Stumped for dinner? Get our life-saving Dinner Daily newsletter. You (and your stomach) can thank us later!
I am not Asian but, because I have an obsession for Asian food, some of my friends call me Gupta and joke that I will wake up one morning with a red spot on my forehead. The trouble is that I have come to the conclusion that curry, as most people call Asian food, is not merely something that you eat after a night on the beer, but an art form. The dish is the canvas and the spices are the colours. You may think I'm crackers but, after experimenting with traditional Indian ingredients, visiting many so called "Indian" restaurants and reading book after book on the subject, I am convinced I have cracked the secret of real home cooked Asian food. I am not knocking the Balti houses and Tandooris of Britain, indeed I have many favourites - the Karachi in Bradford, The Plaza on Ladypool Road in Birmingham and Sachin's in Newcastle to name but three - but the food they serve, out of necessity, is heavily Anglicised. They tend to have a stock sauce to which they add a few ingredients to convert the dish to a Korma, or Madras or Vindaloo. And of course it is highly macho in Britain to eat curry with a hundred chopped green chillies tossed into it after sinking twelve pints of lager. In my opinion, too much fire in a curry hides the subtle flavours of the dish. But then that is only my opinion. If you like fire - go for it. After all, Van Gough's work and that of Picasso are both art but no-one can argue that one is better than the other. After cooking curries for many years I have developed the recipes posted here using traditional methods and ingredients that are available in most supermarkets and I think they are as about authentic as possible. However, if it is beer food you want, you will be disappointed. Feel free to add new ingredients or change the quantities of those in the lists - it is your painting and I don't expect it to be identical to mine.