From a good old chicken curry to an epic curry pie

Check out these 5 curry dishes (with some twists) to spice up your recipe repertoire.

Everyone loves a curry so why not mix up a few ideas and try a different way to serve them up.

Plus find some great tips on making the perfect curry.

And if you’re like me, you’re herb and spice cupboard doesn’t always have the spice the recipe needs.

But you can always substitute in other ingredients rather than rush off to the shops.

So, I’ve compiled a herb and spice substitute list that should help you get out of some if those spice predicaments.

5 curry dishes (with some twists)

Spatchcock chicken masala

A very recent recipe I tried… and a big hit!

You don’t have to do the corn and mango side.

But it definitely finished the dish off.

And learn to spatchcock a chicken, it’s really very easy!

Spatchcock chicken masala

Course Main Course
Keyword bolognese, chicken, curry, spatchcock chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Brining 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 1.5 kg whole chicken (free-range or organic) (ask your butcher to spatchcock it or see my link below how to easily do it yourself)


  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 green cardamom pods, seeds crushed to a powder
  • 2 tsp salt


  • 4 tbsp runny honey
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns ground
  • 1 tsp sea salt

CORN & MANGO (optional… but delicious)

  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp amchoor (dried mango powder) (you can sub in tamarind paste if you can't get this. Use 1/2 to 3/4 tsp for the equivalent of 1 tsp amchoor)
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 11/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 2 mangoes, peeled, stoned and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced


Spatchcock a chicken

  • Follow this link, below in Notes (or ask your butcher to do it).


  • Make the brine by mixing all the ingredients with 1.5 litres of water in a large bowl or container.
    Put the chicken in and leave to brine for 45 mins.

Honey-masala glaze chicken

  • Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/.
  • In a bowl, mix all the glaze ingredients together.
    Drain the brine from the chicken and pat dry and place in a roasting tray.
    Brush 2/3 of the glaze over the chicken and cover with foil. Roast for 30 mins.
  • Take the foil off the chicken, turn up the heat to 220C/ fan 200C/ and brush with the rest of the glaze, then pop back in the oven for another 20-30 mins (basting every 5 mins) until the chicken is cooked and has a slight char.
    Once cooked, cover and rest for 15 mins.

Corn & mango side (optional)

  • IN a small pan, heat the butter, cinnamon, cayenne, amchoor, sugar, apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of fine sea salt, and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. (It may look very sticky)
    Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Under a grill on high, place the corn cobs to char all over (approx 10-12 mins), turning frequently.
    Once done, carefully slice the kernels off the cobs and put them onto a baking tray.
    Pour over the spiced butter and mix together, spreading the corn out into a single layer.
    Grill for 5 – 10 mins until the corn is starting to caramelise and blacken slightly at the edges.
  • Once done, tip the mango, red onion, chilli and grilled corn into a large bowl.
    Squeeze over the lime juice, add the lime zest and toss to combine.
    Top the corn and mango with more red chilli and serve alongside the roasted honey-masala chicken.

Chicken curry pie

This chicken curry pie is a big twist on a curry.

But it’s epic!!

My family love, love, love this dish so that’s a big recommendation because they are very honest about my cooking.

It’s more of a weekend recipe as you need to make the pastry (not hard) but perhaps a step to far during a busy week.

Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Chicken Curry Pie

Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 people
Cost £


  • Pie dish approximately 1.5l


Curry filling

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed or thinly sliced
  • 3 – 4 chopped whole dried chillies if you don't like heat, add less
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt keep some for serving
  • 3 – 4 sprigs of coriander stalks keep some leaves for garnishing
  • 12 dried curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water this is to help thicken the curry sauce
  • 4 free-range (skinless) chicken breasts cut into chunks
  • 3 red/yellow/green peppers cut into rough pieces it doesn't matter if you can only find one type of coloured pepper
  • 2 red onions cut into rough pieces
  • 1 tbsp garam masala


  • 230 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of grind pepper
  • 65 g salted butter IMPT: chilled and cubed
  • 50 g lard IMPT: chilled and cubed
  • 4 tsp soured cream
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp cold water
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten for glazing

