Fakeaway dinners


Who doesn’t love a lil takeaway every so often? Even chefs like to order a chicken tikka masala sometimes, plus I always smash in a Big Mac after every night out.

In the UK we’re in the middle of a cozzie lives so the Friday night cheeky Nando’s are a bit of a luxury at the moment. Fakeaways are the new family favourite for a much cheaper alternative, and you can also adapt the recipes to how you like them! Yes, it’s a bit more effort but you’ll (hopefully) save some pennies and feel real good about yourself. 

Indian Style

I always think that Indian food is one of the hardest things to cook authentically. Get yourself a garlic and ginger paste to get that takeaway feel, you can make this by finely grating or chopping equal parts of garlic and fresh ginger together or just buy it off the shelf ready-made, then this becomes the base of so many incredible curries and dishes. Make this as a huge batch and freeze it in ice cube trays! Then you’ll have around 1 tbsp worth of garlicky ginger goodness whenever you need it. Chuck it into marinades for a hit of flavour with a few other spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric.

My family love it when I make a biriyani. I fry off chicken thighs skin side down until golden in a spoonful of ghee, then throw in some sliced red onion, ginger and garlic paste and turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and salt. Remove the chicken from the pan and chuck in parboiled basmati rice, sultanas, tomato puree, chicken stock and a big handful of spinach. Pop the chicken thighs back on top, skin side up, and put into the oven in the frying pan for 20-25 minutes until the rice and chicken are cooked through and crispy on the top. Delicioussssssssss.

Asian Cuisine

My family and I are big fans of a Chinese takeaway at the weekend but when I fancy making something midweek then the crispy chilli beef recipe from my Actually Delicious Airfryer Cookbook is a quick and easy way to get that takeaway feeling at home. Tossing the steak strips in cornflour helps get that iconic crispy texture, then tossing in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce is the perfect way to finish. I have a slight obsession with crispy seaweed, but I’ll let you in on a secret – usually, it’s just fried cabbage! Finely shred your cabbage and fry in a wok of hot oil until crispy. Season with a mixture of salt, pinch of sugar and Chinese 5 spice. Serve this up alongside some fried noodles and beansprouts with plenty of soy sauce and fresh spring onion.

The key to a good stir fry is a smoking hot wok and plenty of oil, that’s what helps to get a bit of char on your veg and noodles without cooking them for too long so they go soft. Don’t be tempted to add soy sauce too early, otherwise you’ll end up steaming your veg instead of frying!

Taste of America

There’s nothing better than a big, juicy beef burger filled with cheese and crispy streaky bacon. For my favourite burger sauce recipe, mix together 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp American mustard, 1 finely chopped large dill pickle (or 3-4 small cornichons), a pinch of salt and pepper and a big splash of hot sauce. A dash of Worcestershire sauce also works really well if you don’t fancy the spice of hot sauce! I’m a pickles kinda gal, so making some extra ‘frickles’ is the way to go if you’re a pickle fiend like me. Make a thick batter with beer, flour, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Slice a few large pickles into thick slices and dry them with a paper towel. Toss your chunky pickles through a bowl of seasoned flour and then dip them into the batter mix. Deep fry them in a pan of oil until golden brown and super crunchy, then season with salt and stick a few in your big burger stack, or have them on the side to dunk in burger sauce.

For something that always feels nostalgic to me, I love recreating classic TGI Fridays recipes. It was a real treat whenever we visited and I’ve made it my mission to crack their secrets. Try my Jack Daniel’s glazed chicken or Jack Daniel’s burger for a proper treat.