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When you think of different types of cheeses, what comes to your mind first? Cheddar, Brie, Stilton? What about Paneer? Paneer is a fresh ‘farmers’ cheese popular in India and other Asian Countries. Also called Chhena in northern regions, it is similar to cottage cheese and is so versatile it can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes.

I first found out about Paneer when I visited a local Indian restaurant and they served Paneer Pakora- battered paneer alongside the usual naan breads and poppadoms. The soft, nearly sweet cheese melted in my mouth and worked wonderfully well with the rich crunchy batter. The cheeses taste and texture reminded me of Halloumi, which most people will know is popular in many Greek dishes.

If battered paneer isn’t your cup of tea, however, you can always try it in one of your favourite curries, it works well in a Bhurji, Masala or Jalfrezi, along with pretty much any other Indian dish you can think of! For a lunch time treat, Paneer is also great in a wrap alongside chili, ginger and plenty of veggies including fried onions, peppers and shredded raw carrot.

A more unusual use for this Indian cottage cheese is in sweet dishes, try it in a pineapple salad or even try making your own Paneer Kheer- some great Indian sweets.

You can buy Paneer from most Asian and Indian shops as well as some major supermarkets.

Versatile, Vegetarian and Tasty- what more could you ask for!



While there is a plethora of Indian cookbooks out there, you’ll never catch us complaining! As far as we’re concerned, every cookery book offers a wonderfully different take on Indian Cuisine, with some absolute recipe gems nestled within their pages.

Manju Malhi’s Easy Indian Cookbook is no exception. Fit to burst with stunning images of delightful looking dishes, Manju’s introduction to the basics of Indian cookery leads us into over one hundred amazing recipes. From chutneys to breads, meat and vegetarian dishes to desserts, the choice would be overwhelming if the book wasn’t so well laid out. And for those who need a little extra inspiration, there are some fabulous menu ideas in the final section for a variety of occasions.

As if the above wasn’t enough, the title really does reflect upon the ethos of the book. All of Manju’s recipes offer simple, easy to follow guides with no more than 7 steps per dish.

It’s practically impossible to pick a Star recipe from Easy Indian Cooking, so we asked Manju to tell us a little bit about her, the book, and suggest a dish herself. The full interview is available in the latest issue of Chaat!


(Offer subject to availability)



In our latest issue of Chaat magazine, a few of our team members competed in a our all new Curry Challenge to find out is cooking a homemade Indian curry recipe is affordable. The task was to cook a meal for four people for under £4, in as quick a time as possible. See who won with their Indian curry recipe in the March/April edition of Chaat!, out now in WH Smiths.

Think you can do better? Post your recipes and a picture onto our facebook page, and we’ll publish the tastiest in our next issue of your favourite spicy food cooking magazine!

In the meantime here is the second of the recipes: Mutter Paneer.

Shafila, one of our Staff Writers used a family recipe to create her dish, the ever popular vegetarian classic, Mutter Paneer. The mild flavours of the paneer (Indian cottage cheese) marry beautifully with the spicy yet creamy sauce, and this dish is always a crowd pleaser with her relatives!



500 g paneer cubed
1 cup of peas (Shafila used a tin of chick peas)
2 large onions
3 medium tomatoes Asda
1 tbsp fresh ginger (crushed)
2 tbsps fresh garlic (crushed)
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsps garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chillies chopped fine
6 tbsps of oil
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsps double cream


1. Grind onions into a fine paste in a food processor. Keep aside.
2. Next grind tomatoes into fine paste and keep aside.
3. Heat 2-3 tbsps of oil in a pan and gently stir-fry the cubes of paneer till golden. Remove onto a paper towel and keep aside.
4.In the same vessel heat 2-3 tbsps of oil and add the onion paste. Fry till it turns light brown.
5. Add tomato paste, ginger and garlic paste and fry for another 2 minutes.
6. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala powders, green chillies and fry, stirring continuously till the oil begins to separate from the masala (spice mixture).
7. Add the peas to the masala and fry for 2-3 minutes.
8. Finally, add the paneer, water and salt to taste, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook till the gravy thickens.
When the gravy is as thick as you would like, turn off the heat and stir in the cream.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.


Send us your suggestion(s) and you could WIN a Ferns curry paste!

