Spice Friendly Lamb Curry
I was so excited when I created ‘My Curry’ that I could not contain myself. Having been in curried exile for 3 months due to not being able to have chillies or pepper of any sort, I had all but given up the hope of having a regular curry. I knew that I could have ginger and cooked onions but I had never used the magic ingredient of this recipe. Tamarind. I spotted it on a weekly trip to the supermarket. It was on offer and the picture of it looked similar to ginger, so I thought why not! I am going to give it a try and hope not to be in agony after trying it. After a tentative tasting experience and waiting for the inevitable, awful reaction in my throat, I was pleasantly surprised that I could actually have it. I knew then that some fashion of a curry was possible. Ecstasy achieved.
I tend to buy my curries from the usual places, takeaway or in jar, or on the one life changing experience in Goa, India. My experience of cooking curry from scratch was limited, however, I was not going to let that stop me in my quest to eat curry once more.
I was not disappointed – it’s mild with a hint of a spice kick from the ginger and tamarind and definitely fulfills my curry culinary needs. How easy is it to make? Simple….
Lamb Steaks cut into cubes/strips- I love lamb curry and it has a good meaty flavour for this curry, which means it stands up to the intense ginger and tamarind. You can use chicken or turkey if you want to go leaner. I haven’t tried fish yet but I will let you know if I do.
Tamarind Sauce/Paste – You don’t need much. I like a strong flavour so added probably more than I should at two table spoons. ‘Tip and Taste’ is my motto when it comes to cooking.
Ginger – Same again, I like it a lot but you can use less. Cooking should be creative in my mind.
Chives or Garlic – A good tablespoon of chives or 3 cloves of garlic.
Cornflour – To thicken.
Turmeric/Cumin/Coriander are added if you want some more aromatic spices. I can’t use much unfortunately but you can if you want.
5 -6 Large Chestnut Mushrooms – Sliced thickly.
1 medium sized onion – Sliced not diced.
Chicken stock cube with 500ml of water.
Low fat cream cheese (branded philadelphia is better for this – light or lightest)
Optional – Steamed Curly Kale or Spinach.
To start, I put some rapeseed oil into a medium heat frying pan and add the mushrooms and onions until they are softened. Add the chives/garlic and aromatic spices here as well.
Then add the meat and ginger. When they have ‘browned’ I add the cornflour (about a tablespoon) and let this soak the oil and juices up.
Add the stock water and let it simmer until it thickens. You can add more water and let it simmer down again – I think this intensifies the taste.
Now add the tamarind sauce and simmer again for a few minutes until it has come together.
Finally, add the couple of spoons of the cream cheese – this will give it the creamy texture of a korma. You could add a yoghurt instead if you prefer.
I like to add Curly Kale or Spinach to make it interesting and some raisins, although if you don’t have or like these don’t worry about it.
I have since done some research on this recipe and apparently some curries are made like this in the Kerala region of India, called Inji Curry. It is not quite ,but I think close enough, to be called an authentic curry. The joy is now in the eating! Let me know what you think.