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November 12, 2015
Karma chichen
Nisha Katona invites you to try three recipe ideas, adapted by her mother. A little twist of traditional Indian dishes to surprise your family with an Indian Lunch.
Madras pimped cheese on toast
Every Indian living abroad needs to get their spice fix for the day. This was my mother’s way and now it is mine.
We had a version of this in Nepal and I have never forgotten how sublime it tasted. Mum worked hard to crack the right formula and voila. It also appeals to her need to take a great British staple and pimp it Indian style.
This dish is utterly addictive and great for a lunchtime treat or sly supper spectacle. It is so very simple but it has so much flavour.
The addition of the paste really gets this dish singing. No matter what time I eat this, it takes me straight to that Kathmandu guest house with the sun on my back and a slice of golden Himalayan heaven in my hand.

Serves 4


4 pieces of bread-toasted on one side
grated cheddar
chopped red onion
chopped coriander
1 spoon Madras OR Balti Paste
black pepper
chopped green chili
Mix all the ingredients together, cover the non toasted side of the bread and grill until bubbling and golden.
Korma popcorn chicken with a spiced spinach yoghurt dip
This dish has its origins in my mother’s cocky resourcefulness. Ever has it been the way with Indian mothers, that they will not be outdone by any of the big chains!
I remember driving though one particular fried chicken chain with her and relishing the cute little balls of fried deliciousness. Nothing irks my mother more than this; than her own daughter enjoying a dish that she had not created.
She set to work in her kitchen of alchemy and invited me over one night, triumphant, at her creation. She had trumped the fast food warriors and I have to take my hat of to her.
These Korma popcorn balls were utterly light, packed with flavour and to top it all extremely quick and simple to make.  The Spinach dip is a quick construction job; deeply tangy and satisfying, a perfect cooling creamy accompaniment to my mothers lip smacking golden orbs of culinary genius.

Serves 4
4 Chopped chicken breasts
pataks korma paste
lemon juice
garlic puree
1 egg
gram flour
pureed spinach
greek yoghurt
pataks madras paste
Popcorn Chicken
  • Rub the chicken pieces with a 1 1/2 tablespoons of Korma paste,lemon juice, garlic puree, egg, salt.
  • Drag the pieces through the gram flour and plunge fry
  • Combine the yoghurt, a dessertspoon of the madras paste and the spinach, a touch of lemon juice and salt.
Tikka and tamarind glazed ribs
This dish is a firm family favourite. It is one of our signature New Years Eve Dishes. Ribs are such a great party cut of meat! These ribs are so simple and quick to prepare that you can create a banquet hall pile of them in no time and they make a stunningly extravagant centrepiece. I used to make these using just the tamarind but it was the addition of the tikka paste that really got people talking about them.  We are plagued by requests for this recipe and here it is. Marinade, roast and enjoy.
pork ribs
pataks tikka paste
tamarind paste
ginger/garlic paste
garamasala powder
chopped coriander leaf
  • Rub the ribs with garlic and garamasala and roast.
Make the glaze as follows:
  • Fry onions, ginger and garlic, add 2 dessertspoons of Pataks Tikka Paste, 1 dessert spoon of honey, 1 dessert spoon of tamarind concentrate.
  • Simmer adding a little water to loosen the glaze. Add in the ribs and simmer for the last few minutes, sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with a finger bowl!

Pimp My Rice_Cover_WEL


Nisha Katona
Pimp My Rice
£20.00, Available from Nourish Books