It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Indian’

Chullah, Hocking

Chullah is a large Indian restaurant nestled among the shops at Wyatt Grove. We had a fairly reasonable takeaway recently and decided to return for a sit down meal.

The restaurant is constantly busy with takeaway orders, and the phone didn’t stop ringing, however we were the only diners in the restaurant.

The menu has an extensive list of vegetarian options, but they are not all vegan, and you have to specify if you don’t want cream, butter or ghee. Many of the dishes mention a cashew nut gravy but I don’t think that means they are dairy-free.

We chose the black lentil Chullah di dal, a Sabji Sada Bahaar – mixed veg curry, a methi naan and some rice.

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The dal was a little sour and the sabji a little sweet, so together they made a good combination and were quite pleasant to eat, but I wasn’t keen on the dal on it’s own and I did wonder if the cream that they usually add would have tempered it a little. Maybe some coconut cream would have been a good alternative.

The methi naan wasn’t a lot different to a regular naan. I am used to the methi being integral rather than just sparsely sprinkled on top.

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Rice was good.

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So will we return? In common with many restaurants and cafes, it would be good if they offered coconut cream or Nuttelex alternatives to cream and butter. The food wasn’t unpleasant but it also wasn’t amazing – good average curry in an area where there isn’t a lot of competition. It’s worth a visit if you are passing.

Last Visit – July 2020

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Curry Munchers, Leederville

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In the heart of Leederville, almost on the corner of Newcastle and Oxford Street, is Curry Munchers, a modern Indian restaurant.

The staff are friendly, and we were seated quickly at a comfortable table. As well as some usual Indian favourites, the menu contains a good selection of vegan and vegetarian options. The drinks menu is also quite extensive with cocktails and wines galore.

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We went with vegan options – bhindi dopiaza – a lovely combination of okra and onion in a tasty curry sauce:

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Tarka dhal:

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Kulcha naan:

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Peas pilau:

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Everything was thoroughly delicious and a perfect amount for two hungry people. Curry Munchers often have special offers, so look out for their happy hour deals. Definitely a go to option for your curry fix in the Leederville area.

Last Visit Date – July 2020

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2 Fat Indians, Joondalup

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This Joondalup restaurant is one of the latest venues in the 2 Fat Indians chain. Bold and brash, it occupies a large area near the station concourse.

We originally had several takeaways from here when our local favourite Imli closed during the Covid pandemic, and found the food to be good quality with plenty of vegan/veggie options.

This was our first sit-down experience and the restaurant was busy with customers keen to return after the lockdown. Takeaway business was booming with several UberEats bags stacked up ready for collection, and we perused the menu looking for some vegan and vegetarian favourites.

We chose a pappadom basket to start with tamarind pickle and mint sauce. This was a little dissapointing, some of the pappadoms were underdone, and a bit tough – not the lovely crispy bubbly rounds that I am used to. The pickles were good.

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For mains we chose a Diwani Handi – mixed vegetables in a medium curry sauce with fenugreek. A wonderful mix of carrot, corn, sweet potato and peas – thoroughly delicious.

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We also chose tadka dhal which is a good staple of red lentils with turmeric and spices to give it the lovely yellow hue.

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The naan was a garlic naan – a delicious mix of soft and crispy.

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Jeera rice was served in a little pot.

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All in all the meal was good quality, the service was very quick which meant that we didn’t linger in the restaurant. You definitely get larger portions when you order a takeaway, but the meal was certainly enough for two and we really did enjoy our visit.


I love samosas. This is a vegetarian recipe, but you can add minced lamb to the mixture if you prefer the meat version. I made mine with filo pastry – you can make the traditional samosa pastry if you like, but it is quite an art to get it right, and filo crisps up really well when you fry them. I asked my Indian friend Kesh if it is ok to use filo and he said yes, so if it’s good enough for him then I don’t feel too bad about cheating. Like the onion bhajias, you can fry these in advance and heat them up later in a hot oven.

