It can be very tempting to simply buy a jar of curry paste, yet it is so easy to create something fresh and delicious by adding a few spices (which you may even have in your cupboard already) to some meat and vegetables. The great thing with curry is it is so versatile – you can experiment as much as you like and it will be very difficult to go wrong. If one flavour is too strong, add extra of the others to balance it out.
400g diced lamb
1 red pepper
3 medium sized tomatoes
6 closed cup mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
4 tbsp turmeric
3 tbsp garam masala
3 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ginger
3 cardamom pods
1/2 a chilli, seeds optional depending on desired spice level
1 sachet creamed coconut
150g basmati rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Roughly chop the pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes and onion. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the vegetables, lamb and the crushed garlic.
2. Brown the meat. Add all the spices, leaving 1tbsp of turmeric and 1tbsp of ground cumin to the side (this is used for the rice). Allow the flavours to infuse for around 7 minutes. Add the chilli and the cardamom pods.
3. Pour in the water and set the pan on a low heat. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes or more – the longer the curry cooks, the more intense the flavours will be, and the meat will be more tender. Just make sure the curry doesn’t dry out; add more water if necessary.
4. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet, adding 1tbsp of turmeric and 1 tbsp of ground cumin to salted water. This gives the rice a flavour which complements the curry, and also the yellow colour.
5. Just before the rice is done, stir in the sachet of creamed coconut to the curry.
Serve with an optional cold beer and enjoy! Cheaper than a takeaway and perfect for a lazy Sunday evening.