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Curry

Another night exploring what the supermarket has to offer and something a little different to eat. Well inspiration was missing a little and could I be bothered to cook. Sometimes cooking for one is an effort and you just fancy a quick ready meal. Stop right there, I can not remember the last time I had a unhealthy expensive ready meal.

I would probably have cheese on toast or a simple omelette rather than buy a ready meal. I do like looking at the ready meals sometimes for ideas, especially in M&S as they have an array of different meals. So what would it be, I spotted some reduced chicken thighs so I grabbed them. I was thinking curry but what type.

Butter Prawn Chicken Biryani

Another night exploring what the supermarket has to offer and something a little different to eat. Well inspiration was missing a little and could I be bothered to cook. Sometimes… Curry curry, Butter chicken, Butter chicken Biriyani, butter prawn chicken biryani Indian Print This
Serves: 3 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 Calories estimated 20 grams Fat estimated
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs cut into strips
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large tsp of garlic puree
  • 2 large tsp of ginger puree
  • 2 tsp of garam masala (more if you like it spicier
  • 2 tsp of tomato puree
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1tsp of ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tps of chipotle chillies
  • small hand full of coriander
  • butter
  • 1 pot of double cream
  • 1 packet of basmati microwave rice
  • Hand-full of frozen prawns (if desired)

Instructions

First slice the onions and add to a metal handled frying pan with a glut of oil  (so you can place it in the oven after)

Start cooking the onions and add the garam masala, cook for around 3 minutes 

butter chicken biryani

No add the sliced chicken thigh, still on a medium to high heat to colour the chicken. 3 mins cooking 

Now add the rest of the spices ensuring it coats the chicken thoroughly 2 mins cooking 

Next add the tomato puree and a pinch of sugar (add some water if it looks dry) cook for 2 mins and a hand full of chopped coriander 

Its time now to add the butter and the cream, add enough cream so it cover the chicken. Allow the mixture to warm through

The microwave basmati rice is next, ensure you have squashed the rice in the bag first to separate the grains. arrange over the mixture in the pan, add some chopped coriander (save some for dressing the dish)

Cover the pan with tin foil and place into the oven for 20 mins 

serve with some homemade naan bread 

 

Butter Chicken My Simple Way

I fancied a butter chicken and having never made butter chicken before where was I to start. Well I went for the obvious , I suppose obvious for me. Butter, there had to be butter in a butter in an Indian butter chicken dish so that’s in. The sauce hmmm, cream and err, well most curries have tomatoes in them. The spices well a good start would be garam masala. Not quite a classic curry base sauce

So I had an idea in my head how all this was going to go, top up the red wine let’s cook.

To start with, I chopped up some onion, it was red onion, because that’s all I had in the house at the time, but that was fine. So I started to fry the chopped onions in warm oil, and I started cooking them, and then I added two teaspoons of garam masala. Once that had cooked into the onions, I then added two large teaspoons of ginger paste and garlic paste. I used the KTC ready-minced, just to save time.

Quick Butter Chicken Sauce

The next thing is to let the paste all cook down, and the garam masala mix in together. After that, I added some chopped chicken thigh. I used the thigh because of its moisture, and it’s much more cost effective. You can say a cheap dinner idea. Opps nearly forgot the tomatoes but I looked in the fridge no tomatoes. I did have tinned tomatoes and passata but I did not want that much as this was a easy butter chicken for one.

So I added a squirt of tomato puree to the pan and then a pinch of sugar. I always add sugar to tomatoes in every recipe to give it balance.

The next step is to actually brown the chicken in the pan, ensuring that it gets coated in the garam masala and the garlic paste and the ginger paste. The next stage is to add some ground fenugreek, and one teaspoon of turmeric. A little more spice needed so I added chipotle chilli flakes, a little milder but full of flavour. Now I added two large knobs of butter along with some cream, Cover the chicken and I allowed that to warm through.

The Curveball, Now its a Butter Prawn & Chicken Curry

I was looking in the pan and the 2 small chicken thighs didn’t look that much to eat, hmmmm. The freezer to the rescue as I always have some cheap frozen prawns in there. So I added them into the pan but still something was still missing. Just a butter prawn & chicken sauce to eat. The light bulb moment to turn it into a Biriyani, yes another change of recipe. I bet at this point you are thinking there is no mention of part cooked rice, you’re right there sent.

Another store cupboard staple my microwave rice which I use in many a dish. I will admit at this point I was wondering if it would actually work. Pacing the kitchen I eventually threw caution to the wind and pour the microwave rice over the top of the butter curry sauce.

