Indian curries were brought over to the U.K. by members of the East India Company who were stationed in India and are now very much part of the British cuisine. From the nations favourite, chicken tikka masala, to the veggie dhal, the combinations of meat, vegetables and spices continue to provide the basis for a wide variety of tasty recipes.
The lamb (or mutton) curry comes from the North of India, originating in Bengal. It is traditionally slow cooked in the spices for a few hours until the meat soaks up the flavour and is tender – almost melting in your mouth.
1 thumb-sized piece ginger
2 onions, quartered
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp ground tumeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tspground cumin
½ tsp fennel seeds
750g leg of lamb, diced
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
A small bunch of coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
Put the whole piece of ginger, the onions and garlic in a food processor with 300ml water. Blitz to a smooth purée. Scrape down the sides with a spoon and blitz again to make it as smooth as you can. Tip into a deep sauté pan, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins. Remove the lid and cook for 5 mins more, stirring occasionally. By now the liquid should be all gone. If not, cook a little longer.
Add the oil to the pan, turn up the heat and fry, stirring, for 3-5 mins until it starts to colour.
Stir in the spices and add the lamb. Stir-fry until the lamb changes colour. Tip in the tomatoes with a can of water and the chilli, season well, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hr.
Stir in the coriander stalks, re-cover and cook for a final 30 mins until the lamb is tender. Add a splash of water if necessary to loosen the consistency as it cooks. Serve with basmati rice and mango chutney or raita.
Vegetarian or vegan? Replace meat with chickpeas, spinach or sweet potatoes (or all three!).
To make your curry even more flavoursome, marinate your meat in the spices and leave in the fridge over night before cooking. Made your curry too spicy? Add some plain yogurt on the side!.