Make the Perfect Game or Goat Curryby Robert Gooch October 12 2016
It’s National Curry Week – and with the nights growing darker and cooler, we need no more persuading to enjoy a spicy warming curry. Both game and goat were made for robust flavours so we’ll be keeping the cold at bay with vibrant dishes that pack a punch.
While your local curry house may only offer chicken and lamb, communities in both the north and south of India have traditionally cooked a wide variety of wild and farmed meats. Michelin starred Atul Kochhar is among the chefs now helping to bring game and goat back to Indian restaurant menus
Of course, curry is a worldwide phenomenon and game and goat play starring roles in dishes from South East Asia, the Caribbean and Africa as well as India’s neighbours in the subcontinent.
If you can’t yet find game or goat on a menu near you, our favourite recipes and tips from local chef Vernon Blackmore can help you create an authentic and delicious dish at home.
“We cook a lot of curries at The Table and The Anchor and are always happy to experiment with different meats. The great thing about game is how much it can absorb strong flavours and you can still taste the meat."
“Goat is a good example of this and goat curry in the Caribbean uses powerful spices such as tamarind, scotch bonnet, cumin and more. Slow cooking is the key here to tasty tender meat but the depth of spice marries well with the goat."
“I use guinea fowl very differently, using the fresh fragrant flavours of a Thai curry. Fresh mint, Thai basil, coriander and kaffir lime leaf are perfect with a little coconut milk, and again the flavour of the guinea fowl will still come through."
Cooking curries at home
The simplest way to cook a game curry is to choose breast fillets or diced or jointed meat. Game birds such as wood pigeon, partridge and pheasant are delicious slow-cooked in a spicy curry stew while goat and game meats such as venison, wild boar and hare are tender and succulent with incredible flavour when slow cooked.
You can also marinate oven-ready game birds such as partridge or pheasant in a mix of yoghurt, cream and spices to create an authentic tandoori style dish with minimal effort: just pop the birds in the oven and serve with fried onions, pickles and rice or naan.
Your curry spice kit
Don’t be intimidated by long lists of spices in curry recipes. Once you start cooking curries regularly, you’ll soon become familiar with the main players...
Indian: cardamom, clove, pepper, Indian bay leaf, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, fresh or dried chilli, fresh or dried ginger, fenugreek, coriander, cinnamon, curry leaf.
South East Asian: lemongrass, fresh chillies, kaffir lime leaves, cumin, coriander, white pepper, galangal or ginger, fresh coriander. Fish sauce and coconut milk are also essential ingredients for South East Asian curries.
African: coriander seeds, cumin, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, clove, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, paprika, chillies.
Caribbean: coriander, cumin, mustard, star anise, ginger, clove, fenugreek, turmeric, allspice, tamarind, cayenne pepper, Scotch Bonnet chillies.
Or if your spice cupboard is bare or you're looking for a quick shortcut, look no further than Vernon's very own brand of curry pastes 'Choose Spice' available to buy here >
Some of our favourite game curry recipes
- Hugh Fearnley Whittingstone’s Game Curry (for rabbit, pheasant, grouse, pigeon, goose, hare, squirrel or wild boar)
- Game-to eat's Red Pheasant Curry
- Valentine Warner’s Venison Curry
- John Torode’s Goat Curry
- Vivek Singh’s Pandhi Curry (for wild boar)
- James Martin's Bangladeshi Venison Curry
- Mark Hix’s Duck and Squash Curry
- Rose Prince’s Spiced Pigeon Breasts with Dal
- Jamie Oliver's Venison Dopiaza