You will have this chicken tikka masala on the table as quick as if you ordered a takeaway. And you will know exactly what ingredients you are using and can adjust to your taste. Chicken thighs are great value and full of flavour and look out for the Bord Bia Quality Assured logo.

As you know I am a fan of corn-fed chicken. Killowen Farm make great yoghurt and the Simply Better San Marzano tomatoes from Southern Italy are hard to beat. Sometimes I add some cauliflower to this recipe. And you could use turmeric instead of saffron – it is a lot less expensive.

This Thai green prawn curry is one of those meals that I go back to again and again. Sometimes I do it with chicken, and sometimes monkfish. You will get fantastic Asian products form Thai Gold in Wexford. And for stock I heartily recommend Carol’s Stock Market in Derry which have a marvellous range. I like to serve this with Thai fragrant rice. The long white grains have a characteristically soft and slightly sticky texture.

Happy cooking,



Chicken tikka masala

Serves four

For the curry:

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

knob of butter

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

5cm (2in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

100g (4oz) tikka masala curry paste

200g (7oz) canned chopped tomatoes

250ml (9fl oz) carton of coconut cream

150ml (¼ pint) chicken stock or water

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into thick strips

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g (7oz) natural yoghurt, extra to garnish

fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

For the saffron rice:

1 tsp saffron threads

knob of butter

350g (12oz) basmati rice

6 green cardamom pods, cracked

  • 1 Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat, until soft and lightly golden. Stir in the tikka masala paste and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste. Add the tomatoes, coconut cream and chicken stock or water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until reduced by half and thickened.
  • 2 Tip in the chicken strips and yoghurt and stir well to combine. Bring back to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for another 15–20 minutes, until the sauce is nicely reduced and the chicken is tender.
  • 3 To prepare the saffron rice, place the saffron threads into a small bowl and pour over a little boiling water and leave to infuse. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan with a lid. When it’s just starting to foam, tip in the rice and cardamom. Stir the rice for 2 minutes over a medium heat and season with a little salt. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the rice by 2.5cm (1in), bring to a simmer and put on the lid. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then pour in the saffron, including the water that it’s been soaking in. Cover the pot again and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked but retains some bite.
  • 4 To serve, spoon the chicken tikka masala into warmed serving bowls and put the saffron rice into separate bowls. Add dollops of yoghurt to each bowl of chicken tikka masala and a good scattering of coriander leaves to garnish.
  • Thai green prawn curry

    Thai green prawn curry. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

    Serves four

    50g (2oz) bunch of fresh coriander

    4 shallots, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    2 tbsp rapeseed oil

    2 tbsp Thai green curry paste

    2 x 400g (14oz) cans coconut milk

    225ml (8fl oz) chicken stock

    175g (6oz) baby new potatoes, halved

    2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla) or light soy sauce

    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime

    1 tbsp caster sugar

    450g (1lb) peeled raw tiger prawns (tails intact)

    100g (4oz) cherry tomatoes, halved

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To serve:


    handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

    lime wedges

  • 1 Remove about a quarter of the coriander leaves from the stalks and reserve. Roughly chop the remainder, including the stalks, and place in a mini blender with the shallots and garlic. Whizz to a paste.
  • 2 Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan. Add the oil and stir-fry the green curry paste for 1 minute over a high heat. Add 150ml (¼ pint) of the coconut milk and the coriander paste, stirring well to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock and boil for 8-10 minutes, or until the natural oils start to appear on the surface, stirring occasionally. Season generously.
  • 3 Stir in the potatoes, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely tender and the sauce has reduced considerably, with the oils clearly visible on the surface.
  • 4 Add the remaining coconut milk, the fish sauce or soy sauce, lime rind and juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer and then tip in the prawns and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the prawns are just tender.
  • 5 Add the reserved coriander leaves and cook for another minute, stirring.
  • 6 To serve, place the rice in warmed serving bowls and spoon over the Thai green prawn curry. Scatter over the basil to garnish and have lime wedges on the table in a separate dish.