Curry recipes you can't live without

Helen Best-Shaw

These ten delectable curry recipes—of varying degrees of authenticity—are easily adjustable to your heat preferences 

Curry is now the UK’s favourite take away, and while for most of us making a quick call to receive a couple of curries, side dishes, rice and naan bread is a welcome change from cooking, there are also times when I want to know what’s gone into my curry and that there has been a bit of moderation with the ghee.   

 

1. Easy pilau rice 

This simple pilau rice is ready in less than 30 minutes with about two minutes hands-on time. Never buy ready-made or order take out again with this easy fake-away recipe.  Even if you are getting a takeaway for the rest of the meal, you can save a few pennies with this simple, tasty recipe.  

 

2. Punjabi saag paneer 

Saag paneer is a North Indian style of preparing spinach and Indian cottage cheese. This classic version is an easy and simple recipe that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. Fresh spinach and paneer are cooked with spices, onion and garlic; it’s vegetarian too! The recipe links to one for homemade paneer cheese for the freshest flavours.  

 

3. Chicken saag 

More spinach, but this time married with chicken. I love that this is a curry with plenty of sauce—I’m a big fan of wet, saucy food—and love dishes that soak the rice with richly flavoured sauce. The author suggests using a bone-in cut, such as thighs or drumsticks, as this will result in a juicier and more flavorful dish.  

 

4. Creamy cauliflower curry 

A vegetarian main dish now. This cauliflower curry is a vegan stew, gluten-free, mildly spiced, and made with cauliflower, peas, and potato. It’s a one-pot dish, making it perfect for weeknight dinner served with naan or steamed basmati rice.  

 

5. Easy lamb bhuna 

Meltingly tender chunks of lamb coated in the thick rich sauce of tomatoes, onion, and ginger. This is a relatively dry curry that can be made in a casserole dish, pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Every bhuna recipe seems to use different spicing, so I would take the amounts used in this recipe and adjust to my taste by toning down the fennel, and upping the chilli.  

 

6. Lentil dal 

A quick and easy lentil dahl with spinach that needs no curry powder or coconut, yet is full of flavour and with a creamy texture. The dish is full of protein from the lentils, with added fibre from the spinach. I find I can never have too much spinach. It doesn’t keep for too long, but it cooks down so much that there’s no point holding back—chuck it in by the handful is my motto!  

 

7. Mushroom masala 

This is a versatile dish that combines earthy mushrooms, tart tomatoes, and aromatic spices, balanced with easy homemade cashew cream. It’s one of the things that I love about Indian food; there are so many delicious vegetarian dishes that it makes eating less meat, or just enjoying a meat-free Monday, so easy.  

 

8. Chicken vindaloo—pressure cooker style 

Vindaloo is so much more than a boys-night-out bravery test. A proper one, of meat cooked in onions, ginger, garlic, along with lots of aromatic spices and the tanginess of vinegar, is a thing of wonder. The marinading is all important in this dish, so it’s one where a bit of preparation makes all the difference.  

 

9. Vegan palak tofu

This dish is definitely a non-authentic riff on curry. It’s made with tofu rather than paneer, making it a fully vegan dish. I find that baking tofu transforms it, giving it a crispy outside and soft inside. The consistency of tofu is one of those things that some people can’t get along with, so here’s the solution.  

 

10. Leftover chicken curry 

Finally, while there are sometimes leftovers (many curries really benefit from a day to mature, and can taste great the day after cooking), here’s a recipe that uses leftover cooked chicken. So if you’ve roasted a bird for Sunday lunch, this recipe makes the perfect Monday night supper.  

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over ten years. 

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