Simon’s Lamb and Vegetable Madras Curry

(500 words)
Welcome back to my blog, and this week to one of my favourite recipes. The word ‘curry’ was adopted and anglicized from the Tamil word kari, meaning ‘sauce’ and this is a delicious, easy-to-make version, using both minced and whole lamb! 
Start by slicing a couple of onions and fry for five to ten minutes, then add chopped, crushed garlic to taste, and fry for a further five minutes. I like to use about six cloves. Someone told me I could use chopped onion from a jar and garlic paste, but watering eyes and stinky hands are part of cooking for me, and I just love the smell of them frying! I like to use virgin olive oil, but you can use any oil or ghee
Then brown 250g of minced lamb and about the same amount of chopped lamb. Add a WHOLE jar of Patak’s Madras curry paste (283g), two tins of plum tomatoes and a squirt of tomato paste. I’ll also add a stock cube or two here, lamb if I can get it, otherwise beef. Add about a tinful of water, the onions and garlic and put the meat to simmer for 45 minutes.
I like to add additional spices, as there is a lot of meat and vegetables to flavour, so I’ll put a heaped teaspoonful or two of whatever takes my fancy onto a saucer – ground cumin, paprika, coriander etc. and about four to six heaped teaspoonfuls of hot chilli powder – to create a spicy mix.
Fry the spices in oil for a few minutes, then add to the meat and stir well. Add in a few bay leaves and some cardamom pods, bearing in mind that not everyone likes spitting out the inedible pods!
There’s nothing I like more in a curry than juicy cauliflower, so chop half to three quarters of a medium cauli into small florets and add to the mix once the 45 minutes are up. Then peel and chop three medium carrots and add. Finally, peel two to three medium spuds, chop and add. I’ve found by doing the veggies in this order they will be equally cooked. By this stage there is a lot of food so I divide it into two pans. 
Let the curry simmer for a further 30-45 minutes, adding four medium chopped tomatoes after 15 minutes. Then test to see if the cauliflower is tender but still al dente, and that the other vegetables are also cooked. Towards the end of the cooking throw in a couple of handfuls of frozen peas. Finally, check the spiciness and add a teaspoonful or two of crushed chillis to [lip-numbing] taste!
That’s it. Serve with basmati rice, chopped fresh coriander, yoghurt, diced fresh tomato and cucumber, lime pickle, or whatever takes your fancy. And for those with hollow legs, or if you’ve a horde to feed, add a selection of poppadoms, naan breads, puris, and chapatis. Serves eight to ten and freezes beautifully. Enjoy!
2 onions
1-6 garlic cloves
250g minced lamb
250g diced lamb
2 tins plum tomatoes
I tbsp tomato puree
I jar (283g) Patak’s Madras curry paste
1-2 stock cubes, lamb or beef
1-6 bay leaves
1 medium cauliflower
3 medium carrots
2-3 medium potatoes
4 medium tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp ground paprika
1-2 tsp ground coriander
1-4 tsp hot chilli powder
1-2 tsp crushed chilli
6-12 cardomom pods
fresh coriander leaves (garnish)
(I use heaped teaspoonfuls)

9 thoughts on “Simon’s Lamb and Vegetable Madras Curry

    1. Hi Jane, I like lamb as it’s a tasty meat and I hit on the combination of minced and diced meat by accident and found I liked it! With meat like beef or lamb, it needs a good long ‘cook’ to tenderise it, but if I used (good quality) chicken, say, I would just brown it then add it at the same time as the cauliflower.

      Another option I make is fish and egg. In that instance I cook the fish separately in the oven (foiled wrapped for twenty minutes at 165 in a fan oven, 175 otherwise) and add it (plus halved boiled eggs) at the end. Then it’s best for the flavours to penetrate overnight, but you can eat it straight away. It’s still lovely!

      I’ve tried a number of ready-made sauces and pastes, but I found they didn’t really give enough flavour if you use vegetables too. So the Madras paste plus additional spices does the trick and it’s an easy recipe, although not quick, but that’s OK, I listen to music or an audiobook, and have a glass or three of wine. 🙂 And it makes LOADS! Good luck!


        1. Yes, I never used to do that but then discovered the little aluminium trays with cardboard lids that they use for takeaways. I now have a (small) freezer full of delicious curries and stir fries, plus portions of noodles, rice and lentils!


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