The Butter Prawn Chicken Biryani Was Created

Now, at this point, the chicken is not cooked completely, I was going to cook it a little longer on the stove. The change of plan, now we’re going to put it into the oven. You can get plain rice, or basmati rice you At that point I opened the packet rice, but before you open it, ensure that you crunch it all up so all the grains are separated.

Now pour the microwave rice on top of your mixture and allow it to set on top. Then cover your frying pan with tin foil and place it in a moderate oven, about 150 to 160 for 20 minutes. Then all you do is take it out and you’ve got your butter chicken biryani. Well butter prawn chicken Biriyani.

Easy Butter Prawn Chicken Biryani

It was all made on a whim and actually for not very much money and it was enough for 3 people easily. I will develop the recipe further and take some better photos because it tasted absolutely delicious. This is a time saving uncomplicated butter chicken biryani made easier for the home cook. No there is no saffron in the dish, turmeric does a very similar job in tase and looks.

You don’t have to break the bank for a good curry using cheap dinner ideas methods.

More Great Curry Recipes

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cheats keema rice

 Cheats Keema Rice

I confess I do not like my curry dishes to hot with chilli as it make my eyes water and my head perspire. No its not funny and I haven’t  much hair on top so it makes for a little shimmering water fountain which trust me is not attractive when your eating out with friends. Strangely though the spice I use to make my cheats keema rice has little effect on me. The chilli loving friends however find it hot so it becomes my turn to giggle inwards at their flushed faces and hurried beer drinking to quench the heat.

Keema is a traditional meat dish from Indian. The word keema is probably borrowed from the Turkish language meaning minced meat. Usually mutton or Lamb. (source=wiki)

Easy Keema Rice

After looking at a few keema rice recipes I was a little overwhelmed as to some of the lengths they go to to get this quick easy dish to the table. I conjured up this cheats keema rice recipe at the 11th hour when friends decided on a surprise visit one weekend so I had to make things stretch a little further and use what I had in the kitchen cupboards. All it takes is 4 ingredients and less than 10 minutes actual  cooking time. You can add extra ingredients if you so do desire to bulk out the meat.

cheats keema rice

Cheats Keema Rice

 Cheats Keema Rice I confess I do not like my curry dishes to hot with chilli as it make my eyes water and my head perspire. No its not funny… Indian Indian Rice, indian, rice dish, keema rice Indian Print This
Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 Calories estimated 20 grams Fat estimated
Rating: 3.8/5
( 5 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 Packet of Microwave rice (plain)
  • 2 tsp of Cayene pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 200g mince meat
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

cheats keema rice If you are using an onion dice and gently fry until translucent, season Add the mince and spice fry until the meat is browned off Meanwhile microwave the rice as per packet instructions Once the rice is cooked pour out into a bowl and separate the grains with a fork Add rice to browned  mince ensuring every grain is covered with the flavoured oil Serve as a side dish

Notes

You can prepare the rice earlier in the day and once it has cooled then it will be easier to fluff the rice For another flavour and a vibrant colour add frozen peas

If I make to much of the cheats keema mince then it can be used to enhance any other part of your Indian feast.  Some  great ways to use up the mince meat is to make your own naan bread and stuff the cold meat inside before cooking the naan. You could also add some wilted spinach (or Peas, small diced cooked potatoes) to the mixture and then wrap in filo triangles for tasty easy starters. Instructions below

cheats keema rice

Cheats Keema Rice Samosas

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Taking one sheet of filo pastry at a time (keeping the other sheet covered to prevent it from drying out). Cut the pastry  widthways into 6 strips, each 30 cm (12 in) long. Brush them with a little of the oil.
  2. Lay one of the pastry strips lengthways in front of you and put a rounded tbsp of the filling in the middle of the end nearest to you. Pick up one end corner and fold it diagonally over the filling to make a triangular shape, flattening the filling slightly. Continue folding the strip over in a triangular shape until you come almost to the end. Trim off excess pastry from the end. Repeat with the remaining filo pastry and filling to make 12 triangles in all.
  3. Place the filo triangles on a non-stick baking sheet, brush the tops with the remaining oil and scatter over the crushed coriander seeds. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden.

Cheats Keema Rice

The added benefit of this recipe is the superfood qualities of the spices, cayenne pepper and turmeric.

