Chicken Bhuna

Confession: I might have burnt this a little.


Chicken bhuna curry

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll forgive me, since I’m still giving you the recipe and unlike me, you’ll do it properly.

In many ways, this is a sort of poor man’s tandoori if you bake it in the oven, but of course nothing would do me but to barbecue the goddamn thing. Blame the sunshine. Blame the dear friends sharing it with me on the overgrown patio. Blame the beer, blame the wine, blame it on the boogie.

Does it matter?

Here’s a bhuna recipe and you can use it with anything. Meat, vegetables, captured vegans. It’s up to you.

For myself, I didn’t fancy going to all the effort of boning a vegan, so I bought some chicken instead and in the end we all agreed it tasted slightly veganish with nutty overtones and a strong demand to be heard.

The Spices

Cumin seeds : 2 spoons

Coriander seeds : 4 spoons

Mustard seeds : 2 spoons

Dried chillis to taste. I like it hot but you might not.

Fennel seeds: 2 spoons

Fenugreek seeds: 2 spoons

Chicken bhuna curry recipe

Stir them constantly on a heavy frying pan at medium heat. Not too high or they’ll produce a poison gas that will kill everyone in the house. Just enough heat to darken them slightly but not enough to burn them.

They should come out nicely browned. In fact, I think I might have overdone it a bit with this lot, but it worked out all right in the end.

Chicken bhuna curry recipe

When they’re roasted, fling them into a food processor or else grind them up with a mortar and pestle until you get a nice powder like this.

Chicken bhuna curry recipe

The Other Stuff

You need some onions, ginger and garlic.

Chicken bhuna curry recipe

Skin them, chop them up finely and fry them in light oil.

Chicken bhuna curry recipe

Add some curry leaves and some tomatoes.

Let me confess that I had no fresh curry leaves and no tomatoes, so I cheated and just tossed in some dried curry leaves and a couple of cartons of passata. It didn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference.

Chicken bhuna curry recipe

Add your spices.

Add your meat, whatever it is. In this case, I used chicken.

Let it all cook away until it reduces down to a thick paste and the meat is cooked through.


Now you have a choice. You can just serve the bhuna straight from the pan with any accompaniment you like. It might be rice, it might be chapatis or for that matter it might be chips. We won’t get precious about it.

On the other hand, you can bake it all in the oven and it will come out very like a tandoori.

I chose to barbecue it, which might not necessarily have been the best decision since I managed to scorch it, but at the same time, nobody was complaining. That might have been due to the beer, it might have been due to the sunshine or it might have been due to the laid-back music, but I like to think it was due to the delicious  food.

Chicken bhuna curry


One way or another, we won’t fall out over it. Have a beer.



Fishy Business

A trip to the food market at the Crescent Shopping Centre ( on Wednesdays) inspired me to rustle up a less than traditional Ash Wednesday fishy feast. I’m not religiously orientated enough to choose to eat only fish today but when I saw the selection on offer this morning, monkfish, halibut, hake, cod, gurnard and some of the fabbest looking spider-crab claws I was hooked (sorry!)

I’d started cooking before I really decided what I was making. The claws were flung into a pot of boiling water with a halved lemon and cooked for 15 minutes. They don’t need much dressing up to be taken out.

I got some hake too, three big fillets, and sliced these into chunks. I made a batter with some self raising flour, water and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Just whisk in enough water until the consistency is like pouring cream.

Heat some cooking oil in a pot or wok and when it’s hot enough, dip the fish pieces in the batter to coat lightly. Drop them into the oil carefully, they will only take a few minutes to cook, turn them if you need to.

Stir fry some veggies with ginger and soy sauce, I had some rice steaming while all this was cooking.

Serve up the fish goujons, tempura, or whatever you want to call them with soy sauce or any dipping sauce, or just a squeeze of lemon. I love Nature’s Bounty Chilli and Garlic Sauce, you can get this at the same market.

To serve the crab claws, you’ll need a tea towel and a heavy knife, or cleaver. Cover the claws with the towel and wallop them with the blunt side of the knife till they crack. You can then pull them apart to yank out the sweet, juicy meat.


Val’s Kitchen