It’s Britain’s original top ten countdown of best loved curries. Now, in 2014… we’d like YOU to tell us what dishes YOU would like to see in our TOP OF THE POPPADOMS poll!

Three years ago, when we first launched the magazine, we asked our partner restaurants which dishes they thought should be on our very own curry poll. Since that time, our wonderful Chaat! readers have voted for their favourites from our ‘Top 10’ list, Jalfrezi has dominated the top spot, battling against some of the classic British favourites including Balti, Rogan Josh and Chicken Tikka Masala.

Three years on, there are lots of new restaurants out there, and people are favouring a much wider variety of dishes! Thanks to a rise in the amount of spice lovers, Indian food is more popular than ever before.

 This is how the chart looked at the beginning of the year:


1. Chicken Tikka Masala

2. Madras

3. Korma

4. Vindaloo

5.  Balti

6.  Jalfrezi

7.  Rogan Josh

8. Dhansak

9. Butter Chicken

10.  Dopiaza



We’d like YOU to tell us what dishes YOU’D like to see in our Top of the Poppadoms poll.

 There are 4 ways to get in touch:

 Closing date is 30th April 2014 – Good Luck! (Please see T&Cs)

Ferns: The official sponsor of Top of the Poppadoms. Authentic curry pastes made in India since 1937. Each Ferns’ product is crafted into a delicious paste, enabling anyone to cook a fragrant, spice-infused Indian dish with ease and speed.

For more information, visit



Terms and Conditions: Open to entrants with a UK postal address only. Delivery of competition prizes may take up to 30 days.


There is nothing particularly new about chocolate infused with spice. There are so many different combinations for spice lovers to savour, from chilli and chocolate to chocolate and cardamom -even Bombay mix has been blended with the stuff. A Chaat! curry magazine with an array of ideas.

Despite the seemingly endless boundaries when it comes to brewing up spicy, ‘chocolatey’ mixtures, I was still surprised to hear of a recipe involving chocolate and Juniper berries. The Juniper berry is perhaps best known for their flavouring in gin and other spirits, and also for complementing several strongly flavoured meat-based dishes. I wondered about the suitability of the berries infused with the smooth, sweet and creamy taste of chocolate, given that their taste is slightly sour and peppery in nature.

Unusually for a spice of this kind, the Juniper berry is indigenous of Northern Europe, growing on an evergreen, shrub-like plant. When crushed, these small dark purple berries are fragrant with an almost bitter-sweet aroma, and give any dish a subtle yet piquant flavour. When I say any dish, I would normally mean something along the lines of German sauerkraut or roast venison!

But to my surprise, the taste of the berries in a chocolate mixture was actually delicious. They came crushed and blended in a chocolate mousse dessert where only 5 berries were actually used. This was just enough to avoid an overpowering bittersweet and peppery taste. Although only subtle, the essence of the Juniper berries was certainly distinctive and made the dessert truly unique in flavour.

Unlike the acquired taste of chilli and chocolate, the Juniper berry infusion can be enjoyed by anyone. The sweetness of the chocolate is neither matched nor overpowered by the juniper seasoning, meaning loyal chocoholics are still likely to enjoy it. The light and fluffy texture of the mousse is also perfect for different and distinctive, sweet and spicy blends.

The Juniper berry chocolate mousse dessert has been named ‘Petit pots au Chocolat’ and is extremely easy to make. Take a look at the recipe; it is certainly worth having a go.



175 ml cream
5 juniper berries
2 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
50g dark chocolate
cocoa powder to dust
cream – whipped for topping (if required)


  1. Heat the oven to 140oC/Gas
  2.  In a heavy based saucepan bring the cream with the juniper berries almost to a simmer then take off the heat, cover and leave to infuse
  3. Beat the egg yolks together with the sugar
  4. Strain the juniper berries out of the cream and add the chocolate stirring until it has melted
  5. Pour the cream and chocolate mixture onto the cream and egg mix whisking constantly
  6. Pour into small ramekin dishes. Stand in a roasting tray, pour water half way up and pop into the oven for 30-40 minutes until set but soft in the centre
  7. Serve at room temperature dusted with cocoa and/or a little whipped cream

Recipe courtesy of Julie Brooks of Food 4 The Journey:


Health is an increasing concern in today’s society. We’re all told that we need to watch what we eat and not to eat too much, but what if eating more of certain foods can have a positive effect? In Britain alone, diabetes affects 1.88 million people. According to Zoe Gray of Z Nutrition, the condition is a result of a “person’s body being unable to utilise glucose effectively,” and occurs in two types- type 1 and type 2. A Chaat! magazine subscription will give you a host of articles focused on nutrition.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured, but have researchers found a simple way of combating type 2 diabetes?