Pickle glaze

  • 3 tbsp lime pickle you can buy a jar from most supermarkets
  • 2 tbsp demerara suagr
  • 1 – 2 tbsp hot water to help dissolve the sugar


Curry Mix

  • In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and then add the garlic, cumin, turmeric and dried chillies. Let these cook off until you smell the spices (should be approx 3 mins).
    Next add in the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, chicken stock and yogurt. Stir altogether and bring to the boil.
  • Once it hits boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and add in the coriander stalks and curry leaves and pour in your cornflour mix.
    Stir in and let it simmer for another 15 mins.
  • Now add in the chicken and let it all cook for another 5 mins or so. You want the sauce to be a little thicker (now you've added the cornflour mix and it's all simmered), probably around the same consistency as a nice gravy (not thick like your Grandma's though!)
  • Turn the heat right down so you can now grill your peppers and onions.
    Best way to do this is by mixing the peppers and onion in a bowl with some oil first, then spreading out foil on a tray and out under the grill.
    You want the peppers and onions to get juicy and a little charred… should only take a 5 minutes or so.
  • Back to the curry pan. Add in the grilled peppers and onions and stir in the garam masala.
    Have a taste and season as required.
  • Set aside to cool. It's important to cool completely so it doesn't ruin the pastry when you build your pie. (After it cooled a bit, I stuck in the fridge for an hour).


  • Now, in a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and a few grinds of pepper then add in the chilled cubes of lard and butter.
    Make sure your hands aren't hot (stick under the cold tap for a minute) and use your fingers tips to make a breadcrumb texture.
  • In another bowl, mix the vinegar, water and soured cream.
  • Now, make a well in the middle of the flour mix and pour in the mixture into it.
    Use (floured, cold) hands to mix and make a rough dough.
    Once done, sprinkle flour onto your work surface and knead a few times to make a ball shape.
    Chill in the fridge for approx 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is chilling, turn the oven on to 200°C/gas 6/390°F
  • Take the chilled dough cut into 2 and roll the first on a floured surface till its wider than the pie dish and approx 5mm thickness.
    Butter the dish so the pastry does not stick Now, gently line the pie dish with the pastry (some people don't bother with this and just do the top but we had enough pastry and it makes it a proper pie 😉
    Brush the rim of the pastry with beaten egg.
    Add in the curry filling,
    With the other half of the dough roll out the lid and place it gently on top and press down /crimp the edges so it seals the pie
    Brush the beaten egg all over and chill for another 10 mins.

Lime Pickle Glaze

  • Push the lime pickle through the sieve (push the bigger pieces to the side) into a bowl… it seems a little pointless but you do get enough come through and it's plenty to give a kick.
    Add the sugar and 2 tbsp hot water and mix.

The Bake

  • Now, bake the pie for 45 mins.
    After the first 15 minutes in the oven brush the lime pickle glaze all over.
    Repeat a few more times to ensure the flavour and colour build up.
    Once baked, take out, rest for a few minutes, garnish with some chillies and coriander.
    Serve with some yogurt and watch the smiles grow on your family!


This recipe was inspired by Jen Bedloe’s Curry Pie in Delicious Magazine

Beef massaman curry

This curry is great for hungry mouths.

It’s super simple and just needs a bit of slow cooking to make it really flavoursome.

The great thing about this dish is you can do a lot of it in advance if you have a crowd coming over.

Beef Massaman Curry

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cost ££


  • 2 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 25 g palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 500 ml hot water (boiled from your kettle)
  • 1 x 400 ml can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup massaman curry paste (or to taste) (or 125ml/140g)
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 kg beef chuck cut into small cubes approx 5cm
  • 750 g waxy potatoes you can peel but I don't
  • 1 bunch basil or coriander to serve


  • Preheat oven to 170C/ gas mark 3.
  • Add tamarind paste and the sugar into a measuring jug then add the boiling water to reach 250ml. Stir to help dissolve the paste and sugar.
  • In a large casserole with a lid add just the cream that sits at the top of the coconut milk can. Then add the massaman curry paste, stirring every now and again, until bubbling – don't worry if it separate's a little.
  • Next, to the casserole add the contents of the jug (water, tamarind and sugar). Then add the rest of the coconut milk and the tsp of salt and stir it well. Finally add in the beef and the potatoes – make sure you've cut them into small chunks the same as the beef.
  • With the beef and potato now stirred in, allow it all to come to a bubble. As soon as it does, place the lid on the casserole and turn off the heat and transfer to the oven to cook for 2.5 hours or until the meat and potatoes are tender.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of coriander or thai basil alongside some poppadoms and naan or whip up some rice and enjoy!

