Saturday, January 5, 2008

Indian Takeaway Recipes

Indian Takeaway Recipes

During the two years we spent in Edinburgh we became completely addicted to Indian takeaway food. Indian takeaway is a very particular beast. It isn't traditional Indian food, but rather a British offshoot. And it isn't even the same as sit-down British Indian food. What it is, though, is really good. Many is the day I remember walking home from work past a few takeaway joints with the amazing, make-you-instantly-hungry smells of curry wafting out the door.

Here in the US we haven't found anything like it, so we've had to make it ourselves. This was no easy matter, initially, as it is surprisingly difficult to find recipes for this kind of food. Out of desperation, we ended up reverse-engineering a few of our favorites. I guess that makes them our version of the takeaway version of the British version of Indian food...

Our Indian Takeaway Recipes:

Curry Base SauceCurry Base Sauce

This is the base that we use to make our other curries. You can make up a large batch of it and have it on hand so that a variety of great curries are easy to make.
Chicken PathiaChicken Pathia

A fantastic, fiery red chicken curry.

Savory, twangy, spicy, and just generally awesome. This curry is easily the most popular recipe on our blog.
Prawn PathiaPrawn Pathia

Almost the same recipe as our Chicken Pathia, but using shrimp instead of chicken and fish stock in the base.
Lamb Rogan JoshLamb Rogan Josh

We think of this dish as sort of an Indian-style lamb stew.

The lamb provides a deep, comforting flavor while the curry base adds complexity and some green chile gives it a nice, hot kick.
Chicken DhansakChicken Dhansak

This is a milder curry with chicken, lentils, split peas and pineapple.

The way the lentils and split peas meld into the sauce adds a very nice texture.
Pulao RicePulao Rice

This is our easy version of the rice that generally accompanies a takeaway meal.

We've made it a million times, and never get tired of it.

A simple side dish of spiced, sautéed greens (usually spinach, but we use all kinds).

We often like to add chick peas.
Vegetable Pakora with Tamarind Dipping SauceVegetable Pakora with Tamarind Dipping Sauce

These gram (chick pea) flour snacks always came with our takeaway curries. This is our attempt to reproduce them.


  1. Looking forward to the recipes.

    I loved eating a good curry in the U.K.


  2. I'm a Londoner living in the Eastend surrounded by Indian takeways and I have to say the base recipe you have described is very good and makes an excellent starting point for a decent home made *Ruby.
    (Cockney ryhming slang...Ruby Murray = Curry)

  3. Thanks! It has been years since I had a "real" takeaway - I'm jealous of you!

  4. Hi Mike, I've been looking at your great website all day... and I'm currently making your base curry sauce ready for a week of curries!?!!?

    Anyhoo.. the reason for the comment is:

    a. Thanks for the site.
    b. have you ever got hold of The Curry Secret by Kris Dhillon? Damned good secrets book by a guy that ran a takeaway.

    Just thought it maybe of interest to another curry lover, as it has seriously helped me in the past from everything from Chappatis to Raitas.

    Cheers again!

  5. Hi Matt - glad you've been enjoying the site! I hadn't previously heard of "The Curry Secret", but I did a little searching around for it and it looks like it has all sorts of good recipes! We need to make some onion bhajees now...

  6. Hi Mike, wanted to say... your base sauce wasnt far off the sauce from that book. It worked well and the Pathia from this site was delightful. About that book (and no I dont work for them), they're about to release a new version. So seriously hold out for that, as that book was a life saver for me. Best short cuts ever.

    Thanks again for the receipe as the Pathia is seriously overlooked, and yours was great. If you want me to send you some chappatis let me know as they're so much better than tortillas.

    Take care, and crackin website.


  7. Matt - glad the Pathia worked out well for you. I'll definitely keep my eyes peeled for the new curry book.

  8. do you have agood recipe for onion bhajees please? I have tried to make them but they are missing some spice -I don't know what it is though I can't seem to get the authentic taste that the takeaways do. Pat

  9. Hi pat - I remember onion bhajees fondly, but we've never tried to make them. You've got me craving some, now...

  10. The curry secret is awesome...will try this pathia recipe later in the take awy makes it with sugar and lemon juice at the end!!
    very good website!!!

  11. Hi Jamie - glad you are enjoying the website. If you do make the pathia, let us know how it turns out.

  12. Made the pathia without the red dye and it was excellent, i'll be trying the Dansak soon. Don't suppose you have any other takeaway curry recipes lying around do you? cheers for the ones that are here anyway.

  13. Hi Richard - we make other curries, but these are the only "takeaway" recipes we have. Since we left Scotland, we haven't had the opportunity to develop any more - the concept of an Indian takeaway doesn't exist here in the US (at least not that I've found).

  14. Hi,just trying out the base sauce as i write. Did you get these recipes off the take-away chef?


  15. Hi Geoff - all of the recipes are our own, for better or worse :-)

  16. The comment about the curry book written by a bloke who had a takeaway ..... It's a woman, and she lives in Australia! More research needed! Yes your base is similar to an awful lot used by many takeaways

  17. I have also reverse engineered the traditional methods but yours seems easier I cant wait to see if it works

  18. Been using these recipies for years as a scotsman i have to say they are very much like what we have from takeaway


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