We’re in luck, because research suggests that using plenty of fresh spices which are full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help balance blood sugar and protect from some of the side effects of imbalanced blood sugar levels. So you can have your curry and eat it too – as long as it’s low in fat and salt, of course!

In our December issue, you would have seen an article written by Chris Smith, The Diabetic Chef. He told us that we don’t need to compromise on flavour in order to maintain a diabetic diet. His tips included heating up a pan before adding food, which can help add flavour. Letting curry powder “re-hydrate” in a curry, too, can make the flavour and aroma bloom.

So you could put these tips to the test, we included his recipe for ‘King Prawn and Spring Onion with Maharashtra Curry Sauce’. The results showed that his tips definitely work, and if you haven’t had a go at the recipe, you need to!



Be part of our homegrown challenge and share your pics with us!

This year, we here at Chaat! Magazine are pulling our green fingers out and growing our own Indian curry recipe ingredients. As a curry magazine, it’s only fitting, but here’s the thing –  we’d like you to give it your best shot too!

Yes, the idea of growing plants that we consider to be very exotic can be worrying to say the least, but with a little expert advice and the right environment growing your own curry ingredients can be incredibly rewarding.

The latest issue of Chaat! features a 10 page feature on growing your own, full of information about exotic vegetables with Mridula Baljekar, top tips from Pippa Greenwood and RHS horticulturalist, Mario De Pace, and a really inspiring interview with food-writer-turned-producer, Jojo Tulloh.

“When you make someone something really nice that you grew and just picked, its so rewarding. And you can grow in a windowbox, you don’t even need a garden!” Jojo told us. “People seem to think that if they don’t have an enormous garden where they can grow rows and rows of vegetables, that they might as well not grow anything at all. But even if you only have steps and you grew in pots on your steps, you’d get an enormous amount of pleasure from them, and quite a bit of crop!”

Along with our friends at Plants4Presents, who are huge advocates of growing your own curry (even creating a dedicated display every year at the RHS) we want you to get growing too and share you pictures of your planting progress on our Facebook and/or Twitter page for your chance to be featured in Chaat!’s Winter edition!



What do you get the person who loves curry? Britain’s only spicy food magazine of course!

The new March issue is packed with seventeen delicious spicy recipes and mouth-watering photography that will inspire you to get cooking. The Hairy Bikers share some unusual world food traditions alongside recipes from their exciting new cookbook, The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, and author Mridula Baljekar gives her simple step-by-step instructions on cooking with exotic vegetables.

Chaat! has launched its own #getgrowing campaign to encourage everyone to grow their own curry. Inside, you’ll find growing tips for top gardeners and healthy recipes, so you can make super fresh meals at home. You’ll also find some great advice from cooks Shelina Permalloo, Dhruv Baker, Monica Galetti, Jack Monroe and Valentine Warner about what it means to ‘eat well.’

This issue investigates the influence spice have on various health conditions. Could turmeric ‘cure’ diabetes?

Don’t miss the regular columns with Bill Oddie and traveller James Ketchell, too!

Issue 17 of Chaat! Magazine is out now in WHSmith stores.


In our latest issue of Chaat magazine, a few of our team members competed in a our all new Curry Challenge to find out is cooking a homemade Indian curry recipe is affordable. The task was to cook a meal for four people for under £4, in as quick a time as possible. See who won with their Indian curry recipe in the March/April edition of Chaat!, out now in WH Smiths.

Think you can do better? Post your recipes and a picture onto our facebook page, and we’ll publish the tastiest in our next issue of your favourite spicy food cooking magazine!

In the meantime here is the first of the recipes: Pan Fried Tandoori Chicken Pitta Pockets with a Lemon & Coriander Salad and Cucumber Raita.

