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The 20 best curry recipes


It was dal that done it, in Luton, Lucknow, London. When the raisin-studded school dinners of my childhood were replaced with sophisticated south-Asian cooking. Here we also celebrate some of the wider world of curry: recipes from Nigeria, Japan, Vietnam, the Caribbean. From Uyen Luu’s ginger duck to Shuko Oda’s keema curry, and Asma Khan’s saag paneer to Lopè Ariyo’s suya lamb. There is a pumpkin curry, a prawn curry, a black-eyed bean curry; Vivek Singh’s perfect vindaloo, Meera Sodha’s tomato curry and Madhur Jaffrey’s peerless chicken korma. In short, the 20 best curry dishes from some of the finest cookery writers around.

A rich, satisfying, meat-free midweek meal that can be eaten with bread or rice.

The acidity of fermented dairy works with the Maillard reaction to create a bittersweet taste and new aroma molecules in vegetables.





Roasted cauliflower in turmeric kefir.



Roasted cauliflower in turmeric kefir. Photograph: Nik Sharma

This intense Goan curry is the real McCoy, true to its potato-free Portuguese origins.





Pork Vindalho by Vivek Singh. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Pork vindalho. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

This roasting tin version of the comforting dish uses Egyptian red lentils to avoid pre-soaking, with added limes for zing.





Rukmini Iyer’s lime and coconut dal.



Lime and coconut dal. Photograph: David Loftus

Traditionally in south Thailand this vibrant curry is made with goat, but this version uses chicken.





Thai green curry by Wichet Khongphoon. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Kaeng khiao wan – Thai green curry. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

The simplicity of this Pakistani Punjab dish is a celebration of what the land provides.





Punjabi aloo gosht.



Punjabi aloo gosht. Photograph: Joanna Yee

You can keep this dish vegan or customise it with a poached egg or grilled lamb chop.





Curried coconut chickpeas and maple roast spiced winter ground provision by Andi Oliver. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Curried coconut chickpeas and maple roast spiced winter ground provision. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

Perfect for a family gathering – use filleted fish to make things easier for you and your guests.





Macher jhol.



Macher jhol – Bengali fish curry. Photograph: Kim Lightbody

Shop-bought curry pastes are no match for taking the time to freshly grind spices for this complex, aromatic dish.





Gaeng massaman by Kay Plunkett-Hogge. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Gaeng massaman – massaman curry. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

This mellow Sri Lankan dish conjures up sunny days in Colombo.





Crispy fried eggs with coconut curry and coriander sambol by Ravinder Bhogal. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Crispy fried eggs with coconut curry and coriander sambol. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

This fragrant vegan dish is a delicious way to cook any kind of squash.





Shwe payon thee hin (pumpkin curry) by Amy and Emily Chung.



Shwe payon thee hin – pumpkin curry. Photograph: Martin Poole

A great treat on cold wintry evenings with the comfort of melt-away potatoes and succulent aubergines.





Duck curry with aubergine and bamboo by Uyen Luu. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Duck curry with aubergine and bamboo. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

The homemade massalé blend used here evokes the aromatic spice gardens of the Seychelles.





King prawns with tamarind and coconut (cari koko) by Selina Periampillai.



Seychellois cari koko – king prawns with tamarind and coconut.

Photograph: Yuki Sugiura

A rich and creamy authentic Indian party dish.





Royal chicken korma (shani murgh korma) by Madhur Jaffrey. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Shani murgh korma – royal chicken korma. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

A Nigerian street food staple is transformed into a memorable home dish.





Suya lamb curry by Lopè Ariyo.



Suya lamb curry. Photograph: Ellis Parrinder

The sweetness and acidity of tomatoes is married to classic pickling spices in this luxurious vegan dish.





Tomato curry by Meera Sodha.



Tomato curry. Photograph: David Loftus

The umami flavours of this milder spiced keema are thanks to a fish-based dashi.





Dashi keema curry with onsen tamago egg by Shuko Oda. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Dashi keema curry with onsen tamago egg. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

The addition of dark chocolate gives this dish an extra complexity.





Aubergine curry, coleslaw and roti by Marie Mitchell.



Aubergine curry, coleslaw and roti. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

This timeless Moghul recipe should be served with Indian breads or rice and a yoghurt dish.





Mughlai lamb with spinach.



Masroor Ahmed’s paalag gosht – Mughlai lamb. Photograph: William Lingwood

This spicy vegan dish is incredibly popular at the Refugee Community Kitchen.





Lobia – black-eyed bean curry, by Sam Jones. Food styling: Livia Abraham. Prop styling: Pene Parker.



Punjabi lobia – black-eyed bean curry. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

The Observer aims to publish recipes for sustainable fish. For ratings in your region, check: UK; Australia; US



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