Great bowls of fire

11 min read

Whether creamy, mild or tongue-tingling, these world curries curated by Dan Toombs are proof that spice rules

Chicken dopiaza

Originally, I’m from California, and back when I learned to cook, Indian food just wasn’t as available. It wasn’t until I came to England in the 1990s that I fell in love with it. I tried every Indian cookery book I could and eventually started my own food blog – The Curry Guy. A book deal followed, and I’ve now published seven books.

My eighth, The Curry Guy One Pot (Quadrille, £27), is a result of two years of research. My wife and I dusted off our old backpacks and travelled like students to places like Indonesia and Malaysia in search of perfect meals. I’m happy to say we found them. Lots of them! When I looked through my recipe notes, I realised so many of the dishes I’d seen being prepared were cooked in one pan, wok or baking tray… and I went to work, trying to come up with something that offered the same flavours and consistency, cooked in one pot. It was a great theme for the book.

Authenticity was important to me while developing the following recipes, so you will often need extra bowls and other kitchen gadgets to prepare many of the dishes. However, once the preparation is complete, you’ll be able to cook each of these recipes in just one pan, wok or roasting pan. If you want to make things even easier, I’ve thrown in some cheats as well.

Ironically, I don’t usually cook one-pot style – but that’s no reason not to have a go! If you find using two pots suits you, of course you can do that. There’s the same flexibility with ingredients. Some of them might be hard to find where you live; if you can’t find tamarind paste, for example, which is a souring agent, use a little lemon juice. That goes for ground coriander, too, which is citrusy. It might not taste exactly the same, but it will still be very good. Just taste as you go.

In this set of recipes, cumin is used a lot – it’s one of my favourite spices. I can’t not have it in my kitchen! Black pepper is another spice I always have to hand – it’s the most popular spice in the world, and before chillies arrived in India, black pepper would be used to heat up biryanis and curries. I always like to have a supply of dried fenugreek leaves, otherwise known as kasuri methi. I use this in both the chicken tikka masala and beef madras to add a mild flavour – it’s a lot less pungent than the ground version. Whatever you try, and whatever your tastes, I hope this will be a cookbook you turn to often, and you find something you want to cook again and again.

Chicken tikka masala
Lamb saag



TOTAL TIME 1 hr 5 mins


‘You can use any protein in this madras. The idea is to get the meat super tende

This article is from...

Related Articles

Related Articles