When the bank balance is reeling from Christmas but your stomach is grumbling for something good, try making these yummy fakeaway recipes
January is always a little flat. The Christmas and New Year parties are over, I don’t want to spend money after buying all those Christmas presents, and although the days are getting longer the evenings are still dark.
I cheer myself up in the kitchen, cooking tasty and comforting old favourites. When we want some variety, the temptation for a take-away is high, but we stick to our January budget by cooking a fake-away recipe. It’s the take away taste that’s ready in minutes. Here are ten recipes that fill your January fake-away needs.
Leftover Roast Turkey Biryani Recipe
January starts with leftover turkey, so here’s the perfect first recipe. I love a curry, and a one-pot dish like this biryani of curried turkey with rice is a really simple way of enjoying one at home with no danger of over-ordering (a perennial issue for me). There are plenty of options and substitutions in this recipe, making it a store-cupboard winner.
Instant Miso Ramen with Poached Eggs
More of a healthy take on an instant noodle pot than a replacement for a deliver-to-the-door take away, this is still a rich and filling recipe using ready made chicken broth. I love the idea of the poached egg floating gently in the broth, mimicking my favourite ramen restaurant.
I think that Pad Thai is ideal as a fake-away, as all the important stuff happens in one wok. Preparation is key with dishes like this, but once everything is ready to go, the actual cooking takes only a few minutes.
Butter Chicken Curry
Butter chicken is one of my favourite Indian curry dishes. An occasional treat, this rich and flavourful dish is actually very easy to make. It does take a while, as the chicken has to marinade in the yogurt and spice mixture, but when I’m not in a hurry, home-made butter chicken is at the top of my list!
Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
Here’s another Asian take away favourite: aubergine in a rich brown garlic sauce. The recipe calls for Szechuan aubergine, but if you can’t get hold of those, you can use regular ones instead. And while a restaurant would deep fry the aubergine, here it’s shallow fried in a little vegetable oil.
Quick & Spicy Prawn Curry
The great thing about this recipe is that nearly all the ingredients except some cream and some coriander leaves used to garnish come from the store cupboard or freezer. Bring on the heat!
Beef Chow Mein
Beef chow mein combines beef with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and fresh vegetables. The vegetables should be barely cooked, with the good crunchy bite that I love. And while this is a beef recipe, you can substitute pork or chicken should you want.
Mushroom Tikka Masala Recipe
This family-friendly, authentic mushroom tikka masala recipe creates a curry so close to the traditional chicken version, it’s a little freaky. Yet it’s vegan, gluten-free, kid-friendly and just plain delicious. The not-so-sneaky-trick to this curry is using king oyster mushrooms. These delicately flavoured mushrooms absorb any sauce or seasoning you care to pair them and their texture when shredded is very much like chicken.
Kung Pao Chicken
A deliciously spicy stir fry of chicken with lots of chunky vegetables, coated in a rich, tasty homemade sauce using soy and hoisin. Only half an hour marinating time is needed, making this a great week night supper dish.
Emergency No Yeast Pizza
We finish with a flatbread pizza. Made with a yogurt-based flatbread, it’s a recipe that doesn’t need a long knead or rising time, so by the time the oven is hot the pizza is ready to cook. Pizza in 30 minutes! Perfect for saving a bit of January money but not missing out on your favourite pizza toppings.
Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 12 years.