I have created a curry monster…! When Hubby first arrived on these shores with his American palate, his spice tolerance was firmly skewed towards all things Mexican. His first curry confused his tastebuds what with being all spicy but in a way he wasn’t used to, but he soon overcame that and now gets a little grumpy if he goes more than a week without a curry. Which probably explains why I feel like I’ve made a curry every weekend for the last wee while, because the curry monster has been a bit demandy-pants!
So I’ve been trying out some new recipes, with Hubby as guinea pig, and two are proving to be quite good. There’s a chicken pathia that I’m still working on that is almost there (but not quite!) and then there’s this lamb and spinach one, a particularly great find from the peeps at Olive Magazine. And since it’s National Curry Week, it seemed like a good time to blog it!
My favourite curries always seem to be lamb ones, that slight gaminess that lamb has just seems to partner perfectly with lovely aromatic Indian spices. Lamb is even better when you slow cook it for hours, which is the biggest adaptation I made to this recipe, extending the cooking time from an hour to two and a half. The result is a sweet melt-in-the-mouth lamb that almost falls apart when you stick a fork in it. And the spinach wilts perfectly into the spicy sauce to add a lovely layer of flavour as well as a bit of texture to the dish.
Another thing to highly recommend this recipe is how easy it is to make, with the help of a food processor to save you time chopping the onions, garlic and ginger. There’s also no need to skin or deseed the tomatoes (which always takes ages!) as they melt down into a lovely sauce. And if you don’t have any fresh tomatoes to hand (or can’t be arsed dealing with them!) a can of chopped tomatoes will do the job just as well. Honestly, all the hard work is done by the slow cooking, leaving you free to put your feet up and enjoy the lovely aromas coming from the pot or, as in Hubby’s case, be driven mad with hunger by them for the better part of a weekend afternoon! But don’t take my word for it’s deliciousness, take Hubby’s, who has demanded this curry two weekends in a row and declared it his (new!) favourite 🙂
- thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 green chillies, deseeded and sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 600g lamb neck fillet, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 4 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can chopped tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 100g spinach, chopped
- 1 lamb stock cube
- pinch sugar
- Ghee (optional)
- Throw the ginger, garlic and onions in a food processor and pulse blitz everything until it's somewhere between a liquid and a paste.
- Heat about 1 tbsp oil (or ghee) in a stewpot then brown the lamb in two or three batches (if you crowd the pan the lamb will end up stewing and not browning). Remove all the lamb and set aside.
- Add the blitzed onion mix to the empty stewpot, sliced green chillies and 1/2 tsp salt (with a little more oil if you need to) and cook for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the spices to the pot and stir well until the spices are mixed throughout the onions, and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Stir in the tomato puree and give that a minute or two to cook in before adding the lamb back to the onion and spice mix. Stir well and let it cook for a minute or two.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of sugar. Fill the empty tomato can with cold water (equivalent of 2 cups) and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for at least 2 and a half hours - lamb neck fillet loves slow cooking!
- About an hour into cooking, add a lamb stock cube and stir until it's melted into the sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning and add more cayenne if required. If the sauce is looking a bit thin, continue to simmer without a lid to help it thicken up.
- Add the spinach for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
- Serve with rice and naan bread.