When it comes to Britain's favourite foods, one thing tops the tables every time: curry. The first recorded
recipe for our adopted national dish appeared in 1747 and variations of this spice-laden meal are still being
enjoyed today. We love it so much we've dedicated a whole week to it. Celebrate National Curry Week from
10-16 October with our wine and beer matches, cooking tips and recipes
Finding the perfect wine to complement your meals can be tricky – especially when you spice up your menu with a curry. To celebrate National Curry Week 2016, food and wine editor Emma Sleight and M&S wine specialist Elizabeth Kelly show you how it’s done with easy matching suggestions and some tasty curry recipes from the Cook with M&S app.
Sometimes, a homemade curry can beat a takeaway hands down and, thanks to our curry kits like the Kashmiri Rogan Josh shown here, you can whip up authentic dishes in just three simple steps.
1. Fry the spices
The carefully blended spices in our curry kits add heat and depth to any dish, and the intense flavours of the Kashmiri Rogan Josh Curry Kit pair perfectly with red meat like lamb. Fry the spices in a hot, deep, ovenproof pan until they release their aromas, then add diced lamb.
2. Add the paste
Just like a sofritto (a mix of carrot, onion and celery used in Italian cooking), ginger, onion and garlic paste lends depth to Indian curries. Add the contents of the jar to the pan, stir to coat the lamb and let it sizzle for five minutes.
3. Finish the dish
Add body to the curry with a spicy sauce. The rogan josh sauce is rich, thick and tomato-based, mellowed with a touch of coconut milk. Stir it into the pan, then transfer to the oven for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your cut of lamb. Serve with natural yogurt and fresh coriander.
Look out for the other kits, which have been inspired by regional Indian dishes from Goa to Gujarat, in store.
We use chillis to add flavour – as well as a little spice – to our food, but there's more to these fruity fiery bites than simply getting those taste-buds going. Turn up the heat in your own kitchen with our at-a-glance guide to some of the varieties available in store.
Bird's eye: Small but mighty, the bird's eye sits fairly high on the Scoville Scale – the universal measure of a chilli’s pungency, based on its capsaicin content. If you want the heat of a chilli without it overpowering your dish, try pricking it with a sharp knife and adding it whole during cooking.
Red and green: Thin-skinned and low on hot seeds, these mild-to-medium chillies are just the job for everyday cooking – remove the seeds and membrane and you can even eat them raw, sliced and sprinkled over salads.
Finger: Slightly longer than bird's eye, but similar in heat, finger chillies are often used in Thai cuisine. As with all chillies, the capsaicin oil that coats the seeds won’t dissolve in water but binds to fat, so if you find the heat too much, a mouthful of yogurt – rather than water – should put out the flames.
Scotch bonnet: Distinctively shaped Scotch bonnets are at the hot end of the chilli scale, but also have an appealing sweetness. They’re often dried and used to make jerk seasoning in Caribbean dishes. Their colour ranges from green to yellow and then to scarlet when fully ripe.
Jalapeño: It’s the big green chilli you’ll find in Mexican quesadillas, or pickled and served with kebabs and burgers. Jalapeños are usually quite mild, but heat levels can vary. Once dried, they’re known as chipotles and take on an earthy, smokey flavour.
Padron pepper: Named after the region in northwest Spain where they’re traditionally grown, these are usually served whole, griddled and sprinkled with salt as a tapas-style dish to bring out their sweet and smoky flavour.
Crisp, citrusy and delicious served ice-cold - matches with the salty, spicy, sweet flavours in a red Thai curry
With sweet grapefruit aromas and a long bitter finish, this flavour combination stands up to a mild, fruity curry like a biryani
This single-hopped variety beer from Cambridgeshire is a great all-rounder. It'll cut through buttery curries like a pasanda
For those who prefer a more full-flavoured beer with their curry, this fruity option is a great match with creamy curries like a korma
Give a classic dessert a kick with this fun take on chocolate mousse using jalapeño peppers – great for a dinner party
Make mealtimes punchier by serving up some pre-dinner, Indian inspired snacks like our selection of pakoras, bhajis and samosas