized pieces and place in a pot of salted cold water. Once the once beings to simmer, turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. The bananas should be cooked but still with a slight bite. Drain and set aside.
To make the curry: add the oil to a pan place on a medium heat and gently fry the curry paste for 5 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking.
Add the chicken stock, fish sauce and pinch of sugar then the pea aubergines and kaffir lime leaves, simmer for 3 minutes before adding the apple aubergines, boiled green banana, bruised bird’s eye chillies and fresh green peppercorns (if using).
Simmer for 3-4 more minutes before adding the sliced venison, grachai and basil. Turn off the heat, taste to check the seasoning (add a touch more fish sauce if needed) and serve.
Serve with jasmine rice and as part of a shared Thai meal.
Further information on National Curry Week can be found at nationaleatingoutweek.com.