Ordering a tempting takeaway may be your go-to weekend treat but rustling up your own in the kitchen at home can be even tastier and more rewarding. Enjoy a family feast inspired by spicy Indian, Chinese or Thai classics, bake up the perfect pizza, or enjoy a Middle Eastern-style spread at home with these delicious fakeaway recipes.
For many a Friday night curry is their preferred takeaway. If you’re daunted by cooking with lots of spices try starting with this simple chicken and tomato curry which uses Madras paste for instant flavour. For something a little milder, a creamy chicken korma is a trusted family favourite and this easy recipe cooks all in one pan. For a veggie feast, Jamie Oliver’s biryani recipe has it all; it’s packed with layers of golden rice, tomatoes, paneer, cauliflower and spinach with a kick from green chilli. Just add poppadoms and mango chutney.
Making your own pizza at home is a fantastic family activity as it gives everyone the freedom to choose their own toppings. This classic Florentine pizza recipe makes a good base to work from, the kids will love helping to knead and shape the dough and it includes a super simple tomato sauce which can then be topped as you like. If you’ve no time for bread-making, try chicken and pesto pizzas with ready-rolled bases, or these cheat’s Caprese pizzas made with mini tortillas.
A lot of classic Chinese dishes are based on simple stir-fries, making them super quick to cook at home. Grab a wok and in under 30 minutes you could be serving up a meaty kung pao beef or some spicy Shanghai noodles to gobble up in front of the TV. For something a little different but no less speedy, Jamie Oliver’s crispy five-spice salmon is a twist on sweet and sour chicken and great for feeding a crowd.
A proper kebab should be piled high with tasty fillings and sauces, so banish all memories of a greasy late-night takeaway with a home-cooked version full of fresh ingredients. Start with simple rosemary and garlic lamb kebabs – seared quickly over a high heat the meat is juicy and tender, the perfect match for crunchy homemade pickles and creamy yogurt. To craft your own kofte, grab a pack of mince and try these easy lamb skewers with homemade houmous or mini beef kebabs with tangy tomato dip. For a veggie alternative, have a go at making your own falafel which you can layer up in pitta or flatbreads with salads, sauces and more.
Full of zingy flavours, Thai food really is best when made fresh. The trick is to balance salty, sweet and sour ingredients so don’t be afraid to taste as you go and add a squeeze more lime juice or a pinch of sugar as you like. Full of creamy coconut and fragrant coriander, both this green fish curry and red chicken curry are made with ready-made curry pastes and can be on the table in under half an hour. If you want to have a go at making your own curry base, try this beef panang curry recipe instead. For a veggie classic, you can’t beat sticky pad Thai noodles – with tamarind paste to add a tangy sweet-and-sour element to the sauce.
When it comes to comfort food, American diners and drive-throughs have it down to a tee – sky-high burgers, mountains of fries and finger-licking chicken wings. They may be messy, but they're definitely worth it. Assemble your own best-ever burger at home with a simple beef patty topped with as many pickles, slaws and layers of cheese as you fancy. For delicious sharing ideas, you can’t beat these loaded chilli cheese fries or super simple one-tray baked chicken wings with salsa. Just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand!
There’s no need to queue at the chippy when you can cook your own fish and chips at home. Opt for a classic beer batter with this easy scampi and chips recipe – the smaller prawns are easier to fry in batches than large pieces of fish so it's a great one to try at home. To avoid frying altogether, give your dinner a healthy makeover with this baked fish and sweet potato chips recipe or clever cheat’s fish fingers recipe for the kids.
Whether spicy salsas, creamy guacamole, crispy tacos or bursting burritos, Mexican food is perfect for a weekend feast. A classic beef burrito is a takeaway favourite with the fillings all wrapped up in a handy tortilla, but if you make your own you can choose exactly what you fill them with – add more chilli if you like it spicy or top with extra cheese. If you prefer the crunch of a taco, these quick fish tacos and smoky mushroom tacos are easy to whip up, or you could try some bean and salsa-topped nachos for a sharing dish everyone will be raring to dive into.
Can’t decide what you fancy? You don’t have to choose a specific cuisine or style, as cooking at home means you can mix up your favourites as you please. Jamie Oliver takes a classic Mexican fajita and blends it with spicy North African flavours in his harissa roast chicken fajitas recipe, or you could try giving your kebabs an Indian twist with these fish tikka skewers. For a Turkish-style spin on pizza, these cheat’s pide (flatbreads topped with spiced lamb) are ready in just 30 minutes, making them the ideal Friday night dish.
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