Danielle, our Features Editor used Parveen ‘The Spice Queen’ Ashraf’s recipe for Pan-fried Tandoori Chicken from Parveen’s upcoming book as inspiration for her family friendly dish. For more information about Parveen, visit her website



2 chicken breasts
1tbsp plain yogurt
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp curry powder
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste


1. Cut chicken into medallions (1cm thick) the pieces should be roughly the same size.
2. In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt, salt, lemon juice, chilli and curry powder –  this is the marinade. Now add chicken pieces and coat thoroughly.
3. Leave to marinade at room temperature for 30 mins (allowing flavour to fuse together).
4. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and heat till oil is hot.
5. Carefully place chicken pieces in the pan. Make sure you leave space between each piece, so you should be able to pan fry 6 or 7 depending on the size of your pan.
6. Cook on high heat for about 1 min on each side to seal the chicken, then a further 2 mins on each side to make sure the chicken is cooked through.
7. Clean the frying pan with kitchen paper between each batch of chicken and continue to cook all the chicken.
8. Serve with warm pitta bread and…


¼ of an iceberg lettuce
2 medium sized tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion
¼ tsp of salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped


1. Wash & thoroughly drain the lettuce, tear the lettuce leaves into pieces (this helps it to remain crispy). Put the lettuce into a large bowl.
2. Half the tomatoes and slice into pieces, add to bowl.
3. Finely slice the onions into half moon shapes (they look prettier this way!)
4. Add the salt, fresh coriander and lemon juice and gently mix together. Leave at room temperature for 15mins before serving alongside your pitta pockets and…


8 tbsp plain yogurt
½ tsp salt
¼ of cucumber
¼ small white onion


1. In a small bowl, add the yoghurt and mix until smooth.
2. Dice the cucumber and onion into 5mm cubes .
3. Add cucumber and onion into yoghurt.
4. Add the salt and mix together; you should have a slightly salty dip, serve at room temperature.


We asked Adil Ray, creator of Citizen Khan, if Mr Khan worked in a local Indian restaurant, which position would it be and why?

“Chief Chicken Tikka Taster,” he told us. “He would park himself on a long table of ten and invite nine other men to have meetings about nothing.
This would be a perfect job because he could eat, rule everyone around him and do absolutely nothing. There are thoughts about doing an episode like this, actually!”

We can’t wait to view it!

Look out for our full interview with Adil in issue 17 of Chaat! Magazine, on sale now.



Serves 6-8

For the sorbet

10 passion fruit

2 limes

150g caster sugar

1 tablespoon ginger syrup, from a jar

of stem ginger (optional)

Scoop the pulp and seeds out of the passion fruit. Zest and juice the limes. Place 150ml water and the sugar in a small pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it forms a thin syrup. Pour this over the passion fruit along with the ginger syrup (if using). Pour half the lime juice (reserve the zest and remaining juice) into the syrup, and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the syrup to an ice-cream maker to freeze or place in an airtight, lidded container. Pop in the freezer and stir briskly every 30 minutes until frozen – this will take 1–2 hours.

For the pastry

150g butter

250g plain flour

1 tablespoon icing sugar

1 egg, beaten

pinch of salt

Place the butter, flour and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and rub them together to form breadcrumbs. Add half the beaten egg and the salt and see if the mixture just comes together to form a dough. Add more egg if necessary. Line a 25cm flan dish with the pastry, prick lightly with a fork and freeze for 10-15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Cover the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans or lentils and bake blind for 30 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes to brown slightly. Set the baked pastry shell aside to cool. Once cooled, line with the lychee halves.

For the filling

13 fresh lychees, halved

4 green cardamom pods

3 eggs

100g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200g double cream

fresh mint leaves, to garnish

Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and grind them using a pestle and mortar. Whisk together the ground cardamom, eggs, reserved lime juice and zest, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until well blended. Beat in the cream and transfer to a large jug. Place the pastry shell on a baking tray and carefully pour in the cream. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until just set in the centre. It should give a slight wobble when removed. Garnish with the mint leaves and serve the tart warm with a scoop of sorbet.

Taken from:

Gastrogeek by Regina Sabur-Cross. Published by Kyle Books, priced £16.99. Photography: Chris Terry



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