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To make the filling you need:
2 onions chopped
4 medium potatoes diced small
2 carrots diced small
2 cups of frozen peas
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of green masala paste (if you haven’t got any – whizz up a green chilli with 2 large cloves of garlic and and inch of root ginger)
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
1 and a half teaspoons fresh crushed garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
half a teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
half a tablespoon ground coriander (dhania)
half a tablespoon ground cumin (jeera)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
a large handful of coriander leaves finely chopped

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of sunflower or groundnut oil in a large pan or wok with a lid
2. Add the onions and fry gently for a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

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3. Cover and simmer over a low heat for up to 45 minutes (the cooking time will depend on how large the pieces are).
4. Test regularly with a knife to see if cooked (try a potato).
5. Stir through some butter or non dairy spread while still warm, and then set aside to cool. Next step you need butter or non dairy spread and some cornflour.
6. Melt some butter or non dairy spread to brush on the pastry.
7. Mix 1 teaspoon of cornflour with water to make a runny paste – this can be used to ‘glue’ the filo edges together if the samosas are a bit loose.

Once the filling has cooled, spread out some filo pastry on a work surface.
Take one sheet and brush it with the butter or dairy free spread and place another sheet over the top.
Slice the sheet vertically into approx 5 strips.
At the bottom of a strip place a spoonful of filling. Fold the corner over in a triangle, then back again in a zig zag pattern until the whole strip of pastry has been used. Seal the end with a dab of the cornflour paste.
Click here for a folding diagram.
Carry on until all of the filo and mixture is used up.
Deep fry in hot oil until brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.
If not eating immediately they can be finished in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

Indian Mixed Vegetables

This is my general recipe for indian mixed vegetables – it is basically an aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower) recipe which you can adapt to suit your taste and to suit whatever you have in the cupboard.
It helps if you have green masala paste and dhania/jeera spice mix already made up, but don’t worry if not – you can adapt the recipe for a one-off version, but if you find that you are making it regularly, I would advise making up a batch of each to save time.
See my page on home made Indian food for instructions on dhania/jeera and green masala.

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Aloo gobi

Here is the recipe for my aloo gobi, but feel free to change the vegetable content (carrots, broccoli, swede, spinach, capsicum, butter beans etc) – I would recommend always having potato and onion in it, but you can use sweet potato if you prefer. If you like a good variety of veg, you can make it with frozen diced mixed vegetables too.

1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium to large onion – chop half of it finely and the other half quite chunky
1 -2 potatoes (or sweet potatoes) diced
half a cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
2 ripe tomatoes chopped (skin them too if you are fussy)
2-3 large mushrooms sliced
1 tablespoon of dhania jeera mix (alternatively use a heaped half tablespoon of ground coriander and a heaped quarter tablespoon of ground cumin)
half a tablespoon of ground turmeric
2 teaspoons of green masala (alternatively grate a green chilli, 2cm ginger and 2 cloves garlic)
1-2 teaspoons sugar
half to one teaspoon salt (depending on taste)
a handful of frozen peas
a handful of fresh chopped coriander

1. Prepare all of the veg.
2. The amount of oil you need can vary depending in how many veggies you have and how watery they are – if you are not using tomatoes or mushrooms, add a little extra oil. Heat the oil in a large pan (use a huge saucepan or wok, but make sure it has a lid).
3. When the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds – fry until they pop and crackle.
4. Now add everything else except the peas and coriander. I find it easier to stir the spices and masala paste into the oil, then add the veggies. You won’t coat them all in spice to start with, leave them to reduce a bit and stir occasionally. Put the lid on throughout the cooking. If the veggies seem to be sticking a bit you can add a splash of water to help steam them, but don’t add too much water.
5. The veggies will take approx 30 minutes depending on how many hard veg you have. Stir them every 5 minutes and test them with a knife. When nearly done, add the frozen peas and coriander and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
6. Serve as a veggie curry on it’s own, or as a side dish, or in Indian bread with yoghurt.
Add fresh shopped chilli if you like it hotter. If it’s too hot, add a little extra sugar and stir it in well.

Bhuna Sauce

I made an epic prawn bhuna the other day and I’ve had a few people asking me for the recipe, so here it is. It doesn’t have to be a prawn bhuna, you can make it with any meat, or tofu, vegetables, paneer (Indian cheese) for vegetarian/vegan options.


I make mine dairy free, so I use coconut yoghurt or coconut cream instead of usual yoghurt, but if you don’t mind dairy, feel free to use lovely thick Greek yoghurt. I also use fresh tomatoes because the produce here in Perth is outstanding, but feel free to use tinned tomatoes if you wish.
This is how I skin and prepare my tomatoes – it’s quick and easy and by the time you have chopped your onions and garlic, the tomatoes will be ready to peel. I boil the kettle, and with a sharp knife I cut a shallow cross in the top where the stem was and again on the opposite side. Then I place them in bowl of boiling hot water for about 5-6 minutes.

