Fancy a Curry? Go Traditional!

It’s easy to fall into old habits when it comes to ordering an Indian takeaway. Each person has their usual curry, you share a portion of rice between two and maybe try a spoonful of each other’s sauce if you’re both in a generous mood. But Indian menus are long and complicated for a reason – this is a cuisine with loads of little add-ons and varied dishes that are a pleasure when enjoyed in their best combination.

Looking to spice up your usual takeaway? Start with these handy tips!

1. Biryani fans! Try it with veggie curry!


A gorgeous looking biryani (via)

Biryani is becoming one of the nations favourite Indian meals. The rich dish, loaded with fresh, stir fried veg and your choice of meat, is undoubtedly delicious. However, those looking take their dining experience up a notch should think of enjoying it the traditional way, by ordering a vegetable curry as a saucy side. A light choice, like a lentil-loaded tarka daal, is just the ticket.

2. Get yoghurt to go with a spicy main

Vindaloo Indian Yoghurt, sometimes called “curd” or “dahi,” is a gorgeously creamy asset to have with any Indian takeaway, but is a real boon if you’ve ordered something hot and spicy. Whenever you find your vindaloo or madras is giving your tastebuds a good going over, simply get a blob of the white stuff onto your plate, and mix it in with your next mouthful. The yoghurt lowers the heat and also separates the subtle curry flavours, like soda water in a glass of scotch. Magnifico!

3. Use naan to scoop your balti right from the pot


Naan and curry – a match made in heaven (via)

Most people love naan already, and I’m sure loads of you who are reading love balti – but for the authentic experience, bypass the rice and scoop your balti up with curved hunks of naan bread, right from the container. Sound good? I know, it does, doesn’t it?

4. Use your hands

Eating curry with hands

Get stuck in – it’s traditional! (via)

That’s right – put the cutlery away! In India, it’s the done thing to eat your curry and rice with your fingers, specifically the fingers of your right hand. Of course, you’ll probably find the aforementioned naan bread rather useful, too. Traditionally, the left hand should not touch the food – use it only for tearing bread and dishing things out onto your plate.

5. Keep it simple with a thali


A little bit of everything (via)

When you can’t make your mind up between two dishes, simply bite the bullet and go for a traditional indian thali. Meaning “plate,” a thali is a platter that gives you a little bit of everything to try. At Diwan Balti in Birmingham, their thali includes tikka masala, lamb rogan josh, naan bread, rice, prawn shim, reshmi kebabs and mixed vegetables, as well as traditional dessert and coffee. Veggie versions are also widely available. What a feast!
View menu

6. Get the real vindaloo experience

Potato vindaloo

Love the spuds (via)

Treating yourself to a vindaloo? Good call. Here’s a tip for you: check on the menu if it’s got potatoes in it. not only is that the traditional recipe, the potatoes also help to neutralise the spice, making it more enjoyable to wolf down.

7. Always start with popadoms. Always


Crispy goodness (via)

Yes, yes, you know what popadoms are. You know they’re tasty, and a great starter, especially when combined with tangy mango chutney and diced onions. To be honest, I just thought I’d share this picture with you; it made me hungry.

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