Curry House Toad-in-the-Hole

Curry House Toad-in-the-Hole


This is The Curry House version of the old British favourite Toad-in-the-Hole. You make your own spicy lamb kebabs to replace the sausages for the "Toad" and, instead of Yorkshire pudding batter for the "Hole", the kebabs are served on a nan bread coated with curry sauce. The bottom and the edges of the nan come out crisp but the top is all soft and moist from the curry sauce.

The recipe has quite a few ingredients but don't be put off . It's not difficult to make and the curry sauce can be made well in advance if necessary. Also, it's a complete meal in itself so there's no other cooking to do. Serves 2.


For the kebabs :

250gm lean minced lamb
1 clove garlic - crushed
2 thin green chillies - de-veined, de-seeded and very finely chopped
1.5 teaspoons (7.5ml) best quality Garam Masala (I use Rajah brand)
2 teaspoons (10ml) paprika
0.5 teaspoon (2.5ml) ground cumin
0.25 teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
a few good grinds of black pepper

For the curry sauce :

2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
1 medium onion - finely chopped
1 clove garlic - thinly sliced
1.5 teaspoons (7.5ml) paprika
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground coriander
0.5 teaspoon (2.5ml) turmeric
0.5 teaspoon (2.5ml) ground ginger
(optional) 0.5 teaspoon (2.5ml) fenugreek leaves
- picked over to remove coarse stalks etc. then washed in a sieve
125ml water
1 further tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil
2 teaspoon (10ml) concentrated tomato puree (US=paste)
salt to taste

For the base :

2 shop-bought plain nan breads

For the garnish :

8 spring onions (US=scallions), roots trimmed off and cut to about 10-12cm long.
- Then cut them in half lengthways to get 16 long strips
1 green pepper - de-veined and de-seeded then cut into long strips about 4mm wide
a little vegetable oil
a few sprigs of fresh coriander (US=cilantro)


1)The garnish :

Heat a little oil in a wok over a high heat.

When the oil is hot put in the pepper strips and stir-fry until they brown a little at the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Repeat the process using the spring onion strips

2)The kebabs :

Just put all the kebab ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Squish it all in together to mix the spices in well.

Cut the mixture into 4 pieces and mould each piece into a sausage shape. Refrigerate for 10 minutes

Place the kebabs on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes in the top of a preheated oven at Gas 6 (400F 200C). When cooked, set aside in a warm place to rest while the curry sauce finishes cooking.

3)The curry sauce :

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil on a high heat in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and stir-fry for a few minutes.

Add the garlic slices, stir round then turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. The onions and garlic should now be golden but not brown.

Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. The heat must be very low at this point or the spices will burn, lose their flavour and taste bitter.

Turn off the heat, add 125ml cold water and the fenugreek leaves (if using). Leave to cool a little.

Place the sauce in a blender when it is cool enough and blend thoroughly to get a smooth sauce.

Heat the final tablespoon of oil in the pan (no need to clean it out), heat to medium, add the blended mixture a little at a time and stir it in to "fry" it and darken in colour. Make sure to get as much sauce out of the blender as possible with a rubber spatula.

Add the tomato puree and salt, stir to mix and cook the sauce over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. If the sauce starts to catch on the pan add just a little hot water. Don't add too much water as you want the sauce to be quite thick at the end of the cooking.

To put together the Toad-in-the-Hole:

Take the nan breads and place each one on a piece of kitchen foil about 2 and a half times the length of the nan.

Use half the sauce, kebabs and garnishes for each nan and -

Spread the curry sauce all over the nan to about 10mm from the edges. The sauce should generously cover the nan but, depending on the size of the nans, there may be some over. Don't worry, this is not a problem. Just freeze it in a small container and use as the basis for a quick one-portion after-the-pub snack.

Slice the kebabs diagonally to get ovals about 5-7mm thick. Arrange the kebab slices evenly over the nan.

Set the strips of spring onion along each side of the nan. Place the pepper strips in a criss-cross pattern over the kebab slices and towards the centre of the nan.

Now fold the kitchen foil over at each end so it overlaps across the middle of the nan. Roll up the foil at the edges of the nan to make a parcel.

Put the 2 parcels directly on the middle oven shelf and heat for 10-15 minutes at gas 6 (400F 200C) until everything is heated right through

Remove the parcels from the oven. Open up each parcel and, using a slice, slide the nan off the foil onto a warmed plate.

Decorate with coriander leaves and serve.

It's really a whole meal in itself so doesn't need much in the way of accompaniments although a crisp green salad would be nice. The odd chilled Indian lager would go down well too.

© David Smith, 1998

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