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About Dan Toombs

Dan Toombs has been a member since February 10th 2011, and has created 612 posts from scratch.

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Tandoori Paneer Chukandari

Tandoori Paneer

Tandoori style paneer with a beetroot glaze

To be honest, I’ve never been a big paneer fan. For that matter I have a lot of bad memories of my parents placing a bowl of tinned beets in front of me growing up. That was one of my biggest nightmares.

I obviously wasn’t trying the right recipes. I learned this Paneer Chukandari recipe from Madhup Sinha, head chef of Annayu at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow. I loved every bite. So much so I convinced him to give me his recipe. This is simply delicious.

Here in the UK, beetroot is in season from June through December so I will be making this one a few more times before Christmas.

I love how the sweet and slightly earthy flavour of the beetroot sauce complements the heated, soft and rather plain paneer. Paneer is rarely served in India on its own. Instead it is used as part of a more complex recipe which is exactly what you are going to get here.

Tandoori Paneer

This is a must try recipe.

Tandoori Paneer

Paneer Chukandari
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 8
  • 2kg Paneer cut into 3 inch cubes or ½ inch slices
  • 4kg Raw Beetroot
  • 1 teaspoon Ajwain
  • 1 teaspoon black Jeera
  • 5 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons White Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1200g Reduction( 600gms fresh Beetroot juice+ 500 ml Balsamic Vinegar )
  • 1 ½ teaspoons methi leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  1. Peel the Beetroot and wrap in silver foil.
  2. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 180c for about 20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool and then blend 3kgs of the beetroot into a smooth paste. (retaind the rest for later)
  4. Add the ajwain, white pepper, garlic powder, garam masala and black jeera to the puree and stir in.
  5. Now add the salt and paneer pieces and marinate for four hours or overnight in the fridge.
  6. TO COOK
  7. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  8. Mix in the dried methi leaves and tamarind pulp.
  9. Skewer the paneer and bake until the paneer feels soft.
  10. TO SERVE
  11. Put the remaining 1kg of roasted beetroot through a juicer if you have one. I don’t so I blended it and then past it through a fine sieve a few times.
  12. Add the balsamic vinegar to the beet juice.
  13. Add a pinch of salt and reduce by half over medium heat.
  14. Drizzle on the paneer as soon as it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with some chaat masala (if using) and serve.
Tandoori Paneer

One of my favourite dishes at Annayu. Chukandari

Tanoori Paneer

Photo courtesy of Annayu

I hope you all get a chance to try this one at Annayu. In my opinion Madhup Sinha is one of the best chefs in the UK. Annayu should be on your list of restaurants to visit.

Spicy Chilli, Paprika and Garlic Roast Chicken

Spicy Roast Chicken

Spicy roast chicken. This is one of my favourites.


This is one of those recipes I make over and over again. I love the crispy skin and succulent meat but it’s the chilli zap that makes this dish. If you are a fiery hot spice fan, this is one you’ve got to try.

The first time I made it, I actually made it a bit too spicy. I don’t do such things often but I’ve now got the recipe just the way I like it. It’s super spicy but not so much so that you can’t taste the other complimentary flavours.

If you have any marinade left over, keep it. It’s great used as a dipping sauce or you could mix it with a little Greek yogurt to make a delicious raita.

I roasted my own capsicums (Red bell peppers) and skinned them for this recipe. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, jarred roast peppers work just fine.

After you use the limes for the marinade, be sure to stuff them right up the bird’s butt. The bitter-sweet flavour of the limes steams into the meat. I want to make this all over again!

So go on… Plan to make this at the weekend. You’ll be glad you did and I’d love to hear how you liked it.

Marinated spicy roast chicken

Marinated and ready for the oven.


