Lamb and squash curry
Slow simmering renders the lamb meltingly tender, while adding a jar of chutney is a great shortcut to creating real depth of flavour. Use a good, spicy, fruity chutney – if it’s home-made, all the better. I have no qualms about using a good-quality ready-made curry powder or masala in a recipe like this, but including some freshly ground cumin and coriander certainly enhances the flavour.
If you have time, lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds together in a dry frying pan for a minute or so, until fragrant. Then grind them finely using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Season the meat with the ground spice mix, a little salt and black pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the seasoned meat and cook over a medium-high heat until browned all over. Don’t overcrowd the pan – you will probably need to do this in batches. Transfer the browned meat to a large, heavy-based saucepan, using a slotted spoon.
Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and add the onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Sauté for 4–5 minutes, until softened. Tip the spiced onion mixture into the pan with the meat, then add the chutney, bay leaf and enough water or stock just to cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer very gently, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add the squash and cook for a further 1 hour, until the lamb is very tender. Adjust the seasoning, if required – if you want a hotter curry, you could add a good pinch of cayenne. Serve with flatbreads and/or rice, and a scattering of coriander if you like.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1.5kg shoulder (or neck) of lamb, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4cm cubes
- 3 tablespoons rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 3–6 teaspoons medium-hot curry powder, to taste
- 500g jar of chutney
- 1 bay leaf
- Water or stock to cover
- About 750g butternut or Crown Prince squash, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- A handful of coriander sprigs (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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