Sunday, 11 December 2011

God Bless You, Curry Gentlemen

Chums, I hate to waste a single slither of my delicious Dale Farm Turkey. If Mrs T had a penny for every time she’s caught me in the wee hours, gnawing on a bone by fridge-light, mayonnaise all over the place, the economy would be in a far better place. A dry old bird can really ruin the season (I am talking now about the Turkey). Bored of the usual Scooby snack style ten- storey sandwiches and Mrs T’s ‘coalition soups’ -watery and lacking consistency , I realised the answer was right under my nose, on most of my lapels and all of my ties: Curry!

A good curry keeps the meat on the waist not in the waste, what with those ever expanding gaps between refuse collections, and at the same time celebrates the multiculturalism our mighty empire has engendered. It’s cheaper than a pig-out at Spicy World after work -and I can eat it at home without listening to Uncle E’s chops smacking together around a dirty bhuna.

So in tribute to -and inspired by-Uncle Eric’s wonderful Curry College concept I took a few days away from armchair auditing and turned ‘korma cadet’. I secured a sous-chef job at my local emporium – the Mahabarata in Penge - on a voluntary basis as an intern.

Sadly I was chased from the kitchens, having tossed a Bob Monkhouse gag about ‘infatuation’ into the banter, and been caught with my hands in the big pickle jar once too often. However I did manage to ‘borrow’ a nice recipe for that most authentically Indian of dishes Tikka Massala. I hope they don’t spot it here ( as most of them can’t speak English, fit in a minute to go online in between 20 hour shifts or afford a computer with the sub-minimum wages I should be ok ). I’ve made a few tweaks, but didn’t want to come over all Anjum Anand.

By the way, for dessert I like to continue the Anglo-Indian theme with an Empire classic -Victoria Sponge.


Derek’s Winterval Turkey Leftover Tikka Masala


Turkey leftovers, if you have any
2/3 onions
2½cm grated ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 dessert spoon garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
½ dessert spoon ground coriander
½ dessert spoon ground cumin
1 dessert spoon fenugreek leaves
1 tin chopped plum tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
¾ pint / 16¼fl oz of water
1 dessert spoon of sugar
1 tub Greek yoghurt
fresh coriander (chopped)


1. Relentlessly chop! Apply any number of misguided or ill thought through cuts to the onions -then fry them with the ginger and garlic until they all start to turn brown.

2. Add the fenugreek leaves, these give this dish that authentic fragrant aroma- think a night at Spicy World or Samcam’s bathwater.
Treat yourself to a snifter of sherry.

3. Spice time. Add garam masala, chilli powder, ground coriander and ground cumin to taste. Cool as Giles’s hair or Hot as Uncle E’s collar.

4. Add the tomatoes and brusquely simmer this cheeky sauce for about five minutes. My wrists ache at this point. But that’s not unusual.
Next add the tomato purée, ¾ pint of water- or 480ml if you are stuck with a batty Eurocentric measuring jug. Add large Pinch of salt and sugar. Repeat till conscience permits. You will now have the makings of a redder- than- Ken masala sauce. Blend this mixture to a smooth sauce consistency. In your blender. Even my wrists aren’t that good.

4. Now add the turkey leftovers to the sauce and return the pan to a low heat and allow it to simmer and penetrate the turkey pieces. Like the big society your ingredients are finally all in this together.
Careful you don’t overcook them to breaking point. Celebratory slug!

5. Nearly forgot the spin! Now add the Greek yoghurt and spin it in like a SpAd to give the masala it’s superficial glossy piquant finish.
It doesn’t matter how it tastes now, provided it isn’t as tasteless as a night at a French restaurant with Aidan Burley and pals.

6. Garnish with freshly axed coriander to give the impression there’s anything fresh at all.

7 Serve with naan bread, pilau rice, three onion bhajis, a sag panir, prawn puree, chicken chat, tarka dall, aloo gobi etc etc

8.Eat while watching Bergerac on TV Gold or an art house film -such as The King’s Speech, a little gem I discovered recently

Alternative method: Call The Mahabarata in Penge on 0303 444 0000.
Free delivery. Free Poppadoms and sauces with orders of £30 or more.

Just don’t mention Derek T, they still haven’t forgiven me for tampering with their pickles!


  1. I find pickles too sour. Like the smell of a fat bloke who has been sweating a bit too much in his rubber knickers on the exercise bicycle.

  2. oh my lord that is a disturbing image you have left me with.

  3. I tried this recipe last night. I'm afraid I can't recommend it- a bland and unoriginal idea resulting in something fatty, tasteless, thick and foul smelling, and endlessly repeating on me. Yours indegistibly,