Hot, hot, hot

Curry has long been part of British cooking, longer than you might think; there are recipes going back two hundred years and more with a name approximating the word as we know it, curry. recipes with a blend and mix of spices, including hot spices have been around for a very long time; even before chillies were brought back from the new world, ‘hot’ flavours were a favourite – mustard, horseradish, watercress… Mustard seeds probably arrived in the British Isles along with the Romans, horseradish was a later arrival but by the middle of the seventeenth century it was widely eaten, although only really among the ‘lower’ classes – what good taste us peasants had! Although watercress was known for its medicinal and health properties, it was in 1808 that the first watercress farm started in England.

Going back to curry… A Pakistani friend gave me this recipe… utterly delicious!

  • 1 lb of minced lamb
  • 6 lamb chops
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 1½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 fl oz oil
  • 1 tsp paprika powder (heaped)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • bunch of fresh coriander – stalks finely chopped separately from the chopped leaves
  • fresh green chillies sliced (optional)
  • cooked diced potatoes or/and peas(optional)
  • rice/naan/chapati/crusty bread – whichever, to serve
  1. put the meat in a pan with the tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer with the lid on
  2. meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the oil gently then add the spices and fry on a high heat for a few minutes to release the flavours (take care not to let it burn!) – add chillies at this stage then take from the heat ready to add to the meat
  3. when the meat and vegetables are almost dry, stir in the spicy oil mixture and cook on a hot for 5 another minutes
  4. , add chopped coriander stalks, and potatoes and peas if you are having them
  5.  the curry should look a rich red; add a cup of water and bring back to the boil
  6. turn down the heat, scatter some of the coriander leaves on the top,  and simmer for another 30 minutes partly covered with a lid slightly
  7. serve with rice or bread or both, and scatter the remaining chopped coriander leaves on top!

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