Here is a selection of some of my favourite recipes, meat and vegetarian. Unusually my mum didn’t teach me how to cook so I am teaching myself from recipes I find on the internet, occasionally calling aunties’ for advice! Master these recipes and you are sure to find man!

Mutton Curry

This is a dish that takes me back to my childhood. My grandma, who I would call Grandma Sari would make every time I would go to visit her in Newham. The rich gravy is delicious with chapathis, naans or parathas. For best results use a pressure cook!

Mutton – 1 lb (cut into small cubes)

Mutton curry…

Potato – 1 big (cut into cubes – optional)
Onion – 1 medium (sliced)
Tomatoes – 2 (chopped)
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tblsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Oil – 3-4 tblsp
Salt –  to taste
Cilantro (Corriander Leaves) – for garnish
Curry Leaves – 1 spring

To grind
Whole Garam Masala – 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 cardamom, 1 star anise, kalpasi – 2
Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black Peppercons – 1 tsp
Corriander Seeds – 3 tblsp
Dry Red Chillies – 4-5
Grated Coconut – 4-5 tblsp
Poppy Seeds – 2 tsp
Ginger – 1.5″ piece
Garlic – 5 cloves
Green Chillies – 3
Curry Leaves – 1 spring
Shallots (Sambhar Onions) – 10

. Wash the mutton and marinate it with salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice.

2. Heat 1 tblsp of oil in a pan and add the ingredients under ‘to grind’ one by one. Fry for few minutes.

3. Let it cool. Grind it to a smooth paste.

Note : – You may skip step 2 and add everything without frying too. Frying mellows down the flavours of the spices.

4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and fry the sliced onions.

5. Next add the tomatoes, bay leaf, turmeric powder and the ground masala paste.

6. Add the mutton pieces and potato cubes. Fry everything for few minutes.

7. Add water and salt as needed.

8. Cover the pressure cooker and cook for 6-7 whistles.

Capsicum Soup

This is a dish I recently sampled in an Indian restaurant in the Isle of Dogs. Effortless and light it is the perfect way to begin a Indian feast.

Capsicum Soup…

Capsicum – 1 (red or green)
Onion – 1 small or 1/2 medium
Garlic – 2 cloves
Tomato – 1/2
Green Chillies – 2
Cilantro – handful
Chicken/ Veg Stock – 2 cups
Ground Pepper – as needed
Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – as needed
Olive Oil – 2 tsp
Cream – 1/2 cup (optional)

1. Heat Oil in a pan, sauté the garlic and onion for a minute.
2. Add the capsicum (bell pepper), tomato, green chillies and Cilantro and cook till the capsicum becomes soft. Switch off.
3. Puree the mixture using a hand blender or a mixie. Strain the pureed mixture to remove the seeds and skin. (Some people like to continue without straining but the texture will be different. This step is a must to get a smooth and creamy soup.)
4. Add this strained soup back to the pot and add the chicken/ vegetable stock to it. Switch on the stove.
5. Add required salt, cumin powder and required pepper powder. Bring the soup to a boil.
6. Add the cream to the soup to thicken it. Alternatively, mix little corn flour with some water and add to the soup while boiling.
7. Simmer for another 5 -10 minutes and switch off.
8. Garnish with heavy cream, croutons, toasted bread piece, fresh herbs etc according to your taste and imagination. Serve hot.


A Tamil Favourite-Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa is a typical South Indian, Tamil Dish. Traditionally eaten for breakfast it has become a popular street food in Indian and Sri Lanka. You can virtually fill a dosa with anything, chicken, lamb, and vegetables…. it literally tastes good with everything. My absolute favourite is egg dosa with lamb gravy. Try a sharing/family dosa- the biggest I have seen is 3ft, but my friend tells me they serve a 6ft dosa in Hounslow!

Dosa shell:

Masala Dosa with chutney

1 1/2 cups rice
1/2 cup urad dal
salt to taste
Masala Filling:
2 large potatoes
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon yellow split peas
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 green chilli
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste


Dosa shell

  • Separately soak rice and urad dal at least 6 hour or overnight in water.
  • Grind to paste.
  • Mix together, add salt with water to make batter.
  • Leave in room temperature overnight.
  • Mix onion and chillies to the thin batter.
  • Heat pan or griddle with little ghee or oil.
  • Spread the mix on pan in circular motion to make thin Dosa.
  • Cook on both the sides, if desired.

Masala Filling (Spicy Filling):

  • Heat oil. Add mustard seed, peas, onions and spice.
  • Fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat or/until onions are turned into golden brown
  • Add potatoes and mix and cook some more Serve
  • Add filling inside Dosa and roll. Serve hot with Chutney




Tarka Dahl

Dahl is a major part of any South Asian meal. When other children my age were starting to eat solid foods, (growing up on fish fingers and smiley faced potatoes) I was learning to eat dahl with boiled rice. So simple but so delicious. It’s much harder to perfect than it looks!


6 cups Yellow lentils (tuvar/arhar dal or chana dal)
4 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika powder (Shimla mirch powder/capsicum powder)
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. – chilli powder to taste, but not too much, as this is a refreshing soup and shouldn’t be too hot.
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 cloves of garlic
2 medium (white) onions
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, stalks included
Salt and pepper to taste

Tarka Dahl


1. Wash the lentil and gently simmer for about 1/2 an hour
2. Take the lentils out, drain and put aside
3. Clean the pan, heat it and add oil. Fry the chopped onions and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
4. Add the spices and crumbled stock cubes. Cook on for a few minutes. Take off the heat.
5. Add the lentils back to the pan and purée the lot using a hand blender/stick.
6. Top up with water and simmer for about an hour to let it cook through and thicken.
7. Serve hot with Chapathis and boiled rice.

Mint Lassi

Mint lassi is the perfect accompaniment to any spicy South Asian meal. The yoghurt cools down intense spice and refreshingly compliments strong flavours. It is perfect at any time of day, with anything and only takes a few minutes to make! Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Mint Lassi…

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 Mint Lassi


  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 2 cups plain yogurt – whole milk yields the most “drinkable” lassi since it doesn’t contain any thickeners, but low-fat and non-fat yogurt work fine, too
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar, honey, or agave syrup – plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. lime or lemon juice – plus more to taste

Put mint, yogurt, sweetener, and lime juice in a blender. Whirl until smooth. Taste and add more sweetener or lime juice, if you like. Pour into glasses and serve.

Note: Make your mint lassi extra cool by adding a handful of ice cubes to the blender – it won’t be as smooth, but it will be super refreshing.

Posted by: Sheela

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