Simple Lamb Curry

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Ideally the spices for a curry, a simple braised dish, will be at their most aromatic when bought whole and freshly ground but when you are in a hurry a good curry, like this one, can be made by using a bottled curry paste. Fresh ginger and garlic, however, cannot be replaced, and fresh coriander makes all the difference. This quantity serves 4–5 people.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 1 large onion, pureed
  • 2–3 teaspoons mild curry paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 cm (2 in) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 kg (1 lb) lamb neck fillet, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée dissolved in 300 ml (½ pint) water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves
  • Salt

Method

  1. Heat the groundnut oil and butter in a flameproof casserole over a fairly high heat. Add the pureed onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly brown. Stir in the curry paste, chopped garlic and ginger and pieces of lamb fillet. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring until the meat cubes are browned all over.

  2. Add the tomato purée and water and lemon juice, season with salt and bring up to bubbling. Cover and cook in the oven at 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for 1½–2 hours until the lamb is very tender, stirring around once or twice. Stir in roughly chopped coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice.