Andhra Curry Leaf Chicken

Serves: 4

There is yet to be a Christine Manfield curry that hasn’t amazed and this one is no different.

It is moorish, spicy, colourful with a few layers of flavour, the cashew paste adding a wonderful creaminess at the end: we added more of the cashew paste than was asked and didn’t look back.

The real winner however – as Nat observed – is the fried curry leaves and the fun and flavour they add.

And it’s a simple dish. Marinate overnight, cook in under 30 minutes the next night.

I’ve written it many times, though the excitement for us in cooking Indian food is finding new flavours and styles. Christine does not let anyone down with this one.


1.2kg chicken thighs, cut into 4cm chunks
1/3 cup cashew paste
2 large dried red chillies
2 tbsp shredded curry leaves
2 tbsp fried curry leaves


1 tsp chilli powder
1 large dried red chilli, broken into small pieces
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
3 tomatoes, chopped
150gm thick natural yoghurt


  1. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper in a bowl. Add chicken chunks, mixing to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes (or overnight).
  2. For the cashew paste, blend equal parts raw cashews and water in a food processor to make a thick, smooth paste.
  3. For the fried curry leaves, heat some vegetable oil in a saucepan to 170c and fry fresh batches of curry leaves for 20 seconds until their colour darkens. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. For the ginger and garlic paste, process equal parts garlic and ginger in a food processor with a little water until smooth.
  5. Tip the chicken and marinade into a large, non-stick frying pan. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 10 minutes or until the mixture is not too wet and the marinade has reduced and is coating the chicken.
  6. Stir in the cashew paste, chillies, 1 tsp salt and the shredded curry leaves and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Serve sprinkled with the fried curry leaves.

Hyderabad baked herby chicken korma

Serves: 4

This is the second dish we have cooked from the wonderful I Love India cookbook and it really does take the otherwise dull Chicken Korma from zero to hero.

The curry is mild, though it’s aroma and creaminess, the fact it is baked… and the fact that you serve it with some thinly sliced baked potatoes make this so much fun.

Your guests will never see it coming.

Not least because you prep the whole thing the night before, pop it all into a baking dish and 45 minutes later, dinner is served.

Just make sure you brown the top and have plenty of rice to mop it all up.


(I have varied the recipe slightly and the method reflects it: all in the name of making it slightly easier the night before.)


1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves, roughly chi
1 cup Greek yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 chicken thigh/breast (around 1.2kg), cut into large pieces
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
Vegetable oil
2 red onions, finely sliced
1 1/3 packed cup coriander leaves and stalks, more to serve
3/4 packed cup mint leaves
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp lemon juice
4 green chillis, chopped
4 tbsp light cream


  1. In a blender, blend the ginger, garlic and yoghurt and 1 tsp of salt. Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for 1 hour. Meanwhile, pound the coconut in a mortar and pestle until it is powdery.
  2. Heat 4cm of oil in a small-ish saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry until golden and crispy. Drain from the oil and set aside.
  3. Set aside a quarter of the onions as a garnish and place the rest in the same blender used to blend the yoghurt. Add 2tbsp of the onion cooking oil, the herb, coconut, garam masala, lemon juice and chilli. Blend until smooth. Pour over the chicken and mix well, leaving it overnight to marinate.
  4. Heat the oven to 180c and place the chicken and marinade in a large baking dish that can take the chicken in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes ensuring that the top is golden; adjust your oven or grill to achieve this.
  6. Stir in the cream; adjust the seasoning and lemon juice to taste.
  7. Serve hot, sprinkled with the reserved onions and coriander, sliced baked potatoes and rice.

Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich

Serves: 2

Well, this is pretty epic.

Saturday night after a long lunch epic.

Epic, as in spicy Indian mince lamb, sandwiched in baita roti and pan fried.

The recipe is from a wonderful book, I Love India by Anjum Anand, an incredibly fresh and indulgent cookbook where there is literally not one recipe we wouldn’t cook. If you love Indian and you love a Saturday-night, this book will blow your mind.

Anyway, this is an epic recipe as I said and one you should definitely line up for your next big Saturday night.


For the meat filling

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
200gm minced lamb
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1/2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped including seeds
1 small tomato, chopped
2/3 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 small egg
Handful of chopped coriander leaves

For the wrap and to serve
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp chutney


  1. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the mince, garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato, spices and salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until the meat is soft and the excess liquid has evaporated; give the pan an occasional stir, breaking up the meat during the 20 minutes or so of cooking. Drain off any excess fat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dough: add the salt to the flour, with the oil and around 1/4 cup water. Knead until smooth ensuring that it isn’t too soft. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth until the lamb is done.
  3. Whisk the egg with a little salt and the coriander. Divide the dough in half and roll out 20 – 23cm squares, trying to roll the outer 3cm thinner than the rest.
  4. Heat a large fry-pan gently and add the remaining oil.
  5. Quickly make the stuffed rotis: place half the filling in the center of each flatbread, leaving a 7.5cm border along the edges. Spoon 3 tbsp of the egg over each. Bring down the upper edge, fold in the sides and the lower edge to enclose the filling, forming into a flat-ish square.
  6. Place straight into the hot pan, seams side down and cook until golden on both sides. Serve hot with the chutney.

Meen Molee (Fish curry cooked in coconut)

Meen Molee (Fish curry cooked in coconut)

Serves: 2 – 3

I’ve done a few Molee and this recipe is a wonderful, rustic and rather simple fish version.

It isn’t as complex or subtle as some I have done, though it is the simplicity factor that earns the write-up; and it tastes just awesome too.

Weekday, Saturday lunch, this is a great number.


