I didn't think this day would ever come. While I love a good curry (I can't really emphasise this enough) my attempts at experimentation or any deviation from recipes don't usually end up tasty. I rely heavily on Maunika Gowardhan's blog for recipes and ideas - her butter chicken (with Hannah-friendly substitutions) is delicious as are her slow-cooked lamb recipes. Indian food at home means buttery naans (yes, spread a butter-y substitute all over them, it's amazing!) as well as yogurt-y, mint-y dips. All the good things! Anyway, I'm not really one for experimenting and trying out my own thing when it comes to curries - it's possibly the only time when I actually follow a recipe. Yet here I am blogging a curry recipe. What happened?
Well, I was trying to recreate a bhuna-style curry (one of David's favourites whenever we go out for curry). Having done some research, I couldn't find one recipe I liked or, more importantly, had all of the ingredients for. I decided to go it alone (cue some sort of action movie music). I started with loads of ginger and garlic (can't go wrong with that, can you?) then grabbed a load of spices, then stirred and tasted, stirred and tasted, adding a few extra spices as I went. The result was a lusciously rich curry with a thick sauce and beautifully tender lamb. I thought I'd write it down so I don't forget...
- 450g lamb, diced
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3cm fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 green chilli
- 2 tbsp soya or lactose free yogurt
- lemon juice
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 green pepper, finely sliced
- 4 tomatoes, diced or one tin of tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
Getting down to business then... this makes enough for two hungry people but with some leftovers. You might get four portions out of it if you have lots of sides or not much appetite.
1. First, the lamb. This needs a couple of hours head start. Bash your garlic and ginger into a paste with a little water and the green chilli. I used a stick blender in a narrow jug to do this because I'm lazy. You're aiming for a paste. Mix this with the yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours or as long as you've got.
2. Toast your spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cinnamon stick) in a pan on the hob for a couple of minutes until the seeds start to change colour. Remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar adding the chilli flakes, tumeric and 1tsp of garam masala.
3. Heat some vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add in the onion and green pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes before adding the lamb together with the marinade. Cook until the meat is browned (around 5 minutes) then add in the ground spices.
4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cover, turning the heat down. Gently cook for around 30 minutes, making sure you keep an eye on it, stirring it regularly to make sure it doesn't catch or burn.
5. Sprinkle over 1/2 tsp garam masala and fenugreek powder and cook for a further 5 minutes.
6. Serve with rice and naan and any of your other favourite Indian treats.