Hearty Indian recipes that don’t require hundreds of ingredients


As part of our Budget Bites collaboration with Sorted Food, we present three delectable dishes that are not only easy on the wallet but also bursting with authentic Indian aromas and tastes.

Maximising on taste and minimising on both mess and food waste, they also make the most of your staple ingredients while keeping your fresh shopping list minimal.

We’ve also provided a handy shopping list for the ingredients (thoguh hopefully most of it will be knocking about already), which are used across all recipes to ensure minimal food waste. You just need to decide where to shop, whether it’s locally or online.

Shopping list

  • 1 red onion
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 50g fresh ginger
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 heads little gem lettuce
  • 600g fresh spinach
  • 300g kale
  • 160g unsalted butter
  • 300ml double cream
  • 225g paneer
  • 5g cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g pre-cooked gnocchi
  • 150g dried red lentils
  • 250g microwave white rice basmati
  • 2 plain naan breads

Tadka dhal with crispy kale rice

This is our take on a Punjabi classic – warming, satisfying and can be easily scaled up many times (Sorted Food)

Ingredients:

30g unsalted butter

2g cumin seeds

5 cloves garlic

20g fresh ginger

2 green chillies

1 tsp ground coriander seed

1 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp tomato purée

150g dried red lentils

300g kale

2 tbsp olive oil

250g microwave white rice basmati

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C and place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil.

2. Add 30g of butter and 2 tsp of cumin seeds to the saucepan. Fry gently for 2 minutes until the seeds start to sizzle and pop.

3. Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic and 20g of ginger, then finely slice 2 green chillies.

4. Tip the garlic, ginger and green chilli into the pan along with the cumin, then season generously with salt and pepper. Stir over the heat for 2 minutes until the garlic starts to colour and smell aromatic.

5. Add in 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of mild chilli powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tbsp of tomato paste and stir well.

6. Tip in 150g of red lentils and 500ml of boiling water from the kettle. Bring everything to a simmer, stir well and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until the lentils are tender. Get on with the rest of the recipe while you wait. Add a splash more water if the lentils start to dry out before being fully tender.

7. De-stalk and chop 300g of kale and tip into a large baking tray. Season well and drizzle over 2 tbsp of olive oil and roast in the oven for 6-7 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

8. Once the kale is cooked, remove it from the oven and mix through a packet of cooked basmati rice. Stir well and return to the oven for 2 minutes to heat through.

9. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the dhal, then divide along with the rice between bowls and tuck in.

Saag paneer and toasted naan

It may take a lot of spinach but this classic is worth the greens (Sorted Food)

Ingredients:

600g fresh spinach

100g unsalted butter

2 tsp cumin seeds

5 cloves garlic

10g fresh ginger

1 green chilli

225g paneer

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp ground turmeric

100ml double cream

2 plain naan breads

Method:

1. Place a large frying pan over a high heat.

2. Once the pan is hot, add in 200g of spinach and wilt over a high heat for 2 minutes, until the spinach has darkened and released its moisture.

3. Add the second 200g of spinach to the pan and continue to cook until the spinach has fully wilted. Repeat with the final 200g of spinach, then drain it through a colander and return the pan to the heat.

4. Add 100g of butter to the pan and allow it to melt before adding 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Cook for 2 minutes until the seeds start to pop.

5. Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic and 10g of ginger. Finely chop 1 green chilli. Cut one block of paneer into about 16 small cubes.

6. Tip the garlic, ginger and chilli into the pan and stir over the heat for 2 minutes until the garlic starts to colour and smell aromatic.

7. Chuck in the cubes of paneer and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-4 minutes until golden on all sides.

8. Reduce the heat to low and tip in 1 tbsp of garam masala, 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of chilli powder. Continue to cook gently while you make the spinach purée.

9. Transfer the spinach to a large mixing bowl and tip in 100 ml of double cream. Blitz with a stick blender until silky smooth. Preheat the grill broiler to high.

10. Pour the spinach purée into the pan with the paneer and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

11. Place the naan under the grill broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown all over.

12. Ladle the spinach and paneer mixture into bowls and serve alongside the naan for dipping and scooping. Tuck in!

Gnocchi tikka masala with roasted gem lettuce

Here, Italian meets Indian – feel free to add extra chillies if you like a burn (Sorted Food)

Ingredients:

30g unsalted butter

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

2 cardamom pods

2 cloves

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

20g fresh ginger

1 green chilli

2 tbsp tomato purée

200ml double cream

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp garam masala

500g pre-cooked gnocchi

2 heads little gem lettuce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat.

2. Add 30g of butter to the pan and allow to foam before adding in 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 tsp of coriander seeds, 2 green cardamom pods and 2 cloves. Fry everything together for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.

3. Peel and finely slice 1 red onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 20g of ginger. Thinly slice 1 green chilli.

4. Add the onion and aromatics to the pan along with a pinch of salt and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until the onion starts to turn golden brown.

5. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste, 200 ml of double cream, 1 tbsp of honey and 2 tsp of garam masala to the pan and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.

6. Tip 500g of gnocchi into the sauce along with 200ml of water, then simmer for 4-5 minutes until the gnocchi is tender and the sauce has reduced by S. Prepare the roast gem while you wait.

7. Place a small frying pan over a high heat. Halve 2 heads of gem lettuce and add to the pan along with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt.

8. Cook the gem on one side for 2 minutes until a deep golden brown, before flipping and repeating on the second side.

9. Adjust the seasoning of the gnocchi to your taste before dividing it between bowls alongside the roasted gem lettuce. Enjoy!

In response to the rising cost of living, we have teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month. Find out more about Sorted and their nifty meal-planning app Sidekick at sortedfood.com/sidekick.



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