3 garlic cloves
3 green chillies
5cm piece of ginger, peeled
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
6 curry leaves
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp salt
200ml coconut milk
160ml boiling water
500gm firm white fish, cut into 3cm pieces
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Basmati rice and coriander to serve


  1. Place the garlic, chillies and ginger in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to a medium-heat and fry the onion with the curry leaves for 4 minutes until softening. Stir in the garlic, chilli and ginger mixture together with the turmeric and salt. Fry for 2 minutes and then add half the coconut milk and the boiling water.
  3. Simmer for 2 minutes and add the fish; gently simmer for 5 – 6 minutes. Add half the tomato and remaining coconut milk and simmer for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Garnish with the remaining tomato and serve on basmati rice with plenty of coriander.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Served: 6 – 8

This is a great – really great – curry.

Though it could have ended in tears.

We found it after a coin-toss between staying in or going out for dinner last Saturday, the appeal of the couch, cuddles and some shitty TV shows winning hands-down.

Found on my phone after a few searches and keywords, we had the ingredients, we had our PJs on and we were ready to go.

Except that the instructions were completely unaligned to the ingredients.

We almost had two sets of ingredients: those in the list of ingredients and those in the method.

Normally we would read the instructions or at least give them a glance before cooking, though we were on a phone when we chose the dish, we were still distracted, comprehending our coin-toss and besides, we cook plenty of curries.

We know the drill.

What ghee are you asking for? Marinate what fish? Who’s Fred?

So we winged it.

And the winging came up good. Great in-fact.

Determined not to lose to the madman that pulled the original monster together, we pushed on and here you have that curry.

Neither will you be a loser if you do this number.

It is just great!


1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala
6 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
5 dried curry leaves
2 dried red chillies
1 kg chicken thighs, cut into 3cm pieces
15 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp freshly squeened lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp chilli powder
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
240ml coconut milk
1 tsp brown sugar
Yoghurt and coriander to serve


  1. Heat your salamander to high and peel your prawns. (Monster).
  2. Heat all the spices in a dry pan for 1 – 2 minutes until aromatic. Place in a grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Fry the oil in a large saucepan of a medium heat and add the fresh curry leaves and fry for 1 minute. Add the onions and cook for 4 – 5 minutes until slightly browned and soft.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes and add the spice powder, tomato paste and 250ml of warm water. Mix well and cover, cooking for 45 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and cook for a further 15 minutes or until you have a thickened gravy. Add the sugar and salt for taste.
  6. Serve with coriander and a dollop of yoghurt.
  7. Turn off the salamander.

Coconut chutney

Serves: A dinner of dosai, as a side

Dosais are not the least expensive things on your Southern Indian restaurant menu and even then, I doubt they make much money from them.

There are plenty of ingredients that go into the whole show, they take time and technique and importantly, a truly wonderful chutney like this lasts… 24 hours. Time and economies of scale are not on your side.

The silver lining of course is that a good dosai is to die for and this chutney is simply part of the story. It is amazing.

The extra touch that turns the dial from 11 to 12. The addition that completes the meal, taking you into fine Indian cooking territory. The secret weapon in your cook-off that nobody saw coming.

Sure, you have 24-hours to get from bench to plate, though in-between making your dosai batter, your filling and a wonderful side of lentils, you’re signed up to the task right?

And the fact is, you cannot lose any cook-off – or dinner – if you pull the whole thing off.

Tie maybe, but who the hell are you cooking against?!


Half a coconut, grated
2 fresh green chillis
½ bunch fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp fresh ginger
Salt to taste


10ml vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ asafoetida powder
1 sprig fresh curry leaves


  1. Grind the coconut, chillis, coriander leaves, ginger and salt in a blender, adding a little water if required.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and temper the chutney by pouring the mixture on top.
  3. Serve as an accompaniment to dosai.

** Enhances colour and flavour and settles the stomach; unless you have it or feel inclined to get it, you can live without.

Sambhar (Indian lentil-stew)

Sambhar (Indian lentil-stew)

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a very popular Southern Indian lentil-stew, especially as an accompaniment to dosai.

It is dead easy to prepare (once you have prepared your Sambhar powder), incredibly healthy and a great way to use up the lentils you probably have left over from winter soups.

Let it simmer and double the recipe so you have plenty leftover for lunch.



100gm Yellow lentils or Tour Dal
¼ tsp Turmeric
1 cup Tomato puree (passata)
1 medium-size onion, diced
1 tbsp Sambhar powder*
¼ tbsp Tamarind concentrate
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
Salt to taste

*Sambhar powder (makes plenty; stores for 6-months)

1 ½ cups coriander seeds
1 cup dried red chillis, broken into small pieces
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 ½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ inch cinnamon stick
⅓ cup unsweetened dried coconut, shredded
¼ cup firmly packed fresh curry leaves
1 tsp asafoetida powder**


For the Sambhar

  1. Cook the lentils with the turmeric in approximately 2 litres of water until soft and mushy.
  2. Add the tomatoes and onions and cook until they are soft.
  3. Add the Sambhar powder, tamarind concentrate, fresh curry leaves and salt to taste and bring to the boil. Simmer for a bit.
  4. Check the seasoning, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.

Sambhar powder

  1. Heat small saucepan over low heat. Separately dry-roast coriander, chilli peppers, fenugreek, mustard, cumin and cinnamon until fragrant and only lightly coloured. Place in a bowl.
  2. Toast coconut in pan, stirring, until lightly browned. Add to spices.
  3. Dry-roast curry leaves, tossing often, until crisp. Add to spices with asafoetida. Mix well and let cool.
  4. Place mixture in airtight container until ready to use. (Will keep for up to 6 months in the refrigerator.) Just before using, grind to a powder in spice grinder and use as recipe indicates.

** Enhances colour and flavour and settles the stomach; unless you have it or feel inclined to get it, you can live without.