Spicy Chilli, Paprika and Garlic Roast Chicken
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Indian/Portuguese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6
  • 2 1.5k free range chicken
  • 6 cloves garlic - roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 teaspoons smoked piccante paprika
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 2 roasted capsicums (Red bell peppers)
  • 30g chopped fresh coriander
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of four limes (retain the limes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. To make the marinade, blend the olive oil, lime juice, roasted capscums, red chillies, paprika, garlic, coriander and oregano in a blender into a smooth paste.
  2. Cover the birds completely - inside and out with the marinade and leave for at least one hour or up to 48 hours. The longer the better.
  3. When ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f). Stuff the retained limes into the cavities of both and tie shut.
  4. Place the chicken in a deep roasting tray and cook for one hour. Times may vary so use a meat thermometer. I usually play it safe and aim for 73c (164f).
  5. I like to mix any remaining (not used) marinade with a little yogurt to serve. Leftovers are awesome in salads, curries or sandwiches.


Spicy Chicken roast in wood burning oven

Chicken cooking in the wood burning oven. Love the smoky flavour.

Spicy Thai Minced Pork Curry

Thai Minced Pork Curry

Thai Minced Pork Curry

Unlike the first three years of writing this blog, I no longer only cook Indian food. In fact I’ve been experimenting with Thai, Mexican, Chinese, German and American food for many years.

Today I’d like to show you one of the easiest and tastiest curries I know. This can literally be made in under 20 minutes.It’s awesome served simply over boiled egg noodles.

I have a really nice Thai red chilli paste recipe for you but I haven’t had the time to type it up yet. Watch this space as I’ll be adding it to the blog soon. To be honest, their are some really good commercial brands around so it you don’t want to go to the hassle of making your own, you should still be able to make this.

I would be interested to hear from you whether or not you would like me to post other curries from around the world. I’ve focussed so long on Indian, I’m considering branching out a bit and giving you a few more of my favourites outside India.

Frying onions for Thai Pork Curry

Frying the veg for the dish.

Thai Pork curry

Ready to pour over hot egg noodles! I added dry red chillies just for the heck of it.

Spicy Thai Minced Pork Curry
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 500g minced pork
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 2.5cm ginger - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 red onion - finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions - roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 5 dried kaffir lime leaves - crumbled
  • 400ml chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon Thai fish sauces
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large wok.
  2. When hot, add the onion, spring onion, garlic and ginger.
  3. Fry for about two minutes and then dump in the minced pork.
  4. Continue to fry, stirring regularly until the meat is completely cooked.
  5. Add the Thai red curry paste, the kaffir lime leaves and the chopped tomatoes.
  6. Simmer for about five minutes and then pour in the soy sauce, Thai fish sauce and the lime juice.
  7. Stir in the chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve over stir fried egg noodles.


Lamb Rogan Josh Balti

Lamb rogan josh balti

A quick and easy lamb rogan josh balti


Balti cooking is all about making tasty curries easily and fast. After you’ve cooked your balti meat, you should be able to make a balti in about 20 to 30 minutes.

I’ve recommended in my past balti recipe posts that you try my pre-cooked meat recipe. It’s really nice and the cooking stock adds so much flavour to your balti curries.

Roast lamb balti

The smoky meat added so much to this dish. The barbecue will also work well.

That said, it’s not always so much about the way you cook your meat but that it is cooked through and tender. In past recipes I’ve also recommended trying tandoori lamb pieces for example.

So it was with this in mind that I cooked a leg of lamb in our outdoor wood burning oven for my wife Caroline and me. When I was 21 I probably could have eaten the whole leg myself but I can assure you we had a lot of delicious spicy and smoky meat left over.

So today I made this lamb Rogan Josh Balti. You could of course use tandoori lamb or pre-cooked lamb. With this recipe I decided to use what would otherwise be a Sunday roast leg of lamb if I hadn’t rubbed it with so many spices.

Anyway, it just goes to show that left over roasts and other left over meat don’t need to be boring and cold. You can make a tremendous lamb rogan josh balti that far surpasses anything I’ve ever had at a balti house.

Roast leg of lamb

Roast leg of lamb made a really nice curry. Not better than my other methods, Just different.

