Slow-cooked Karnataka Pork Curry

Serves: 4

This great curry is from the I Love India cookbook by Anjum Anand.

I’ve written up a few of her recipes and nothing I have cooked hasn’t been a success. It is also a beautiful cookbook.

This particular curry has a really nice depth of favour and warmth about it. It is incredibly likeable and if you had to pick a curry to fill a baguette the next day for lunch, this is definitely it.

Certainly feel free to dial up the spice and we add an additional 300gm of pork shoulder.

Otherwise, this is perfect for a lazy Sunday evening with a big bowl of rice and a bottle of red.


For the curry

1 tbsp roughly chopped ginger
7 large garlic cloves
1 tomato, quartered
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
15 curry leaves
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 – 3 green chillies, stalks removed, pierced with a knife
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
500 gm pork shoulder, cut into 3cm cubes
4 tsp white wine vinegar
Handful of coriander, leaves and stalks to serve
Rice and Indian breads to serve

For the spice mix

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 small cloves
5mm cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
10 black peppercorns
Pinch of brown mustard seeds


  1. Blend the ginger, garlic and tomato until fine, adding a little water to help the blades turn. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and, once the popping calms down, add the curry leaves, onions and 1 – 3 green chillies (depending on how many you are using; I recommend 3). Cook until really well browned, ensuring the mixture doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the blended paste, the turmeric, salt, cumin and chilli powder and cook well until all the liquid has reduced and the remaining masala releases oil, around 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dry-roast the spices for the spice blend for a minute: immediately grind to fine powder.
  5. Add the pork to the masala in the pan and brown a little in the paste. Add 3 tsp of the spice blend and the vinegar as well as a few splashes of water. Bring to the boil, then cover add simmer really slowly, stirring often and checking to see if you need to add any water.
  6. Cook for 1 – 2 hours or until the pork is really tender. Taste, adjust the seasoning adding more of the spice mix if you like, stir in the coriander and serve on rice with Indian breads.

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.

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.

Spicy Mince and Lettuce Cups

Serves: 4

This is a great weekday meal.

We used pork mince and with the lime juice, lime leaf, brown sugar and fish sauce, you’re left with a sweet, sour and sticky mince, just right for the contrasting crunch of the lettuce, herbs and shallots. And the crunch of the peanuts.


253 calories a serve, beautiful and fun to plate, easily doubled for lunch like we did… you can’t go wrong here.


1 tbsp canola oil
Large piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
500gm chicken, turkey or pork mince
85gm light brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of a lime
2 lime leaf, finely shredded

To serve

Lettuce leaves (we used cos, though iceberg just as good)
Good handful of mint and coriander, roughly chopped
Handful of toasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 lime, quartered


  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the garlic, ginger and chillis for a minute and then add the mince and turn the heat up high; cook until the meat is golden.
  2. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and lime leaf and cook down until everything is sticky.
  3. Serve the mince in the lettuce leaves, topped with the herbs, peanuts, shallots and a squeeze of the lime.

Dahl with spinach

Serves: 6

This is a really tasty, really healthy, down the line dahl.

A Valli Little recipe, it has a nice hint of spice and is packing flavour. Perfect for a quick Saturday lunch or lunch at work.

As with any lentil number, you know it will be good.

So just do it.


2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
1 long green chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
400g yellow split peas, rinsed, soaked in water for 1 hour, drained
800g can chopped tomatoes
3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
1 tsp caster sugar
100g baby spinach leaves


  1. Heat oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add ginger, chilli and garlic and cook for a further minute. Stir in the spices and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add peas, stock, tomatoes, sugar and 1 ½ (375ml) water. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally until peas are tender and dahl is thick and rich.
  3. Stir through the spinach and serve.

Lamb Shawarma

Serves: 4 – 6

Any sort of spiced, Lebanese lamb is good.

There isn’t anything not to love.

In keeping with tradition, this recipe is no different. Spice, great scent, wonderful middle eastern flavour.

What I would say is that if you can do it inside on a griddle, do so. It is surprisingly delicate and a hot BBQ will be too much. You want the meat to still be medium rare.

Marinate the night before and enjoy as a cracker mid-week meal; we did these on skewers though would be just as good in the pan on their own.

If you can do some spiced potatoes or a fattoush, go for it! We had a tzatziki as a side which was awesome.

The week just got a whole lot better.


½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground cloves
¾ tsp ground mace (we used allspice)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Lamb shoulder or leg cut into strips


  1. Mix all the ingredients and then mix in the lamb strips to coat. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and marinate in the fridge overnight.
  2. On the grill or in a pan, on their on or on skewers, cook them until browned and still medium rare inside and serve.

Spinach (Palak) Chicken Curry

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Nat is a genius! 
Serves: 4

Yes, yes, yes!

Another curry win. Not just an incremental win as if you’ve found a bit more fire in a Rogan Josh, but a win like we’ve found a whole new door.

Great yet subtle heat, the spinach, the whole thing.

Cooked by Nat, if you love your Indian, this authentic curry is a no-brainer.

It is like unlocking some whole new level on a game.

And as if you needed anything more to compel you… it’s healthy!

Move! (And double it like we did, though this recipe is for one serve.)

So, this traditional recipe asks for Ginger Garlic Paste. I have kept this true in the recipe, though it is half minced garlic, half grated ginger and some seasoning. Don’t get too excited.

And we have adjusted the ingredients and method to make sense!


