Paul Flynn: Spice up your life with three Indian-inspired dishes

Monkfish, cauliflower and potato star in recipes that will satisfy your spice cravings

Fried monkfish with curried sweet potato broth. Photographs: Harry Weir

Fried monkfish with curried sweet potato broth. Photographs: Harry Weir

 

Indian food is something I crave. I developed a love for it in my time in England. I’m not sure I ever had a curry other than a Vesta before I emigrated. It was the early 1980s, grim times. 

I was 18 and London was slightly terrifying. People didn’t travel like they do now and I’d only left Ireland on two occasions: once on a scout trip to France, the other to chase a wayward brother to the bohemian ways of Amsterdam. My parents feared I too might be lured there, but I had found my metier – my sights were set on London and Michelin stars.

The Indian subcontinent permeates London. I lived in Clapham before it became posh. Deliciously alluring but unfamiliar smells abounded. Every cornershop was an exotic cornucopia of newness.

At weekends the chefs gorged on late-night curries, fingernails stained till the next day from dredging naan through the remnants of a chicken tikka masala sauce. I loved every inauthentic mouthful.

Khan’s in Bayswater was my go-to, a cavernous, long-established, no-frills Indian that didn’t serve alcohol. We gulped down mango lassi before heading to the Mean Fiddler for a slice of home and a big night out.

 We get a takeaway from our local Indian restaurant every now and then. I always order too much as I get exited. The remainder gets put in the fridge for a sneaky little breakfast – yes, I am that classy.

There are days I crave spices in my cooking – cumin, coriander, cardamom – with their allure.

I’m sharing three recipes today with which to satisfy your spice cravings. A few things to note. I cut the monkfish across the bone, hence the “chop”. As usual, you can use another fish.

The biryani would be delicious either on its own or as an accompaniment to roast chicken or lamb. It’s not the most colourful of dishes but the mango yogurt will cheer it up.

The potatoes are a versatile and comforting dish, perfect with a salad.  

Recipe: Fried monkfish with curried sweet potato broth

Fried monkfish with curried sweet potato broth. Photographs: Harry Weir
Fried monkfish with curried sweet potato broth. Photographs: Harry Weir

Recipe: Roasted cauliflower and almond biryani

Roasted cauliflower and almond biryani
Roasted cauliflower and almond biryani

Recipe: Chilli, coconut masala potatoes

Chilli, coconut masala potatoes
Chilli, coconut masala potatoes
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