If you love cooking curries, then chances are you have a few jars of half-used paste lurking at the back of your fridge. Turn up the heat in the kitchen this week by using Indian curry pastes in four creative new ways, including spiced chicken burgers, juicy lamb cutlets, tasty vegetarian patties and a retro salad that’s perfect for parties.
Indian curry pastes are packed with flavour, so a little goes a long way. And remember, heat levels can vary greatly, so you may want to tone down the quantities if you’re cooking with a vindaloo paste, or be more generous with a mild korma.
Spiced chicken burgers
- Slice 2 x 250g chicken breast fillets in half horizontally to create 4 fillets in total.
- Combine 1 tbs curry paste, 1/4 cup natural yoghurt and 1 tbs lemon juice. Add chicken and stir to coat.
- Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Heat a lightly oiled chargrill or frypan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through.
- Serve in burger buns with iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, with a dollop of plain yoghurt.
Photo credit: Paul_Brighton/Getty Images
Indian lamb cutlets with mint yoghurt
- Combine 1/3 cup natural yoghurt with 2 tbs curry paste and 1 tbs honey. Add 12 lamb cutlets and coat in the mixture. Set aside to marinate.
- Mix 3 tbs natural yoghurt, 1 tbs chopped mint and ½ tsp ground coriander in a bowl. Set aside.
- Toss together 2 diced tomatoes, 1 diced Lebanese cucumber, ¼ cup mint leaves, 1 tbs lemon juice and 2 tbs olive oil. Season.
- Heat a chargrill or frypan on medium-high heat. Cook cutlets for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare, or to your liking.
- Serve with the salad and mint yoghurt.
Photo credit: PhotographyFirm/Getty Images
Quick coronation chicken salad
- Shred the meat from a store-bought roast chicken, discarding skin and bones.
- Mix 1 tbs curry paste, 2 tbs mango chutney, 2 tbs lemon juice, 1/2 cup natural yoghurt and 1/2 cup mayonnaise in a bowl. Stir in chicken, then marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Add ½ cup coriander leaves, 3 chopped spring onions, ¼ cup toasted flaked almonds and ¼ cup chopped dried apricots.
- Serve in sandwiches or scooped onto mini pappadums.
Photo credit: sonatali/Getty Images
Indian potato patties
- Peel and chop 600g potatoes. Cook in boiling salted water for 20-25 minutes until tender. Drain, then mash.
- Blanch 1 cup peas in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain.
- Combine potato, peas, 2 tbs curry paste, 1 tbs chopped coriander, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbs cornflour. Season well.
- Lightly oil your hands, then shape potato mixture into 12 patties.
- Heat 1 tbs sunflower oil in a frypan over medium heat. In 3 batches, cook patties for 3 minutes each side until golden, adding extra oil if needed. Drain on paper towel.
- Serve with mango chutney and plain yoghurt, or in burger buns for a vegetarian meal.
- Mix 2 tsp curry paste into 2 tbs olive oil, then use to coat vegetables before roasting.
- Add 2-3 tsp curry paste to your favourite rissole recipe.
Written by Sarah Gamboni