February – Recipe Book Challenge – Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible

February, February – where did you go?! I feel like I blinked and the month had passed.

Despite this – felt we had great success with Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible this month. It felt like we made a lot of recipes, but once I noted it down it was really only three meals across five different recipes.

Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible is a fantastic book. A gift from my mum, who works at an Oxfam Book Shop and can locate pretty much any book you desire for a small donation, and one we’ve had on the shelf for a while.

We’ve had this book a while and have always mean to cook from it.

A guilty pleasure of mine is grabbing a curry for dinner on off days – but I rarely make a curry by myself. I was a bit put off by a potentially large arsenal of ingredients. This book is not so, once you’ve made a few staple things, you’re set for quite a lot of the book.

Which segues nicely into what we made:

Recipe One – Garam Masala

This is a core blend of spices used often in Indian (and other) cuisine. Wikipedia says ‘The word garam refers to “heating the body” in the Ayurvedic sense of the word, as these spices are believed to elevate body temperature in Ayurvedic medicine‘. Just six ingredients and you end up with about half a spice jar which will work for many many recipes (a traditional garam masala is extremely potent and you’ll only use small quantities in each future dish).

NB: I learnt that black cumin seeds can also be called Nigella seeds?

I made my own Garam Masala

Recipe Two – Royal Chicken Korma (Shani Murgh Korma)

I will confess – this was rather a huge undertaking! It was pretty time consuming and a little overwhelming! But, oh my goodness, the results! Literally the tastiest, flavoursome curry that I’ve ever eaten. And, as it was a ‘party dish’ – we have a ridiculous amount in the freezer for lazy cooking days. Worth the effort. Just NOM.

Recipe Three – Saika’s Red Lentils from the Khyber Pass (Khyber Pass Ki Masoor Dal)

We’ve had lentils in the cupboard for I don’t know how long. So I was determined to make a Dal. This is a great, simple recipe – to use as a side, or for a light, cheap, supper. We made double portions and have frozen for future use as well.

Recipe Four (and technically Five) – Silken Chicken ‘Tikka Masala’ / Silken Chicken ‘Tikka’ Kebabs

In the recipe above as one, but in the book as two, this is an Indian meat dish with a UK inspired sauce. It takes a few hours prep, but is, again, totally worth it. It isn’t quite a taxing at the Korma recipe and I found it fun skewering and grilling the chicken. It’s a spicy, hearty, flavour – and very similar to the kind of dish you’d get from a takeaway (but you’ve made it yourself!).


  1. They are generally a little more effort, but I loved the recipes from this book!
  2. A great book for either a) dinner parties or b) freezer stocking
  3. I want to make more from this book (we did have a dinner party planned and this would have been perfect – perhaps for future planning?)
  4. Still a bit hokey at taking photos, it just doesn’t come naturally! Will continue to try to improve on this.

Next month…

Rich has selected the book for next month, Rick Stein’s Spain – so expect lots of seafood!

Rick Stein will be inspiring us in March

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About salidatious

I am Welsh but have lived in Edinburgh since 2004. I have been a PA for most of that time.
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