200gm spinach
1kg chicken thigh (we used breast which was just fine: healthy), cut into 3cm pieces
¼ cup fat free yogurt
1 ½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
¼ turmeric
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp cayenne
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste (half for the marinade, half for the cooking)
2  tbsp canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 tsp cumin seed
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 cardamom pod, bruised
1 bay leaf (or 2 dry)


  1. Marinate the chicken with the yogurt, salt, turmeric, cayenne, 1 ½ ginger garlic paste, garam masala and coriander for 30 minutes.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and saute until aromatic; we used a muslin cloth to tie the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom and would suggest you do the same.
  3. Add the onions and cook until soft.
  4. Add the remaining (1 ½) ginger garlic paste and cook for a further minute.
  5. Add tomatoes and cooked until it soft and mushy.
  6. Add marinated chicken, half a cup of water and cook, covered, until cooked. Stir frequently.
  7. Remove the cover and reduce to a gravy.
  8. Meanwhile, blanch the spinach and chop finely.
  9. When when the chicken is ready, add the spinach for a minute or two.
  10. Serve with basmati rice.
  11. Genius!

Karen Martini’s Spiced Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Eggs and Coriander

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Meatballs out of the oven and waiting for the passata and eggs.

Serves: 4

I am yet to do a Karen Martini recipe that hasn’t been a keeper and this is no exception.

What a Sunday night treat, served with this clever Adam Liaw salad.

The spicy lamb meatballs are divine, what with the richness of the egg and the sweetness of the tomato sauce. And it all presents beautifully.

Sadly, so well that you will struggle to make a lunch out of it the next day. This really is a dish that is hard to stop eating.

Both of the boys loved them with Oliver describing them as ‘better than better’. Little did he know he was eating chilli, sumac and coriander.

A winner on all fronts.


1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
½ bunch coriander, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
½ onion, finely diced and cooked with a little oil until soft
500gm lamb mince
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
7 eggs
½ bunch parsley, leaves picked
½ bunch coriander, leaves picked
2 tbsp sumac
8 tbsp tomato passata
1 lemon, juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Place spices, chopped parsley and coriander, salt, onion, lamb, 1 egh and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and combine well with your hands.
  3. Roll lamb mixture into 8 oval football shapes, coat in parsley and coriander and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with sumac and bake for 15 minutes; remove from the oven.
  4. Spoon passata into an ovenproof dish, place meatballs on top, crack 6 eggs over the top and bake for 12 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve.

Spiced Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki

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Hello Tuesday! The week just got a whole lot better!

Serves: 4

This recipe by Tobie Puttock had us at ‘spice’ and ‘lamb’.

Spicy lamb is a last meal contender, right?

At 447 calories a serve, they’re not too bad though they make up strongly for this in taste: predictably, as you read through all the ingredients, they taste great.

A really special, warming midweek dish.

Served with tzatziki and a wonderful Pea, Snowpea, Almond and Feta salad and highly recommended.


2 tbsp extra virgin oil
¼ onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried chilli flakes (do 1tsp and don’t hold back!)
1 tbsp dried mint leaves
500gm minced lamb
Small handful, flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Small handful of dill, roughly chopped
1 egg, lightly whisked
100gm reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Tzatziki to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small fry pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes, until slightly softened though not coloured.
  2. Stir in the allspice, coriander, cumin, chilli flakes and mint and cook for a further minute. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the lamb in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture, parsley, dill, egg, feta and season with the salt and pepper.
  4. Use your hands to mix everything well; shape the mixture into four patties, place on a tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat a grill plate on high. Add the patties and cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side until almost cooked through.
  6. Serve with a dollop of tzatziki.

Spicy Braised Beef Soup with Hot Bean Paste

Spicy Braised Beef Soup with Hot Bean Paste

Serves 4

I found this recipe on the Rockpool website – I assume it is sourced from Spice Temple.

It is a wonderful and really fresh dish, though spend some time making sure you track down the right pastes. There are dozens and dozens and at the Chinese grocer I went to, they said they had little knowledge of the Korean pastes other than whether they were used in soups or not.

The reason I say to take care is that you want this soup’s spice level dialled to 11; it’s the reason this dish is so good.

700gm piece beef brisket, trimmed
1 star anise
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cinnamon quill
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 spring onions, finely sliced into rounds
2 tbsp Korean fermented hot chilli bean paste (gochujang)
2 tbsp Chinese soybean paste (huang jing)
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
¼ cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp castor sugar
160gm fresh Shanghai noodles
3 Chinese cabbage leaves
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
Handful coriander leaveshandful coriander leaves


  1. Place the beef in a pot covered with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil; when the scum rises, remove the beef and rinse. Cut beef into 2cm pieces.
  2. Dry-roast the spices in a pan for 4-5 mins until fragrant, Allow to cool and wrap in a tied muslin cloth.
  3. In a large pot, put in the beef, spices (in the muslin cloth) and 2 ½ litres; bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Lift out the beef and the spice bag and reserve including the stock.
  4. Heat oil to hot in a large wok. Stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and spring-onions for 1 minute. Add both the bean pastes and fry until fragrant.
  5. Deglaze with Shaoxing wine, then season with the soy and sugar. Check seasoning.
  6. Add the beef and spice bag and 1 ¼ litres of the beef stock; bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Cook the noodles until al dente; 8 – 10 minutes or according to instructions; I doubled the amount of noodle though this does change the dish to more of a noodle dish than a soup.
  8. Remove the spice bag from the wok and discard; dice the cabbage leaves into 3cm pieces and blanch for a minute in the stock; add the noodles to heat through.
  9. Ladle the soup into four large bowls and garnish with the chilli and coriander.