The Perfect Indian Take Away

OK, so feel free to burn me if you want, but my favourite Indian take away is the below. I know you all will not agree with me on this, but hey it’s a free country.

To start I like onion bhajee with mango chutney. But they have to be crispy and not too salty. You can also use them to dip in your curry sauce, which makes them a pretty versatile starter in my opinion.

For my main I like to go for Pasanda Khybari. This dish is cooked with succulent tender pieces of lamb in a thick rich sauce, perfect for dipping bhajee. You have to vary it a bit, so I usually like to go for a fish or a chicken dish as well. Of course I don’t eat the whole Indian take away all by myself because that would just be greedy, so I usually give a tiny bowl to my girlfriend, just joking by the way.

My next favourite is Karahi Murgh. This is a chicken dish which is made using chilli, peppers and tomato. Also to help me get my five a day I usually add a vegetable dish.  The best option to really finish off my perfect Indian takeaway is Aloo Gobi, cauliflower and potatoes just work so well together and it’s not too spicy either, so it’s not over powering.

For me personally I always have to have a peshwari nan with my Indian take away, it acts as a great sauce absorber and adds a certain sweetness to my meal. If you think my perfect Indian take away is rubbish and you have a better suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment.

Britain’s most popular curries

Indian take away food is a British tradition! So, what do you order and what is Britain’s most popular curry dish? Curry is now a very generic term used to describe foods made with sauce. In London, the Indian curry is hugely popular and many Indian take away restaurants have adapted their ways of cooking into a British style to ensure we can palate and enjoy their cuisine.

Here are some of the top; curries in the UK:

  • Korma
  • Massala
  • Jalfrezi
  • Rogan Josh
  • Phaal
  • Vindaloo

An Indian takeaway menu is full of a wide range of dishes and the aforementioned are commonly found throughout London and the rest of the UK.

You can order takeaway online, you can order takeaway in a restaurant and you can order it over the phone; but no matter where you order it the ever-popular korma will always be on the menu. It has a distinct coconut taste and although it is rich and creamy it lacks fire, which is what often makes it so desired!

Indian take away lovers may wish to take the next step up to the massala; a rich, creamy red sauce that can accompany any meat with just a touch of spice. Vindaloo’s have also become somewhat of a traditional British dish but for the hardened football supporters watching their team in the bitterly cold; a phaal is the ultimate mouth burner!

Britain’s most popular curry also depends on where you live in the country. If you live in the north of England and pick up an Indian takeaway menu it will be the hottest food you can find, whereas Londoners often choose to take it easy and enjoy a korma via their order takeaway online button…

What is Tandoori Cooking?

Have you ever been looking at an Indian takeaway menu and wondered about how the beautiful tandoori dishes are made and what gives it the rich yet unique flavours?

The meaning of tandoori

The name tandoori is a way of cooking food that derives from the name of the clay oven that is used called a tandoor that can be found in every respectable Indian take away. The meat is often marinated in tasty Indian spices and yoghurt and then slow cooked over hot burning charcoals in the tandoor. Naan and roti breads are also often cooked via a tandoor oven and chicken is the most common tandoori meat dish.

The earliest evidence of tandoors goes back to 2500BC these ovens were used by families for parties and celebrations. London Indian delivery services will often use a modern tandoor to cook their food.

Tandoori from an Indian takeaway menu

When you are ordering from an Indian takeaway menu and see the word tandoori chicken, lamb or any other meat or dish reading tandoori you may want to check you are getting the real deal. As Indian food is so popular in the UK some restaurants have had to cut corners to keep up with demand and meat will often be cooked on the grill instead of in the tandoor to ensure a quicker cooking time.

It is worth waiting the extra time to have your tandoori cooked in the tandoor and you should ask about how your dish will be cooked and explain you don’t mind waiting the additional time it will take to ensure the better taste!

Indian take away has become a national dish in the UK and it needs to be preserved so future generations can enjoy an authentically-cooked tandoori dish.

Indian Eating Etiquette

Indian food has a rich and diverse culture. It is influenced by many surrounding countries, which have led to a vast amount variety in all regions. Here in London you will not often find many people using their hands to eat their Indian takeaways as we generally prefer knives and forks, but in India you are expected to eat with you right hand as the left is considered unclean.

It takes some practice and you have to make sure your fingernails are short and your hands are thoroughly washed.  A common practice is to use breads such as nan and roti to scoop up food and delicious gravy and curry sauce. However, in some cases it is simply not possible to use your hands, for example, when you are eating soup it is acceptable to use a spoon.

In some areas of India it is considered ill mannered to leave the sides of your fingers stained with food and you are not supposed to lift the plate with your left hand eat. Other ill mannered practices include taking food from other peoples plates. Etiquette is very important in India, out of respect you should wait for either the host or elders to begin eating first before digging in yourself, which is not unlike western culture.

Pork is thought to be unclean by Muslims and cows are considered sacred by Hindu’s which why you don’t often find them on the menu of your local Indian take away. However, having said that you do often find pork available in Goa, which is a large city on the west coast of India.

Other common rules of etiquette include washing your hands after your meal and you must finish everything on your plate out of respect for the food served.

If you want to be authentic next time you order an Indian takeaway you can try to use your fingers you never know it might be fun. But don’t forget to wash your hand first.

Great Indian Medicinal Spices

If you are looking for a healthy meal in London, surprisingly, an Indian take away can be your answer.Who would have thought eating an Indian takeaway would be healthy and actually maybe medicinal? How great would it be if your doctor gave you a prescription for a tikka massala followed by onion bhajis each week? Ok, so this may be a little farfetched but some Indian food does contain medicinal spices that are good for your body.Here are a few of the most commonly used medicinal spices:

  • Turmeric – Found in many a takeaway curry, turmeric is currently undergoing trials for the medical benefits of the substance curcumin, found in turmeric. Current investigations hint that the yellow powder helps to prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer and arthritis
  • Kaempferia galangal – Medical researchers believe this spice can fend off mosquitoes that could potentially transfer deadly diseases like malaria, Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever and yellow fever.
  • Cumin – This tasty warm spice assists the body in its digestion process
  • Red chilli – Chilies also aid digestion and are great for suppressing the risk of pancreatic cancer. Weight loss has also been attributed to chilies and pain relief and the prevention of stomach ulcers have also been attributed to chilies
  • Coriander – Cholesterol reduction is related to this tasty spice and anti inflammatory properties. It also contains a high level of iron, magnesium and dietary fibre.

Ayurveda is the practice of ancient Indian medicines using only herbs and spices to alleviate suffering and general medical problems. Simple things like pepper was used to cure digestive complaints, coriander used for those with trouble sleeping and ginger for liver complaints; making it a great ingredient to enjoy next time you go to a London curry house and drink a beer!