It irks me to admit it, but Indian takeaways do not have a great reputation.
How many times have you read articles about how fat-laden curries are being blamed for the nation’s obesity epidemic?
And if it’s not the calorie count coming in for criticism it’s the high salt content.
It seems everyone is of the opinion that curries – and takeaways in particular – are guilty pleasures that should be regarded with extreme caution.
Naturally, as the North East’s Curry King, you would expect me to take a dim view of such assumptions.
However, they are not without foundation. The saturated fat and salt content in some takeaway meals is truly shocking – although it would be unfair to level this criticism at Indian food alone.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. At Raval we take great care in ensuring our dishes are not only authentic and delicious, but also very healthy…the way they are in India.
And we have applied the same values to our brand new takeaway menu – Raval Express.
With Raval Express, you won’t be confronted by a flimsy tin-foil tray swimming in gloop with a film of oil floating on the top.
You will receive a beautifully-presented, healthy meal – just like those served in our award-winning A La Carte restaurant.
We have only recently launched Raval Express, so why not give it a try? We think you will be pleasantly surprised. It certainly explodes the myth that all Indian takeaways are unhealthy.
You can, of course, cook extremely healthy Indian food at home too.
I am always asking Raval’s chefs to provide recipes for followers of this blog and here’s their latest offering – a deceptively simple Chicken and Mango Curry, which serves four.
*2tbsp rapeseed oil
*8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
*2 onions, finely diced
*2tsp ground cumin
*1tbsp nigella seeds
*3tbsp korma paste
*2 ripe mangoes, one puréed and one cut into chunks
*400ml light coconut milk
*400ml chicken stock
*100g cashew nuts, lightly toasted
*Handful fresh coriander, chopped
1) Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Then remove and set aside.
2) Add the onion and fry gently for around 10 minutes to soften. Turn up the heat and when the onions begin to caramelise, add the cumin, turmeric and nigella seeds, stirring constantly.
3) Once the seeds start popping, stir in the korma paste and mango purée and turn the heat down. Fry for a further minute to release the flavours.
4) Return the cooked chicken to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk, bring to the boil and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced.
5) Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is tender. Stir in the mango chunks.
6) Spoon the curry into bowls, scatter with the cashews and coriander.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try this dish with home-made roti, but be sure to make it first as it needs time to prove.
*128g plain flour
*1tsp baking powder
*3tsp vegetable oil
1) Combine the flour, baking powder and 1/2tsp salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in 1tsp vegetable oil and 50ml cold water, and use your hands to mix into a dough. Knead for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Divide the mixture into 4 balls, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of roti dough into a thin, flattened circle about 4in across. Warm a griddle pan over a high heat and add 2tsp of vegetable oil.
3) When hot, cook the rotis in batches for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet and cover with a damp piece of kitchen roll to keep warm while you prepare the remaining roti.