Fakeaways, not takeaways: affordable and exciting dishes to make at home in 30 minutes

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

It's a great feeling when you finally get through the door after a long day, crash on the sofa and think "let's just get a takeaway tonight". 

According to one 2014 study, the average Brit gets a takeaway 156 takeaways a year. There's clearly something about these ready-made, pick-up-and-go meals that make the perfect accompaniment to an evening spent in front of the TV. 

But it sure does come at a cost. Around £29.4 billion is on spent on takeaways every year in the country. 

Which is why we'd like to introduce you to the concept of a 'fakeaway'. Many of the dishes we've grown to love such as pad thai and butter chicken can be made within 30 minutes or less right at home. That's often faster than the time it takes a pizza delivery bike to reach you. 

This is all about getting that takeaway feeling without the guilty price tag. Plus, cooking at home is naturally healthier. So step right this way to join the 'fakeaway' train...

  • Vegetable chow mein

    Total time: 20 mins

    Packed with vegetables and doughy noodles, this earthy dish will hit the spot on any evening. All it takes is 10 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cooking time.

    Find the recipe at

  • Chicken seekh kebab with malted mango chutney

    Total time:  15 mins

    Far posher than your local midnight kebab fix, this dish pairs mango chutney with pickled cauliflowers for a kicking flavour. Note: You'll need to buy naan or pita breads ahead of time from your local supermarket. 

    Find the recipe at

  • Butter chicken

    Total time: 35 mins

    OK, so this one takes five minutes longer but it's totally worth it. As your buttery chicken dish bubbles away, put on a saucepan of plain Basmati rice (or if you have a spare 15 minutes whip up these soft flat breads) and then dig in.

    Find the recipe at

  • Vegetable thai green curry

    Total time: 30 mins

    Throw in frozen or leftover raw vegetables into vegetable stock and coconut milk, and hey presto! While you're at it, why not make one huge batch that will last you a few days? Alternatively, freeze any leftovers and keep it ready for a particularly lazy night. 

    Find the recipe at

  • Cheesy hamburgers

    Total time: 20 minutes

    There's no equivalent for biting into a big juicy burger. The buttery bun breaks with ease, sauce comes running into your mouth and a mix of hot rich meat and cool crunchy salad fills you. You can achieve such gastronomic goals right at home with this easy, one-pan, open burger concept. 

    Find the recipe at

  • Chicken Katsu Curry

    Total time: 30 minutes

    There's one Japanese hot dish we can't get enough of and that's the brilliant Katsu curry. Make an extra piece of chicken breast (or your chosen meat) because you will gobble up one too many. 

    Find the recipe at

  • One-pot burrito bowl

    Total time: 25 minutes

    Mexican cuisine has taken off in the country in the last couple of years with American chains such as Chipotle springing up alongside smaller boutique restaurants. The burrito bowl is a simple, filling and absolutely delicious dinner option to brighten a dull night. Add any meat you want (or none).

    Find the recipe at

  • Peri peri chicken

    Total time: 35 minutes

    Spicy peri-peri (or piri-piri) sauce is good on anything, but especially grilled chicken. Be generous as you slather it on and chop together any leftover salad bits as it cooks.

    Find the recipe at

  • Fresh pizza

    Total time: 30 minutes

    Ah pizza. The ultimate quick and stress free takeaway. The best part is you can make a fresh one yourself in the time it takes most bikes to deliver them. 

    Find the recipe here

  • Chicken pad thai

    Total time:  30 mins

    The ingredient list for most East Asian cooking can be a daunting one, but the great thing is that they will last you for months (most have long expiry dates). The chicken in this recipe can be swapped for other meat or Tofu. 

    Find the recipe at


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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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