Best Indian Curry Recipes

The great Indian ‘kari’, which stems from the word for sauce in Tamil, is known to have originated sometime in ancient South India. Since then it has traveled beyond boundaries and created many fans across the globe. A curry is the ultimate crowd pleaser and on this Republic Day, here are the recipes for the best curries.

Mughlai Karahi Gosht

Ingredients

  • 1 kg leg of lamb on the bone, cut to bite-sized pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 3.5cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g tomato, thinly sliced
  • 200g onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika) Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp coriander powder Pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1⁄2 tsp black pepper, coarsely crushed Pinch garam masala powder
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves ginger slivers for garnish

Directions: Place the lamb in a mixing bowl. Crush the garlic and ginger to a coarse paste and add to the lamb. Stir well and set aside for an hour or overnight if you have time. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or kadhai heat the oil on a medium heat.

Add the marinated lamb chunks and fry for 5-6 minutes stirring well to seal. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook for a further 8 minutes. The tomatoes will begin to break down and soften. Add the onions and chilli powder and stir well cooking for a further 3 minutes. Season to taste.

Now lower the heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes stirring half way through the cooking process. Add the Greek yogurt to a small bowl and mix in the ground spices: coriander, turmeric, cumin and black pepper.

Add this to the karahi gosht and stir well, making sure the yogurt does not split. Continue simmering on a low heat and with the lid half over the pan, cook the lamb for 45-50 minutes, stirring half way through cooking, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Turn the heat off and while it’s still warm add the garam masala, chillies if using, coriander, mint and ginger slivers.

Butter chicken

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 2.5cm piece ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 green chilli, destalked
  • 2 tbsp thick natural yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp chickpea flour (gram flour)
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp chilli powder (or a little more if you’d like it spicy)
  • 1⁄2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Pinch cinnamon powder
  • Pinch saffron, crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 450g skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Melted butter for basting
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
  • Salad and chutney to serve

For the sauce

  • 11⁄2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2.5cm piece cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp grated ginger (made from an 8cm piece of fresh ginger)
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
  • 1⁄2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dried Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaf)
  • 50ml water
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander for garnish

Directions

First prepare the tandoori chicken. Place the ginger, garlic and green chilli in a wet grinder and blend to a smooth paste. Mix the yogurt with the gram flour in a bowl to get rid of any lumps, until you have a thick paste.

Add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste, the paprika, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Also mix in the ground cinnamon, saffron and salt. Stir well and tip in the chicken pieces and mix well, making sure to coat them in the thick marinade.

Leave to marinate for a few hours or even overnight if you prefer. Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill to medium. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes.

Turn the skewers every 5 minutes and baste with melted butter until the chicken juices run clear and the pieces are cooked through and slightly charred around the edges.

To prepare the sauce, place a deep saucepan over a low heat and add the butter. When hot, add cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves.

Fry for 20 seconds, then add the onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat until they take on a light brown colour. Add the grated ginger and birds eye chillies.

Fry for a further minute, add the chilli powder and garam masala, stir for 20 seconds and add the tomato puree. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.

Now gradually add the double cream, stirring continuously to mix it with all the spices. Simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the honey and the fenugreek. Season to taste.

Add the water as well. Add the cooked chicken pieces and simmer the curry on a low heat for 6-8 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with naan bread.

Goan prawn curry with coconut, chilli and coriander

Ingredients

  • 400g raw king prawns, deveined, with tails on
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Goan vinegar or malt vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 90g onion, finely chopped
  • 80g tomato, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, pounded to a paste
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 80ml water
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

For the powdered spices

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 15-18 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

Direction

In a bowl add the prawns and sprinkle over the turmeric powder, vinegar and salt. Mix and set aside for 15-20 minutes while you get the curry ready. In a coffee grinder tip in the cumin seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds.

Blitz to a fine powder and set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions and fry for 5-7 minutes until they start to change colour to a light brown.

Add the chopped tomato and fry for 5 minutes. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further minute. Now add the powdered spices and mix it all together.

Fry for 2 minutes and add the marinated prawns. Stir, coating them in the spiced sauce for a 20-30 seconds, then add the coconut milk, water and tamarind paste. Cover and simmer gently for no more than 4-5 minutes until the prawns turn pink. Add the green chillies and sugar. Garnish with coriander leaves and check seasoning. Serve with lime and coriander rice.

Hirwa Fish Kalwan

Ingredients

  • 800g (1lb 12oz) firm white fish steaks with the centre bone intact (cod would be ideal)
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 curry leaves, plus 5, roughly torn, to garnish
  • 400ml (14fl oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 red chilli, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish

For the green paste

  • 50g (13⁄4oz) coriander leaves
  • 50g (13⁄4oz) coriander stalks
  • 5 cloves garlic 2.5cm (1in) piece root ginger
  • 1 green birds-eye chilli
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped

Directions

Place the fish steaks on a plate and sprinkle over a pinch of salt and the turmeric powder. Rub this in to the fish well and set aside while you make the paste.

Mix all the ingredients for the paste in a mini food processor and add 50ml (2fl oz) water to form a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the 10 whole curry leaves.

When they begin to splutter add the paste and fry on a low flame for three to four minutes. Stir well and pour in the coconut milk, tamarind paste and 150ml (5fl oz) water. Stir again and simmer for five minutes. Season to taste and add the sugar.

Now add the fish steaks and, with the heat still on a low heat, cook the fish with the lid on for three to four minutes until just done. Halfway through the cooking process just lift the pan and swirl it gently to mix – don’t stir.

Garnish with chopped coriander and the remaining curry leaves. Turn the heat off and leave the curry to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm with steamed rice.