The Taste of Brazil

Roungy mushroom curry (black-eyed bean and mushroom curry) – pictured top

I have always loved black-eyed bean curry, a Punjabi dish made at home and enjoyed with tandoori roti. Thankfully, my kids seem to enjoy it, too, which means I get to cook it often, and also to try different ways of combining the beans with other vegetables. Here, I’ve used mushrooms, which give an extra layer of flavour and depth. Serve with rice or flatbread.

Prep 15 min Cook 30 min Serves 4

2 tbsp rapeseed oil 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated 2 ½cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 1 tsp salt 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp garam masala 1 tsp ground turmeric 300g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk 2 x 400g tins black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and cook over a low to medium heat for five minutes, until softened and starting to colour. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for a minute, then pour in the tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat for five minutes.

Stir in the salt and ground spices, followed by all the remaining ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, then leave to cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes. (If you have more time, cook it over over a lower heat for 30-40 minutes.) Serve warm.

  • UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado

Dahi murg (yoghurt chicken curry)

Chetna Makan’s yoghurt chicken curry.
Chetna Makan’s yoghurt chicken curry.

I have shared other yoghurt chicken recipes in my previous books, but this is the easiest and one of the most delicious – it’s my children’s favourite, too. I usually make this with chicken on the bone, because the bones add flavour to the curry, but it does take a bit more time to cook that way and I know many people prefer boneless chicken. This is a foolproof curry that works every time. Enjoy it with any flatbreads or rice.

Prep 15 min Cook 25 min Serves 4

200ml natural yoghurt 1 tsp salt 1 tsp garam masala ½ tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp chilli powder 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated 600g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3cm pieces 2 tbsp sunflower oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced 20g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Mix the yoghurt, salt, spices and garlic in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces, turn until well coated, then leave to marinate while you prepare the curry base.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for five minutes, until they start to soften. Add the marinated chicken and any excess marinade, mix well, then bring to a boil, cover and cook over a medium to low heat for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Sprinkle with the coriander and serve.

  • UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado

Machali aur daal (fish and lentil curry)

Chetna Makan’s fish and lentil curry
Chetna Makan’s fish and lentil curry.

All fish curry is delicious, but when cooked with lentils, it makes a wonderfully creamy and hearty dish. I asked my fishmonger which fish he suggested for this, and he gave me this lovely hake. It worked a treat, but any firm white fish fillet would be just as lovely. Serve with spinach and onion pulao or plain rice.

Prep 10 min Cook 30 min Serves 4

2 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 tsp black mustard seeds 1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped 2 ½cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated 2 tomatoes, finely chopped 1 tsp salt 2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp chilli powder 150g masoor dal (split red lentils) 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk 100ml boiling water 400g skinless hake fillet, or any firm white fish, cut into 7½cm-long pieces Chopped chives, to serve

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for five minutes, until softened and starting to change colour. Add the ginger, cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for two minutes, until they start to soften.

Stir in the salt and ground spices, followed by the lentils, then pour in the coconut milk and the measured boiling water. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

Place the fish pieces in the lentil mix, cover again and cook on a medium heat for five minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.

  • UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado

Gobhi aur matar (cauliflower and sugar snap pea curry)

Chetna Makan’s cauliflower and sugar snap pea curry.
Chetna Makan’s cauliflower and sugar snap pea curry.

Warming, light and delicious, this is a curry for when you need to put in the least effort to get the best rewards. Once you’ve tried it using this suggested selection of veg, vary it with different vegetables of your choice such as broccoli, carrots, beans and more. This is great served with spinach and onion pulao or plain rice.

Prep 15 min Cook 25 min Serves 4

2 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 tsp black mustard seeds 10 fresh curry leaves 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced 2 ½cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1 tsp salt 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp chilli powder ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2½cm cubes 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk 200g sugar snap peas

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add the curry leaves, followed by the onion, and cook on a low to medium heat for five minutes, until the onion starts to soften and colour. . Add the ginger, cook for a minute, then add the salt and ground spices, and mix well. Add the cauliflower and potato, and cook, stirring, over a high heat for two minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, cover and cook on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

Stir in the sugar snap peas, cook on a medium heat for a minute, then serve.

  • UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado

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