Last Wednesday we did something we rarely do these days; we ate out at a restaurant! One salary means that eating out is a luxury; the side benefit of which has been that I have learnt to cook many different cuisines and become much more budget conscience when it comes to cooking.
It turned out to be a cheap meal as it turned out; not only was it ‘cheap curry night’ at Kohinoor Indian Cuisine in Albany, New Zealand but our very nice friend paid for the dinner!
Our friend David is a bit of a curry connoisseur; he has a palate for a very hot vindaloo (and the sweat on his brow was testament that it was hot!) pronounced his curry ‘spot on’ so Kohinoor comes highly recommended.
When I found a nice lamb neck scotch fillet at the supermarket on special, I decided to recreate our Wednesday night out and make a curry at home!
This cut of lamb is especially good for casseroles or a curry so was perfect for what I had in mind; I did trim the fat off it before using though in an effort to be slightly healthier 🙂
For the spice paste:
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1.4 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
For the curry:
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 stems fresh curry leaves
- 500g lamb, or beef, chopped into thick chunks
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (orange fleshed), chopped into thick chunks
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 165ml can coconut cream
Let’s put this together….
- Combine all of the spices and the salt in a small bowl – pour in the white vinegar and stir to make a thick paste
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat; add the onion and garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes or until soft. Remove the leaves from the curry stems and add to the pan. Cook for another minute
- Add the spice paste to the pan and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until it is there is a fragrant aroma in the kitchen 🙂 * (if it sticks add a splash of water to the pan)
- Stir in the lamb and sweet potato stirring well to coat both in the onion and spice mix.
- Pour over the stock and can of tomatoes and gently stir to combine all of the ingredients.
- Transfer the curry to the slow cooker which you have spray coated the sides with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours (or high for 4 hours) until the meat is tender.
- When you are preparing to cook your Basmati rice, stir in the coconut cream. Replace the lid and continue to cook for a 1/2 hour
- Serve with rice, naan bread or poppadom’s.
A couple of notes for you:
Curry leaves freeze well so when you buy a bunch pop them into a zip lock bag in the freezer. Markets usually have bunches of curry leaves to buy fresh, and the supermarket stocks them too (although usually cheaper at the markets). The curry will still be great without them so don’t let no curry leaves stop you trying this!
Try this with lamb, beef or vegetables; but if you use vegetables remember that slow cooking breaks down and turns to mush vegetables like broccoli, eggplant and courgettes. Stick to potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and parsnips. Add the other ‘softer’ vegetables in at the half way point of the cook.
Naan bread can be a bit ‘bready’ so I substitute for Farrah’s Tortillas; brush them with oil and dust with a nice spice mix – a quick flash fry and they puff up all delicious and crunchy. the children will love them.
This curry is mild enough for the whole family – and if you shop wisely is easy on the budget.
Happy cooking xx