Ajoy Joshi’s Rich Chicken Curry

Serves: 4 – 6

I can’t tell if Ajoy Josh is having a laugh at our expense.

The techniques and ingredients he uses are not only different to other Indian recipes, each of this recipes are different.

The deep goldening of onions and the use of yoghurt marinades being two rare exceptions.

This recipe was true to Ajoy’s trick of throwing curve balls. The ground sesame seeds. The squeeze of lemon at the end.

And yet in true Ajoy style, it is absolutely beautiful.

Total luxury.

If Ajoy Joshi is having a laugh, good for him.

Note: I have slightly adjusted this recipe.


1kg chicken thighs, cut into 3cm pieces

1/2 c vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced
Juice of 1 – 2 lemons

For the marinade

2 c full-fat natural yoghurt
1 tsp crushed fresh ginger
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp crushed green chillies
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tbsp white sesame seeds, ground
50gm cashew nuts, roasted and ground

For the spice mix

1 tsp cassia buds*
2 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
1/2 tsp black cumin seeds


  1. Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a large shallow dish and mix together. Season with salt. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then cover allow to marinate in the refridgerator for 1 – 2 hours.
  2. To make the spice mix, put all the spices in a spice grinder, small food processor or mortar and pestle and grind together. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat, add the sliced onions and saute until the onions turn golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and stir well. Cook for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the freshly crushed spices and sprinkle over the lemon juice.

* I substituted a cinnamon stick.

Chicken, Pumpkin and Cashew Curry

Chicken, Pumpkin and Cashew Curry

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really neat curry from The Blue Ducks’ ‘Real Food’ cookbook, a book we really like and have had some early success from.

It is unusual, both in terms of the amount of curry powder you need for it, as well as the wonderfully fragrant paste of ginger, garlic, curry leaves, lime leaves, coriander roots and lemongrass; though it definitely, definitely pulls together.

Just ensure that you get the curry powder to a powder, even if it means a second vino whilst working the mortar and pestle.

It is warm, comforting, fragrant and fun to pull together. Comfort being the operative word; this is simply a great chicken curry you’d happily eat every night with rice – or cauliflower rice as we did.

The original recipe asks for a whole chicken cut up, though we used 1kg of chicken thigh.

Final point: Kashmiri chilli powder.

Most of Rick Stein’s curries ask for it. Among many others.

Sure, you can substitute other chilli powders, though if you can, make the effort and get some Kashimiri chilli powder from an Indian grocer. It is mild and adds a wonderful red hue rather than simply being the Sherman Tank so many chilli powders are. It is worth it.


3 tbsp ghee (or vegetable oil)
1 large onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5cm piece of ginger, chopped
10 – 15 curry leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves (remove the spine)
1 bunch of coriander, leaves picked and roots and stalks reserved
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, chopped
1 x 1.6 kg chicken, 10 – 12 pieces, skin on and bones in (or 1kg of chicken thigh)
200ml coconut milk
500gm peeled and deseeded pumpkin, cut into 5cm dice
400gm can diced tomatoes
100gm roasted cashews
1 heaped tsp salt flakes
Natural yoghurt

Curry Powder

75gm coriander seeds (yes, a lot!)
50gm cumin seeds (ditto)
8 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
6 black peppercorns
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 dried chillies
½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder


  1. For the curry powder, toast the coriander seeds cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in a dry frying pan until fragrant and lightly coloured. Tip the spices into a spice grinder – or mortar and pestle – and grind until a fine powder.
  2. Place the garlic, ginger, curry leaves, lime leaves, coriander roots and stalks, and lemongrass in a blender or small food processor and blitz to a paste.
  3. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the ghee and fry the onion until it is just turning golden. Add the curry powder and cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the spices don’t burn.
  4. Add the paste to the pan and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken, coconut milk, pumpkin, tomatoes, cashews, salt and half the coriander leaves. Slowly simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice (or cauliflower rice) and a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Honey Roasted Cashews

Serves: 1 Nat

Well, if you’re going to do it, do it right!

Cashews, butter, honey, sugar, salt and some roasting time.

Right, right?!

These are predictably awesome and predictably outrageous. Worryingly, if you have an air fryer like we do, they’re even more within reach.

Life is short and honey roasted cashews definitely need to be part of it.

Make a batch today and never look back.


1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp honey
300gm cashew nuts
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (or get your air fryer ready)
  2. Melt the butter on a low heat and add the honey. Stir well until mixed.
  3. Take your sauce off the heat and throw in your cashews. Mix well until they’re completely covered in honey and then turn out onto a lined baking tray, spreading evenly.
  4. Pop in the oven for five minutes and then toss. Repeat again. If they’re still looking pale, repeat once more. Or air fry for 6 minutes.
  5. When they’re golden and toasted, pour into a bowl with the sugar and salt. Mix together, giving the nuts a bit of a shake.
  6. Leave the nuts to cool, stirring occasionally to break them up.
  7. Good luck not eating them in one sitting.

Rick Stein’s White Lamb Curry

Serves: 6 – 8

Otherwise known as Safed Maas – ‘safed’ meaning white in most North Indian languages – this curry is literally the opposite of rogan josh.

Aromatic, mild and off-white. Fragrant and luxurious.

Historically, this recipe is a royal dish from the region of Rajasthan, a region famous for its upper-class cooking.

So background aside, why would you consider this.

It’s hard to know where to start!

It is a brand new curry! After a billion rogan joshes and so forth, this is like finding out you have a tail!

It tastes extraordinary. With some rice and chapitas, it is so moorish and – second time I have used this word – luxurious, you will pause to take it all in. Heaven.

And it is from Rick Stein, a man who gets it right almost every time.

If you like curry and you like Indian, I present to you your new tail.

Start wagging. It looks great!


For the spice blend

2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp green cardamom pods, seeds only
1 black cardamom pod, seeds only
1 tsp cloves
4cm cinnamon stick
1 Indian bay leaf

For the lamb

100gm cashew nuts
1 tbsp boiling water
1gk boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 4cm cubes
4cm fresh ginger, finely grated
5 cloves garlic, finely crushed
100gm Greek-style yogurt
150gm ghee (or oil)
1 small onion, sliced
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (seeds from 30 green pods)
40ml double cream

To serve

Pilau rice


  1. Fry the spices in a frying pan over a medium-heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted and aromatic and then blend to a powder using a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  2. For the lamb, tip the cashew nuts and water into a mini food processor and blend to a paste. Set aside. Put the lamb in a large bowl and mix well with the spice blend, ginger, garlic and yogurt. Set aside and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the ghee in a large pan over a low-medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the meat and its marinade and pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add the salt, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender and the sauce is thickened.
  4. Stir in the cashew nut paste, ground cardamom and a splash of water if needed to give the sauce the consistency of double cream. Heat through and the stir in the cream and serve.
  5. Close your eyes.