Medicinal Claims 

Cayenne pepper consumption dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin. With the consumption of cayenne peppers, the amount of heat the human body puts off is influenced. In animal studies, capsaicin has the ability to boost metabolism, which in turn causes weight loss. This increases circulation and blood flow to all major organs, facilitating oxygen and nutrient delivery. Capsaicin may support a healthy energy balance while suppressing appetite.[38] Capsaicin has been shown to increase energy expenditure, so acts as a metabolism booster and is beneficial in long-term  weight loss.[39] A correlation has been shown between substrate oxidation and capsaicin. Capsaicin treatment sustained fat oxidation during weight maintenance, but did not affect weight regain after modest weight loss.[ Wiki

If you have any quick curry dishes to accompany this cheats Keema rice please share so we can feature that dish to.

Authentic Keema Rice

If you are looking for a more authentic keema rice then you will need a full selection of spices. Not only that you will need a little more time to let the flavours develop some more. The spices you will need are coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chilli powder, turmeric  and crushed garlic. You will also need some  Kasuri Methi (fenugreek leaves) and tomatoes for the full authentic keema recipe.

If you would like the full recipe go to My tamarind Kitchen .

Keema Naan Bread

Try making you own homemade curry, start with the basic curry sauce. Then you can make the naan bread and when you have mastered that you can stuff the naan with your keema mix. Its so simple to make keema naan, just follow the basic naan bread instructions but roll out the dough thiner as you are going to double wrap. Once the dough is rolled add a spoonful of the keema mix to the dough and spread it out thinly. You don’t want to much mixture in the naan bread as it will make it to wet. Fold over the dough enclosing the keema mixture.Make sure the dough is sealed al the way around so the keema doesn’t leak during cooking.

one dish you must try if you like your curries mild is a aubergine and sweet potato curry

aubergine curry perfect with keema rice

What Ingredients Do You Need For Keema rice

1 Packet of Microwave rice (plain)
2 tsp of Cayene pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
200g mince meat
1 onion (optional)
salt & pepper

How long does it take to cook cheats keema rice

It can be cooked in about 5 minutes especially if your using microwave rice

What type of rice is used for Keema rice

ideally the long grain white rice is used in keema rice

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Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

Sweet Potato and Aubergine curry, not your usual staple curry ingredients and to be honest I was a little apprehensive on the outcome. Aubergine is an ingredient I rarely use and the only thing that sprang to mind was baba ganoush which is not a curry.

Sweet Potato

Again this is another ingredient that I and many others underused. Records suggest that the sweet potato originated from South American and possibly in existence from 8000 BC.  Surprisingly (to me) the sweet potato is not related at all to the common potato and possible the first Europeans to taste where those on the Christopher Columbus‘s expedition in 1492.

Sweet Potato Recipes

10 Sweet Potato recipes you may want to try . My latest twist was to top a Moroccan stew mixed with regular mash.  Boiled mashed then combined with white mashed potato. The next step is the flavour boost from the butter. To a small frying pan add caraway seeds, cinnamon and ground coriander. Toast the spices for 45 seconds then ad 50 to 100g of butter and melt. The butter absorbs all the toasted spices then pour into you mixed mash and mash again. Taste then season very well with salt and pepper to really bring out the flavours.

 

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

This curry was taken and adapted from a Sainsbury recipe (from that annoying Essex boy). Its been a few years ago but time and time again we go back to this sweet potato and aubergine curry. The simple reason  is its so easy to make and it taste great. They do have a similar one on their website but it has changed a little bit, I guess since the poster boy isn’t the face of Sainsbury’s any more

Its one of those you can quickly make and then leave it there to bubble away whilst you get on with your other work in the houses. The only really expensive ingredient to this recipe is the coconut milk, it just seems to have shot up in price over time.  If I ever see an offer on the coconut milk I buy multiple cans and my last batch was from a friend who goes to a wholesale warehouse so do buy it wisely.

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry great for a homemade curries night in. Great with homemade naan bread .

 

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Chicken Curry

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry Sweet Potato and Aubergine curry, not your usual staple curry ingredients and to be honest I was a little apprehensive on the outcome. Aubergine is… Curry Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry European Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 Calories estimated 20 grams Fat estimated
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes (diced)
  • 2 chicken breasts (diced)
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 3 table spoons of your favorite curry paste
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 500 ml of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of peas (optional)

Instructions

Chop aubergine into chunks

Add curry paste to pan along with Aubergine, fry until  sizziling

Add chicken till part cooked and coated with curry paste

Add sweet potato cook for about 3 minutes

Add coconut milk and chicken stock

Leave simmering  20 to 40 minutes, depending on how big your dice is on your sweet potatoes

Add peas if required for the last 10 minutes of cooking

The mixture will thicken as the sweet potato and aubergine break down. You are looking for a nice creamy consistency

Notes

You can use frozen chicken if you wish. TOP TIP : if you leave it simmering away for to long (as I often do) and the consistency gets to heavy add a little cream to thin the sauce out. This will also keep perfectly well in the fridge for up to 3 days

Want a more authentic curry then start with this great base curry sauce.

