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Photograph: Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

These chef-approved tips will make your takeaway curry more delicious

Pimp up your Indian delivery with these simple ideas

By Time Out contributors
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Sure, 90 percent of takeaways are delicious. But ever wondered how to make them taste extra delicious? In our new series, Takeaway Hacks, London chefs reveal their tips and tricks for sprucing up what the delivery person drops off. Last week we did pizza. This week? Curries. 

1. Dan Anton, Lahpet

I always have balachaung on hand to add any takeaway curry. It’s a very Burmese condiment present on most dining tables in Myanmar, consisting of dried shrimps, garlic, shallots, dried chilli, fish sauce and paprika. It goes fantastically on hearty curries but is also traditionally eaten simply with rice. It gives off a punchy scent and flavour kick and also adds a nice crunchy texture. Best suited to those with a bolder palate!’

2. James Cochran, 12:51

Always order more naan than you need. With the leftovers, add cheese, lime pickle, plain yoghurt and chilli sauce, and grill for a delicious new dish, perfect for a weekend brunch or a hangover snack.’

3. Martin Sweeney, The Petersham

Knock up a quick raita at home from natural yoghurt, cucumber and mint and keep a jar of good-quality mango chutney handy. Give soggy naans a flash in the oven to re-crisp.’

4. Ollie Templeton, Carousel

I always cook my own rice. Add butter and cumin to the pan first. 

5. Ben Tish, The Stafford Collection

To refresh roti, I get a frying pan very hot and then flash fry them on both sides for a minute or so. It gets them nice and fresh and crispy. Also, chopped fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice adds a zip to any curry if it needs livening up a bit.’  

6. Sara Lewis, Vintry & Mercer

‘I turn my regular pilau into a yummy fried rice by sautéeing some onions, peas and egg with turmeric and a pinch of saffron.’ 

7. Oliver Gladwin, Rabbit

Put the oven on when you know your food is near, and when the dishes arrive pop them in the “warming oven” while you enjoy a beer and poppadom starter. Most of the time on curry night in, I’ll make a fresh mango, cashew and coriander leaf salad, drizzled with sesame seed. Lastly, be sure to have some chocolate or ice cream on hand to relax the taste buds back down.  

8. Joe Fox, Townsend

Leftover curry is great for breakfast, I like to add curry to crushed potatoes to make a hash with a fried egg and chopped coriander.

9. Robin Gill, The Dairy

It’s all about the dips. They’re so easy to make yourself. For instance, mix red onion with mango chutney – perfect for dipping poppadoms and naans.’

10. Ani Arora, Hankies

‘With a chicken or lamb curry, I would definitely like a good relish that complements the dish, like a roasted tomato, coriander and burnt chilli.’

11. Simon Henbery, Chucs

‘I always have lime pickle in the house – I love it. I'll either spoon it straight on my takeaway or blend it with a bit of yoghurt for a punchy dressing.’ 

12. Pip Lacey, Hicce

‘Keep a jar of mango chutney in the house. You can never have enough to eat with your poppadoms. Always get two poppadoms each so you’re not fighting over the crumbs.’

Explore our list of the best Indian takeaways in London.

Find out how to make Padella’s pici cacio e pepeGloria’s lemon meringue pie and Eggslut’s Fairfax sandwich

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