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Be careful when you remove them because they’ll be hot. The skin should come away easily just by rubbing it slightly, if it doesn’t then they need a bit longer.

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I also remove any thick inner stem and the fibrous part where it attached to the plant. For this recipe I also remove most of the watery seedy part so that the final product is chunks of skinless tomato flesh.

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This recipe is enough to serve 6 people, you can also freeze portions of sauce to use later then you can add fresh chicken, vegetables, or prawns on the day that you serve it.
a quarter of a teaspoon each of:
coriander seeds
cumin seeds
fennel seeds
black mustard seeds
2 onions (chop one and a half of them and puree the other half in a blender)
2 teaspoons of garlic (either crushed or pureed with the onion puree above)
2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger (or from a tube if that’s more convenient)
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of chilli paste (or 1 teaspoon of chilli powder)
4 teaspoons of medium curry powder (I use Clive of India but choose your favourite brand or make your own)
300mls of chicken or vegetable stock
2 generous heaped dessertspoons of Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt or approx (150-200ml coconut cream)
4 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 teaspoons of garam masala
oil – vegetable, groundnut or something else with a mild or no flavour
salt and pepper

1. Get everything chopped, pureed, and ready:

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and add the whole seeds.

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3. Once you hear them pop and crackle, add the onions, ginger, and garlic and stir to coat them in the spicy mixture.

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4. Once the onions start to soften, add the turmeric, chilli, and curry powder.

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5. Give everything a good stir, cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and tomato puree

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6. Cover and cook for approximately 10 – 15 minutes then stir in the yoghurt and the garam masala. The garam masala will make the sauce take on a brown colour. Once the tomatoes and onions are soft and a bit mushy, turn the heat off and leave the sauce covered to cool down in the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too spicy, add a little sugar to balance the spices. Freeze in appropriate portion sizes.
7. If using the same day, reheat the sauce and add the protein of your choice e.g. raw prawns, chicken, lamb, tofu, veggies and cook until the protein or veggies are cooked through. I used lovely fresh large raw jumbo tiger prawns and they were delicious.
8. Bhuna tends to be quite a dry curry, so use as much sauce as you like that suits your needs. I prefer more gravy so I tend to be quite generous with the sauce. If you reheat it uncovered, you can reduce the sauce if you prefer a thicker, richer flavour.

Shehnai, Ocean Reef

I haven’t been to Shehnai for over 3 years. It used to be our favourite local Indian restaurant, but we had a few lacklustre meals there, and just stopped going. Today we decided to give it another try and were delighted to find that the food was good. The restaurant was full and everybody seemed to be a local regular. The wait staff were really friendly too and very helpful.
We just chose pappadoms and pickles for a starter, deciding to save ourselves for the mains. First up was Chicken Korma, this used to be a favourite, and did not disappoint. Very rich, slightly sweet, with huge chunks of chicken and a nice coconut base, we made sure that we ate every last drop from the bowl.

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The pilao rice was light and fluffy and perfectly separated.

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Prawn Bombay had a rich tomato flavour and was brimming with juicy fat king prawns. A lovely succulent dish, beautifully spiced.

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We also chose a garlic naan – light slightly crispy at the edges and well flavoured with just a hint of garlic that wasn’t too overpowering.

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After all of that we were very full and didn’t have room for dessert. Whatever happened to Shehnai a few years back has now passed, and they are back in the game as one of the best Indian restaurants in the Northern suburbs. Highly recommended.

Last Visit Date – We are always here – this is a regular favourite

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Kabalason, Joondalup

We popped into Kabalason one evening on a whim as we were passing. The last time we dined here was many years ago and we ate thali which was nice, but not amazing. I remember the flavours as being very strong and the spices a bit raw. Anyway, that was ages ago and last time we walked past Kabalason there were many people dining and we felt that it was worth another try.
We were quite early, and there was one other diner. A buffet was laid out under heat lamps, but our experience of buffet food is not good, so we decided to eat a la carte. The waitress did try to persuade us to have buffet ($24.50) but we wanted something freshly cooked and relatively light.
We chose chicken tikka, seekh kebab, cauliflower capsicum masala curry and two garlic naans.

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The tikka was served with a limp looking salad and a mint yoghurt sauce. The meat was a bit tough and didn’t taste as if it had been freshly cooked. It tasted more like a part cooked tikka that had been warmed up, the flavour was okay, but the mouthfeel was dense and I have had much better tikkas.