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homemade curry

Homemade Curries

Curries ! are now considered a national dish of the UK and rightly so as we seem to consume thousands a week across Great Britain. Most of these are at your local Indian restaurant or takeaway and then there is the thousands we buy in from the supermarket, open bang it in the oven and it kinda tastes ok. We just don’t make enough homemade curries and its not that difficult really and its so much more fun when you make your own homemade curries. All you need to do is master the base Indian Curry Sauce (sometimes called gravy)

You do not need every spice on the rack from your supermarket to make a good curry and they certainty do not need to contain several large chilies with enough heat to remove a layer of skin from your pallet along with a unattractive sweaty forehead. Its not big and its not clever eating chilies, we all have different taste receptors in the mouth and those who can eat chilies with ease have less receptors susceptible to the spicy oils in the chilies (yes I am sure you can tell already I am one of the wimpy ones who doesn’t like to much heat in the curry).

HOMEMADE CURRIES

Saturday In ! as we are now of the more mature age and we just cant keep up with the young ones in the hip trendy bars plus the bonus is we get to pick whom we exclusively spend our time with and the other great thing is it does not cost an absolute fortune. One of the other reasons we don’t go out that often (apart from not having a reliable babysitter ! mum has a busier social calendar than both of us put together) is we often go out spend a lot of money but left very disappointed at the quality of food and the service. Also I reckon my food is better (just my humble opinion  )

HOMEMADE CURRIES PHOTOS

Unfortunately my pictures did not turn out that well.

Reason 1 : They were on my Iphone  and the quality was pretty poor.

Second Reason  : I was running around that much trying to get all the food on the table and before I realised that no photos were taken we had already eat about half of the feast

Reason 3 : I am no food stylist, so I have raped and pillaged similar images to my dishes

HOMEMADE CURRIES

Decisions decisions, well the only guaranteed thing I was going to make when I woke up on Saturday morning was our Chicken and sweet potato curry.  I did have a fantasy of producing 2 starters, 2 mains, 2 sides, 2 rice. Then some homemade bread as well, roll on the Saturday night. Ready to pull out the chair to stand on to check on top of the cupboards. Along with every cupboard space we have, its been awhile since I did a curry.

I have to be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what I would be doing except I did ask our good friends to supply some nice lamb (they insist on donating to the cause always!) It did involve some heavy pacing of the kitchen and an early glass of wine. Recipe book or no recipe book that was the question (wana be a scholar) I decided against flipping through the cook books  and went for my own take on what we liked. Of course  with a blend of the classic Indian spices (well what I had in the cupboards)

 

HOMEMADE CURRIES  THE MENU

Before you read the menu this wasn’t defined until very late in the day. In fact the main lamb dish was still in the fridge at 8.30pm. I guess that’s part of the fun plus balancing what you have with what yo want as not to break the bank.

HOMEMADE CURRIES : STARTERS
HOMEMADE CURRIES : MAINS
HOMEMADE CURRIES : SIDES

I know a few dishes to get done but I had a few hours and a large glass of wine to assist in the creation of the dream.

Homemade Curries : Ingredients for 4 adults
  • Korma Curry Paste (Shop bought) Make your own
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Black Onion Seeds
  • Garam Masala
  • Turmeric
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Dried Mint
  • 1lb of Strong flour
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Diced Lamb (approx 1.5lb)
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 very large sweet potato
  • 1 Aubergine
  • Large tub of Yogurt
  • 1 Small tub of cream
  • Garlic (lots)
  • 1 large chili (Red)
  • 1 Knob of ginger
  • Onions (lots of red or white)
  • 1/4 of a Cauliflower
  • 1 bag of New Potatoes ( I like the more waxy solid structure)
  • Handfull of frozen spinach
  • 1 Jar of Mango Chutney
  •  Pack of Shop bought Poppadoms
  •  Pack of Tomatoes
  •  Lime
  • Tin of Tomatoes
  • Hand full of frozen peas (optional)
  • Hand full of Minced Beef
  • 1 Portion of the Secret Curry Base Sauce
  • 2 Packs of Microwave Rice

The list may see quite long and extensive but “WAIT”. A lot of the list was already in the house and not everything was essential (spice wise) The only reason I used what is on the list is because I had it to hand. The real idea and philosophy behind Cheap Dinner Ideas is use what you have and make the best use of it. I did have lots of Ingredients left over and from what we made we had plenty to put into the freezer for another day.