Advance cooking without the potatoes

  • If you do this recipe in advance, leave the potatoes out so you cook them on the day.
    You can store the curry in the fridge for 1- 3 days (but make sure you let it cool first before putting in the fridge after cooking)
    Then 30mins before you want to eat your curry, preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
    Add the potato chunks to the pot of curry and place on the hob, add 250ml of boiling water and bring to a bubble.
    Place the lid on and into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the curry is bubbling and the potatoes are tender.
    Serve as above.


  • The curry should be reheated once only.
    If you serve with rice and have leftovers it is possible to use again (but only reheat once).
    To ensure you don’t get food poisoning (and I’ve had it from rice, believe me it’s not fun):
    • Cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within 1 hour).
    • Keep rice in the fridge for no more than 1 day until reheating.
    • Ensure the dish is steaming hot all the way through.
    • Do not reheat rice more than once.
    Remember: never reheat if you didn’t store immediately in fridge

Freezing Tips

  • Freeze cooled curry in an airtight container for up to 3 months, defrost overnight in fridge before reheating as per recipe, above.

Bunny chow

I love this dish, it’s a bit of fun to serve up.

There are a lot of spices to put in so read through the recipe first to make sure you have them or use my spice and herb subs list.

But don’t be put off by it, spices are what makes a curry a curry!

Bunny Chow

Curry in hallowed loaf of bread – a South African favourite.
Course Main Course, Snack
Keyword crowd pleaser, curry, easy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large white onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, it's up to you)
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 ground cardamom pods
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (or green beans)
  • 2 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 2 large, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 – 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 unsliced loaves of crusty (traditionally) white bread, cut across in half in the middle and most of inside hollowed out like a bread bowl


  • In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the cinnamon and bay leaves until fragrant (approx 1-2 mins).
  • Add the onions and fry until they are almost translucent then add garlic, ginger, and all of the spices. Cook another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the carrots or beans, potatoes, chicken, and stock (or water).
    Stir and bring to a low simmer.
    Leave to cook and cover for about 30 minutes until chicken is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and spoon the curry inside the bread.

Chicken curry

I love this curry!

It’s full of flavour and is a good one for a ‘Friday Night Fake-away’.

Chicken curry

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Cost £


  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 6 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into chunks
  • fresh ginger, peeled and approx 3cm
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, thickly sliced
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 juice of lemon
  • 75 ml natural yoghurt


  • In a large frying pan, dry fry the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds for 2-3 min until fragrant and just beginning to pop.
    Then in a pestle and mortar, grind them to a fine powder.
    Next, in a food processor or hand blender whizz the onion, tomatoes, chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and ½tsp salt to a smooth paste.
  • Gently heat the oil in the same pan as the spices and add the spice powder and paste along with 3 tbsp water and the curry leaves.
    Let it sizzle on low heat for 10 mins until you see some oils come from the mix.
    Now, add the chicken, tomatoes and stock to the pan with the sugar and lemon juice.
    Let it all simmer for 30 mins or until the meat is cooked.
    Set aside to cool for 10 mins before stirring through the natural yoghurt.
    Serve with rice or naan and poppadums.


Tips to cook the perfect curry

Curries aren’t that hard to make.

However, they can feel a little overwhelming if you don’t make them often with the amount of spices etc you need to use.

But once you build up you’re spice and herb cupboard you’ll be away.

And here’s a few top tips on making the perfect curry

Have fun with your curries!

5 Tips to Cook the Perfect Curry
5 curry dishes (with some twists)