Chili Fry

This is a recipe for an Indian dish that I found in an old book called Veraswammy’s Cookbook. Veraswammy was a chef who opened the well-known restaurant on Piccadilly in London. It is, I think, a successful and slightly unusual dish. The combination of the tamarind and the chilies with the lamb or beef gives a good, vigorous flavor.


  • 1 tbsp ghee, oil, or whatever fat you are using
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, very finely sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6-8 slices of fresh ginger root
  • 2 fresh hot green chili peppers, cut lengthwise into strips
  • 2 fresh hot red chili peppers, cut lengthwise into strips
  • Salt
  • 2 lb lamb or beef, cut into convenient-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp


Heat the fat in a heavy pan and cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add all the other ingredients, except the meat and the tamarind, and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes or so. Add the meat and stir thoroughly. Cover the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Add a teacupful of water, cover the pan closely again, and simmer until the meat is cooked. This will take anything from 40-60 minutes, depending on what sort of meat you are using.

Add the tamarind pulp, stir, and serve. This should be a fairly dry dish.