The Carlsberg Collection

These are the fun recipes I created for Carlsberg for their 1997 National Curry Day promotion. There are 2 recipes - "Onion Beerjees" and "Chicken Vindalager and Lime".

Onion Beerjees


These onion bhajees come out all knobbly, not round, but they are all the crisper for that. The recipe makes 8 - 10 bhajees. Proper Bhajees should be made with gram (chick pea) flour but this is a good alternative if you haven't got any. This recipe actually works (shock, horror) and the lager in the batter follows a (Western) tradition of putting beer in savoury batters.


  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 4oz self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon extra hot chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (Indian mixed spice)
  • Carlsberg lager and water mixed half and half
  • 2 medium sized onions - finely chopped
  1. Heat enough oil in a pan on a medium heat to deep fry the bhajees.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and spices in a bowl.
  3. Add a little of the Carlsberg lager/water mixture slowly to the bowl while mixing with a fork until you get a thick paste.
  4. Now use a whisk and add more Carlsberg lager/water mixture whisking all the time until you get a smooth, thick batter. The batter should be stiff enough to make whisking hard work. Stir in the chopped onions.
  5. Check the oil is hot enough by dropping in a small piece of bread. It should go crisp within a few seconds.
  6. Take a tablespoon and scoop out a spoonful of the batter/onion mixture. Slide the mixture gently into the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pan you will be able to fry 2 or 3 bhajees at a time. Cook the bhajees until they are crisp and golden brown - about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Keep the cooked bhajees hot on a baking tray in an oven while the others are cooking.

Chicken Vindalager and Lime


This is a Vindaloo recipe with a difference. The chicken is marinated in the lime juice and the lager goes in the cook! It makes 2 servings.


  • 4 cans Carlsberg lager
  • 2 skinned chicken breasts cut into chunky pieces
For the marinade
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra hot chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the curry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (this isn't a slimming recipe !! - you do need all the oil or the curry will burn)
  • 1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • More salt to taste
  1. Open a can of Carlsberg lager and keep it handy to drink while you are cooking.
  2. Mix all the dry marinade ingredients in a bowl then add enough lime juice to make a fluid paste. Add the chicken pieces and stir well so that the marinade coats the chicken. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
  3. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan then add the chopped onion and stir for a few minutes with the heat on high.
  4. Add the garlic and stir round then cook the onions and garlic for 15 minutes on a low heat stirring now and again to make sure nothing browns or burns.
  5. Open the second can of Carlsberg and give the third to a friend.
  6. Raise the heat to very high and add the chicken and any marinade left in the bowl. Fry for 5 minutes stirring all the time - you need to fry the chicken and especially the spices so they do not taste raw.
  7. Add the tomato purée, sugar and just enough boiling water to make a runny sauce. If you are feeling frivolous you can add some Carlsberg lager instead of water to the curry but I wouldn't, the Carlsberg lager "probably" does a better job inside the cook than it does in the curry!!
  8. Simmer on a gentle heat for 20 minutes. Add a little more boiling water if the curry starts to catch on the pan.
  9. The sauce should now be thick and begin to coat the chicken pieces. Add more salt to taste.
  10. Serve with rice or Indian bread. Finish off any remaining Carlsberg. Open another 4-pack.

© David Smith, 1997

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