I love to batch cook “take-away” dishes for a Friday night feast. I was a huge fan of a weekly take-away for years, but the truth is they never make me feel very good. There may well be good take-aways out there, but many tend to be filled with hidden sugar, flavour enhancers, and for me – cream and gluten, all of which are just unnecessary for a great curry in my opinion… In addition, the tendency is to over-order, and the portion sizes are always huge which leads to over-eating, let’s be honest!
So I’ve adopted a “here’s one I made earlier” approach to take-aways. I batch cook a big batch, and freeze it in portions ready to grab out of the freezer on a Friday night. My kid-friendly but also good enough for grown-ups chicken korma is always a big hit, but my favourite has to be this spicy lamb curry. Turn the heat up or down by using more or less chillies, I think I’ve achieved a middle-ground here that will suit most.
Serves 6 (so three ready meals for two), serve with brown rice, extra yogurt (especially if it’s a little too hot for you), some fresh coriander and/or mint, maybe a couple of popadoms if you’re happy to bend the healthy rules a little for the weekend 😉
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 5 cm piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
- 4 tablespoons plain natural yogurt or coconut yogurt if dairy free
- 750g diced lamb
- 2 medium white onions
- 2 peppers (red/orange/yellow best for colour)
- 4 birdseye chillies, deseeded
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2-3 red onions
- 1 additional pepper (green works well)
- seeds from 3 green cardamom pods
- 3 cloves / 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
- 3-4 tomatoes, quartered
- 1 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
- Grate the ginger (peel it first if it’s not organic) and crush the garlic, place in a large bowl with the turmeric, peppercorns and yogurt, and mix together with the lamb until it’s all coated. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour hour, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC (150ºC fan)
- Peel and roughly chop the white onions, deseed and roughly chop the peppers and birdseye chillies and blitz in a food processor.
- Chop the red onions and green pepper, then gently heat the coconut oil in a large casserole dish (that has a lid) that can be transferred to the oven and fry them gently for 4-5 minutes, until they are nicely softened.
- Meanwhile, pop the cardamom seeds, cloves, cumin seeds and coriander seeds into a small food processor or coffee grinder, and grind to a powder. Add this powder, along with the cinnamon, paprika and chilli powder to the pan and stir to coat the softened onions and pepper.
- Add the blitzed veg from the processor to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the tomatoes, the marinated lamb and approx 250 mls water, and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, cover with the lid and place in the oven for at least 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add a little more water if the sauce is thickening too much.