 

HOMEMADE CURRIES : THE SECRET CURRY SAUCE

This is the answer to the silky texture that we associate with the restaurant curries and would you believe that virtually all the curries you have every eaten on a good night out start with the same basic sauce whether it be a Korma or a Vindaloo. How do you make the secret curry sauce. Ingredients for the Secret Curry Sauce Taken from The Curry Secret

  • 2lb of Onions
  • 1 Inch of Ginger
  • 2 Bulbs of Garlic
  • 1 Tin of Tomatoes
  • 50g Turmeric

The onions were already sliced and from the freezer from a large bag of onions we bought about 3 weeks ago. The ginger was already in the freezer from last month so that was free. The garlic was another bulk buy item so they cost pennies. Tin of tomatoes, basic brand 30p so you can see saving money spending less. The full directions for the Secret Curry Sauce

Curry base sauce ingredients, onion, garlic, turmeric, tomatoes

Curry base sauce ingredients, onion, garlic, turmeric, tomatoes

HOMEMADE CURRIES STARTER METHODS

The starters were determined largely by what I had in and the things I like, The Keema bread was born from the last time I had some Keema mixture which was very tasty and the fact that I had some left over bread dough in the fridge. The minced beef I used to make the Keema bread was also used to spice up one of our rices as well.

The Lamb Kofta I decided upon when I looked in the bag of Lamb our friends had brought us (loads n loads). The poppadoms, well you cant really have a good curry without these classic starters, along with the mango chutney but I did make the spicy salsa and the cooling yogurt mint and cucumber dip.

HOMEMADE CURRIES STARTER MAINS

The first curry is our classic Chicken aubergine and sweet potato curry, never lets us down the consistency is silky velvety and very easy to make, chop all the ingredients add to a large pan then just let it simmer for a couple of hours. We have forgotten where we originally got this recipe from (maybe that annoying bloke Jamie) but its been in our trusty family recipe   book for a number of years now.

The korma curry paste I used for the base of this dish I also used for the main lamb dish and the saag aloo and we still have half a jar left in the fridge, The chicken dish had plenty left over and is now in the freezer for another day.  The Lamb curry was very last minute as I was undecided on what to make to ensure I did the beautiful lamb justice. In the end I used the curry paste along with some fresh ground spices then added my secret curry sauce with the leftover yogurt and a little cream. The lamb was devoured and the sauce that was left in the dish was soaked up with the homemade naan bread.

Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

HOMEMADE CURRIES STARTER SIDES

Pilau rice in the microwave in the dish to the table that simple. The Keema rice, microwave then to a pan, add the keema mixture with a large knob of butter (I never said it would be healthy just that it will taste great) stir through keema mixture then place in a serving dish. Bombay potatoes, I used new small potatoes as they are a little waxier and tend to keep there shape better when they are being fried in the spice.

I used what spices I had to hand really, a little piece of fresh chopped chilli, black onion seeds, fennel, tumeric and a little Garam Masala with a few chopped tomatoes. Once this was fried up in the pan I placed them in a large terracotta dish and placed them ready in the oven to reheat.  The saag aloo can also be pre-made and reheated to relieve a little of the stress.

Saag Aloo

The saag aloo, par boiled a few florets of cauliflower then allowed to cool. Once cooled I sliced them into chunky slices then fried them in the korma paste on a high heat along with cumin seeds, black onion seeds, turmeric and garlic. The spices and paste stuck to the cauliflower giving a nice crusty edge. At this stage I added 3 frozen lumps of spinach along with a little of the leftover yogurt with some chopped tomatoes and a hand full of chopped coriander. Brought up to the boil then place in a service dish and cover with tin foil.

This will keep in the heat and allow the spinach to thoroughly defrost. Reheat in the oven for 20 mins when required.  The garlic coriander yogurt naan bread often make an appearance in this house and if there is any leftover we simply freeze them for the next time or as a quick snack as the kids also love them.

Another great Saturday night in with friends (adding the recipes so bear with me pls)

Homemade Curries what will you make 

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