Lamb rogan josh balti

The finished lamb rogan josh balti

Lamb Rogan Josh Balti
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Balti
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 kg cooked lamb – You decide how you want to cook it. Below is my dry marinade for the roast leg of lamb. If you are using one of the other methods, skip to “Making the Curry” in the "method" .section
  • 1 teapsoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground green cardamoms
  • 1 pinch ground black peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons Natural yoghurt, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Cassia Bark
  • 3 whole black cardamoms
  • 4 whole green cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 dried Bay leaves
  • 2 onions – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 200ml beef stock, lamb stock/cooking juices or balti meat stock
  • 200g Tomato Puree
  • 1 red capsicum (Red bell pepper) cut into diamond shapes
  • salt, to taste and pepper to taste
  2. To prepare the lamb leg, mix all the dry marinade ingredients with the two tablespoons of yogurt and rub it into the meat. Allow to marinate for at least two hours or over night.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to its highest temperature.
  4. Place the leg of lamb on the centre rack in a roasting pan and roast on high for about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180c and cook for a further 40 minutes or until the meat reaches 50c for rare or 56c for medium.
  5. Enjoy but keep at least a kilo of leftovers. Cut the leftover meat into bite sized pieces.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based saucepan until it has just started smoking.
  8. Add the cassia, cardamoms, cloves and bay leaves to the oil and let it infuse for about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the chopped onions and fry for about five minutes or until they are soft and lightly browned.
  10. Spoon in the garlic and ginger paste, chilli powder and the paprika and sizzle for a further 30 seconds.
  11. Add the tomato paste and red pepper followed by the cooked meat and 200ml of beef stock, balti meat cooking stock or lamb cooking juices.
  12. Simmer for five minutes for the flavours to get to know each other.
  13. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with hot fluffy rice and/or naans.


Lamb rogan josh balti

I want to eat this all over again. Enjoy.



The balti pan and roasting dish used in to make this recipe were sent to me by Le Creuset to use in my recipes. I highly recommend both! You can view their complete range here.

The leg of lamb was sent to me by my friends at Farmer’s Choice. Always the highest quality. You can order free range meat to be delivered right to your doorstep on their site.

Peshawari Turkey Balti


Peshawari turkey balti

What and easy and delicious dish!

This is a balti with a difference. If you are a Peshawari curry/naan fan, you’re going to love this one.

I like it because there are so many different flavours and textures going on here. You have the crunch of the almonds, the sweetness of the raisons and honey and the bite of the chillies,  masalas and whole spices. The tender chunks of turkey just drive it home to create one of my all time favourites.

It’s hard to believe that something so quick and easy to make could have so much depth of flavour.

I made this in literally 20 minutes. That’s right… I timed myself. Great for that homemade after work dinner.

Serve with rice or fresh naans. I know from experience that French bread is a good substitute for the naans.

Peshawari Balti Curry

Peshawari close up!

Peshawari Turkey Balti curry

Peshawari Turkey Balti… So quick and easy to make.

Peshawari Turkey Balti


Peshawari Lamb Balti
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Balti
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6
  • 800g turkey breast cut into bite sized pieces and fried in a little oil until 80% cooked.
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 large onions - finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies - finely chopp
  • 400ml tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon balti masala (or just another tablespoon of the garam masala)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 250ml balti chicken stock or regular chicken stock
  • 100g almond flakes
  • 100g raisons
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons double cream (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a balti pan or wok over medium high heat.
  2. When hot, add the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods and sizzle for about 30 seconds.
  3. Now toss in your finely chopped onion and fry until soft and translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger pastes along with the green chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  5. Sprinkle in the garam masala, balti masala and cumin and stir so that the spices coat the onion mixture.
  6. Dump in the pre-cooked turkey and the stock followed by the almonds, raisons and honey and tomatoes.
  7. Allow this all to simmer for about five minutes. The sauce will cook down. You might like to add a little more stock if you like your baltis more saucy. I added cream and it was awesome!
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with the chopped coriander.

Peshawari Turkey Balti

The LeCreuset wok I used to cook this was better than any I’ve use before

The Le Creuset wok I used to make this meal was supplied complimentary by Le Creuset. I love it. You can view their complete product range here.

Farmer’s Choice very kindly supplied the turkey for me to use in my recipe. They offer a fantastic service. You can visit their website here.