Cooking Indian-takeaway-style food at home is actually much easier than you think, says Rachel Allen, who has some delicious recipes for you to try. Photography by Tony Gavin
The food of India has always intrigued me. Being a country the size of 40 Irelands put together, it has myriad cuisines and cultures. I visited the country once, for the international aid charity Goal, to see the incredible work that it does out there, and was blown away by what I ate in Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai.
I long to go back again to discover more parts of this noisy, colourful and lovable subcontinent, but, in the meantime, I’ ll have to make do with the Indian-style food here.
If you’re wanting to rustle up some takeaway classics at home, here’s a little selection of recipes that I adore to make when I want some of those full-spiced, aromatic flavours that the Indians just do so well.
A jalfrezi is an Indian version of a Chinese stirfry, with a thick tomato sauce. This version, above right, with chicken, delivers on the quick-andconvenient front, and has a great flavour kick.
The right, is something that I ate a lot of while in India. means spinach; while is a soft, fresh cheese that you can buy in many Asian food shops — or you can make it — see the recipe, right. People sometimes call it cottage cheese, but it’s not at all like the cottage cheese that you buy here. It’s more like Japanese silken tofu, although unlike tofu, it is unfermented and made with cow’s milk rather than soybeans.
I was always surprised in India by how they cook their spinach a lot more than we do here. In a classic the spinach is meltingly tender, rather than being fresh, brightgreen and with a bite.
And when I want something comforting but super-warming too, I’ ll often turn to a big curry, such as this coconut curry, far right, which gets even better if it is made a couple of days in advance.
saag paneer, paneer Saag saag paneer,