Much easier to make than some other curries but likely to taste slightly different than the standard version, especially since a lot of us are sensitive to mustard and there isn’t really a suitable alternative.
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds or ground coriander
2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds (optional for those who are sensitive to mustard)
1 teaspoon crushed hot chilli flakes (optional for those who are sensitive to chilli)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons oil
3 large shallots, finely chopped
1inch/2centimetre piece of fresh ginger root, very finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200g peeled and boiled sweet potato OR courgette OR skinned, de-seeded sweet peppers, mashed or blended with a little of their cooking water whilst hot.
450g diced lamb leg or other meat (chicken, turkey or beef), OR equivalent quantity of vegetables
salt to taste
1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add all the dry spices. Stir until they are a shade darker. Once well toasted mix in a pestle and mortar, grinding any whole seeds into a powder. (Note they grind somewhat easier when warm than if you leave them until fully cold).
2. Heat oil in a wide non-stick lidded pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add shallots, ginger and garlic. Fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly until golden brown.
3. Add mashed vegetables and stir until it is reduced to a thick paste.
4. Stir in ground roasted spices and cook for 1 minute. Add meat or veggies and salt, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Stir in enough boiled water to cover the meat and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently until the meat or veggies are tender.
6. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring continuously until the sauce has reduced to the point where it clings to the meat. Note that it can bubble and splatter quite significantly at this point, especially if you have used sweet potatoes, so make sure you protect your arms and hands whilst stirring.
7. Serve with basmati rice and naan or pitta breads!