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6 top chefs share hacks to jazz up takeaways - using store cupboard staples!

The foodie advice we've been waiting for

Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
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Do you ever feel like your takeaway curry, pizza or burger could do with a little something extra to really get your taste buds going? We all do it: root through the cupboard in search of the perfect condiment to give our takeaway dinner that extra kick. Now, six top London chefs have shared their own home tips and tricks for jazzing up their takeaways – and we're so doing all of them. Check out the list below…

James Cochran from 12:51

Pizza: "I always add soy sauce to a takeaway pizza, it brings out the sweetness in the tomato whilst intensifying the cheesy umami (savoury) goodness.

Curry: "Always order more naan than you need. With the leftovers, add cheese, lime pickle, plain yoghurt, and chilli sauce and grill for a delicious new dish, perfect for a weekend brunch or hangover snack!"

Kebab: "Order a proper chicken shish kebab and when you’re waiting for it to arrive, make up a packet béarnaise sauce. Pour it all over the kebab when it’s all nice and hot. Game changer."

MORE: 12 best meal delivery services to order while you self-isolate on lockdown


Tom Booton from The Grill at The Dorchester

Burgers: "If I get a burger delivered, I have to make my dirty mayonnaise for the chips. It’s made up of two parts mayonnaise, one part tomato ketchup, one tablespoon chopped capers & gherkins and a dash of tabasco to taste. I always have a pot of it in the fridge! It’s banging with a steak."

tom booton

Tom Booton from The Grill

Ben Tish from The Stafford Collection

Curry: "If I'm ordering an Indian, I’ll always get roti on the side. To refresh them, I get a frying pan very hot and then flash fry the roti on both sides for a minute or so. It gets them nice and fresh and crispy. Also chopped fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice adds a zing to any curry if it needs livening up a bit."

ben tish

Ben Tish from The Stafford Collection

Martin Sweeney from The Petersham

Fish and chips: "Unless you’re eating them right away, ask for just salt and add your favourite vinegar when you get home, this will keep the chips from getting sweaty and soggy in the bag. Mix brown sauce and vinegar and get dipping, it sounds odd but it’s a staple in Edinburgh and it works surprisingly well!"

Curry: "The most consistently disappointing thing about curries is the condiments. Knock up a quick raita at home from natural yoghurt, cucumber and mint and keep a jar of good quality mango chutney handy. Give soggy naans a flash in the oven to re-crisp."

Fried chicken: "Fried chicken goes well with pickled gherkins - the salt and vinegar complement the hot, crispy chicken wonderfully. Slice up some gherkins at home for a sour refresher between bites of chicken. I’d also mix a bit of pungent blue cheese with jarred mayonnaise for a great cheesy dip."

MORE: The perfect easy quiche recipe for your lockdown family lunch


What do you add to your pizza?

Sara Lewis from Vintry & Mercer

Curry: "To jazz up the rice dish, we always sauté some onions, peas and egg with turmeric and occasionally a pinch of saffron so we can turn our regular Pilau into yummy fried rice."

Pizza: "If we are ordering a pizza, we love to add some fresh rocket and Parma ham on the top and a drizzle of Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Delicious!"

pip lacey

Chef Pip Lacey

Pip Lacey from Hicce

Pizza: "Even the worst takeaway pizza can be improved with a hit of chilli. I keep lots of Thai green chillies in the freezer so I can add them to takeaway pizzas when needed. Also, if you ever see chilli oil in a sachet, grab a few extras for future pizzas and go to town with it."

Sushi: "Always ask for extra wasabi with any Japanese takeaway. If the flavours are lacking then the wasabi will add a welcome hit of heat and always make sure you have soy sauce in the house."

Curry: "Keep a jar of mango chutney in the house. They never send enough with the poppadoms... and always get two poppadoms each so you’re not fighting over the crumbs!"

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