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The seekh kebab was better than the tikka, but again served with a limp salad that we didn’t touch. I suspect that the salad had been made up quite some time earlier and left in the fridge. The meat was nicely spiced, and a bit on the salty side, but a nice flavoured kebab.

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The cauliflower capsicum masala started off okay, but as I ate more of it I found it quite strongly spiced, and the spices had a raw edge to them as if they had not been cooked through. One of the secrets of a great curry is to cook it long and slow so that the spices really get a chance to develop and lose their hot rawness. The first few spoonfuls were okay, but as I ate more, I found it salty, hot and overbearing and I left most of it.

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The garlic naans were nicely flavoured but variable in texture. One was soft and a little doughy, but the better of the two. The other one was quite crisp and stiff, so I couldn’t wrap my curry in it.
So will I go back to Kabalason ? Probably not. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that they make a lot of food in advance for the buffet and then just reheat as required. Other than the naan nothing tasted really fresh and bright, and the constant throat-clearing and sneezing coming from the kitchen was quite off-putting. We spent over $60 on a very average meal.

Visit date – October 2019

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Mustard, Hornchurch, UK

Mustard Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I paid my second visit to Mustard tonight, having first tried this restaurant with friends a few years ago, and remembering that the previous meal was quite nice. The menu has all of the standard UK curry fare along with some very nice sounding chefs specials, however tonight I wanted a standard curry fix, so I chose something that I knew would satisfy.
The restaurant is modern and stylish – no flocked wallpaper or moving light pictures – the lighting is subtle, pictures modern, and general ambience is clean and minimal with wooden floors.
We chose some pappadoms to start a mixture of plain and spicy, and they were
accompanied by mango chutney, yoghurt sauce, onion salad and tomato onion relish. All were really nice.
We didn’t go overboard with mains, I chose a king prawn dopiaza:

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My partner chose a chicken jalferezi:

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We asked for aloo peas as a side dish (not on the menu) and the chef happily provided this.

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Then a pilau rice each – the rice being lovely, fluffy and separate.
The Chicken Jalferezi was made with chicken tikka and a lovely gravy which was spicy but not overly hot. The King Prawn Dopiaza was full of juicy prawn meat, onions and capsicum in a plentiful medium heat gravy. The Aloo Peas was nicely spiced and delicious.
We cleared our plates ! A perfect amount of food to fulfil our curry craving, very nicely presented with good service. Everything was tasty and as expected. Lovely food, and I will return.

Last Visit Date – April 2017

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Prawn Puri

Have you ever tried prawn puri as a starter in an indian restaurant ? The puri does not refer to a ‘puree’ i.e. mashed food, but is the name of an indian bread which is flat and lightly fried – also called poori in some regions.

This picture shows prawn puri with dhal, raita, and salad.
prawn puri

It is remarkably easy to make.
For the puri bread you need 2 1/2 cups of chapatti flour (low gluten atta flour) and one cup of water. Mix them together to form a dough, knead the dough, then wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can leave it for a few days if you want to make it in advance. Knead it again and divide it into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a round and fry lightly in a frypan which has been lightly greased with some vegetable or peanut oil. If you like them buttery, you can butter the breads while they are still hot.

For the prawn bhuna you need:
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp green masala paste
2 onions
3 tbsp tomato paste
approx 6 large raw prawns per person with shells removed

1. Blend one onion until mushy. Chop the other one into small pieces and fry it in oil and butter until soft.
2. Put the dry spices in a large pan and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add half a cup of hot water. Cook to reduce the water by half.
3. Add the green masala paste, tomato paste and mushy onion to the spice mixture.
4. Cook for 10- 20 minutes until the’ rawness’ of the onion has dissipated.
5. If the onions still taste hot, add half a teaspoon of sugar and stir well.
6. Add the fried onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
7. Peel the prawns and rinse them. Stir the juice of half a lemon (or a whole lime) into the prawns, leave for a while to marinate, then when ready to serve add them to the curry sauce. Stir in some fresh coriander.

To assemble the prawn puri, place a puri on a plate, and spoon prawn bhuna over the top. If you like you can add some minty yoghurt sauce, onion salad or cucumber raitha. I often serve mine with some dhal. You can also serve the curry with chicken, crab, or vegetables instead of prawns.

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