National Curry Week 12-18 October








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Sunday with Mridula - Chicken Tikka Masala happens to be the most popular dish in Britain today and there is no sign of its popularity slowing down. Robin Cook declared it the National Dish of Great Britain and it is clear that this British-born dish reigns supreme in the kingdom of curries. Until the 1970s this dish did not exist in Indian cuisine; it was invented in England in an Indian restaurant. The chicken needs to be marinated twice, but do not panic, the first margination is only for 30 minutes. The second one takes 2-3 hours; ideal opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine and read the Sunday papers!

Dine with Mridula

Chicken Tikka Masala

Lamb Rogan Josh with Spinach & Mushrooms

Chickpea Curry

Hydrabadi Sofyani Biryani

Mridula's Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4-6

900g/2lb skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into 5cm/2" cubes
The juice of 1 lemon
1¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
115g/4oz Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons besan (gram flour), sieved
115ml/4fl oz single cream
4-6 large garlic cloves, crushed to a fine pulp or 1 tablespoon garlic puree
5 cm/2"piece of root ginger, finely grated or 1 tablespoon ginger puree
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
3 tablespoons mustard oil or other cooking oil
3-4 tablespoons melted butter for basting

Put the chicken in a mixing bowl and rub the lemon juice and salt well into the pieces with your fingertips. Set aside for 30 minutes
Mix the remaining ingredients together and add to the chicken. Mix thoroughly until the chicken is fully coated. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Pre-heat the grill to high and line a grill pan (without the grid) with foil. Lightly brush the foil and 5-6 metal skewers with oil. If you are using bamboo skewers soak them for 30 minutes first. This prevents them burning during cooking.
Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers (reserve any remaining marinade) and place the prepared skewers on the grill pan. Brush some of the marinade over the chicken and cook 7.5cm/3" below the heat source for 5 minutes. Brush the chicken generously with some of the melted butter and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly charred.
Turn the skewers over and baste with the remaining marinade. Cook for 2-3 minutes and brush with the remaining butter. Continue to grill for about 2 minutes or until charred as above. Remove and keep the tikkas hot by wrapping them up in a foil. You can also serve the tikkas with a salad as a first course if you wish.

For the sauce:

If you have a spice infuser, use it for the whole spices to save time and effort in trying to remove them afterwards. Alternatively, use a piece of muslin cloth to tie up the whole spices (like a bouquet garni) which you can remove once the sauce is ready.

5 cm/2" piece of cinnamon stick, broken up
5 green cardamom pods, bruised
5 cloves
1-3 green chillies, roughly chopped (de-seeded if wished)
225g/8 oz canned chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1cm/½" cube of root ginger, finely grated
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
600 ml/1 pint warm water
2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), stalks removed and crushed
115g/4 oz) butter
115ml/4fl oz single cream
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Put the whole spices in a spice infuser or tie them up in a piece of muslin cloth. Put everything into a saucepan, except the fenugreek, butter, cream, ground cardamom and nutmeg. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove the whole spices, puree the sauce and return to the saucepan. Add the fenugreek leaves and butter. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cream and add the remainder to the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cooked chicken tikkas along with any cooking juice, ground cardamom and nutmeg. Simmer gently for 5-6 minutes, remove from the heat. Garnish with the reserved creamand a sprig of coriander. You can also garnish with fried onions if liked. Serve with Naan or pulao rice, but plain boiled basmati rice will enable you to appreciate all the flavours of the dish better.
Mridula's tips: For those with lactose intolerance, substitute Greek yogurt with soya yogurt or raw papaya puree to tenderize the chicken. For the sauce, use coconut cream instead of single cream and non-dairy butter such as soya.

Lamb Rogan Josh with Spinach & Mushrooms

A Rogan Josh is a dish that originates from the Kashmir region of India, and is a rich, hearty and flavoursome dish characterised by tomato and heady spices. This is a really quick and easy dish using our Rogan Josh cooking sauce. All I've added here is mushrooms and spinach - which add extra goodness and substance to this taste dish.

Serves: 4 people
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 55 mins
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients :
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g diced lamb
500g jar Patak's Rogan Josh Cooking Sauce or similar
100g shitake mushrooms, halved
50g baby spinach leaves
fresh coriander leaves to serve

Method :

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 4 -5 minutes or until browned.

Pour over the Patak's Rogan Josh Cooking Sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.

Stir in the shitake mushrooms and baby spinach leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through. Garnish with the fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice and Patak's Naan Breads.

Chickpea Curry

This is another one of our most popular recipes. I think it's because chickpeas are such a fantastic ingredient, they have a lovely nutty flavour and are a good source of zinc and protein - and used liberally in Indian cuisine.This recipe is a firm favourite and is really hearty - the perfect winter warmer.

Ingredients :
400g cooked chickpeas
1 tsp garlic purée
100g onion, chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp Patak's Madras Paste or similar
150g chopped tomatoes
½ tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
pinch of sugar
½ green chilli, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
juice of half a lemon


Method :

Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, when they crackle add the diced onions and fry on a medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

Add the garlic purée, Madras Paste, green chilli (if using) and cumin powder and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 5-8 mins, then add the chick peas. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the chickpeas are heated through.

Adjust the seasoningand add the sugar and lemon juice.Add the fresh coriander, reserving a little for garnish.

Hydrabadi Sofyani Biryani(Chef Puneet Arora)

Ingredients :
Kid Lamb 2kgs
Basmati Rice 1.5 kgs
Brown Oniona 150gms
Cloves 6gms
Cardamom 6gms
Cinnamon sticks 6gms
Royal Cumin Seeds 8gms
Ginger paste 20gms
Garlic paste 20gms
Bay leaves 4
Green Chilli 20 gms
Fresh Mint 15gms chopped
Fresh Coriander Leaves 15gms
Sour Yoghurt 750ml
Milk 100ml
Ghee 700gms
Flour Dough 250gms

Lamb Balls :
Lamb Mince 250gms
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder 5gms
Ginger paste 5gms
Galic paste 5gms
Garam Masala Powder 5gms
Diced Raisins 50gms
Fresh Chopped Coriander 5gms
Ghee for shallow frying

Award-winning Chef Puneet Arora

Method :
Pre-prep :
Wash the lamb and drain it
Wash the yoghurt. Chop coriander leaves, mint, green chillies and mix in the salt. Keep it aside
Clean the roots of the mint and coriander separately and tie them in a muslin cloth.
Marinate the lamb with yoghurt, half the garam masala, ginger paste, garlic paste, red chilli powder, slit green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, salt and keep it aside for 20-25 minutes.
Wash the rice gently and soak it for 15-20 minutes
Make the lamb balls, shallow fry in ghee and keep aside.

Heat the milk
Fill a pan with3/4 water and add salt, half of the whole cinnamon, cardamom and cloves along with roots of the mint and coriander tied in a muslin cloth and cover the pan, bring to the boil.
When the water starts to boil, add the drained rice and par boil the rice until half done and strain it.
In a haandi/heavy bottom pan add the marinated lamb and spread the brown onions over it and then add the par boiled rice over it.
Place the lamb balls in between the layers of the par boiled rice.
Pour melted ghee and milk over the rice. Cover the haandi with a tight lid and seal with flour dough. Cook it on a high flame for 10 minutes and then on a low flame for 20 minutes. Place live charcoal on the lid and leave it on Dum.

Serving :
Garnish with brown onions, chopped coriander leaves and chopped mint leaves.

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