Lamb and Chickpea Curry

In previous posts when I said you only need a few ingredients to make a great meal you know, keep it simple.. scrap that, because this little beauty took my opinion, chewed it up and spat it back in my face.

I will go as far to say this is in my top three meals I’ve cooked since starting this journey. I had to check the recipe card and make sure it wasn’t called “Miracle Lamb and chickpea curry” as it kept my wife silent the whole time she was eating it (I’ve made a big batch to have for breakfast lunch and dinner for the next week). There’s a supermarkets worth of ingredients in it and there is a fair bit of prep to do, believe me when I say it’s worth it. You can taste every ingredient and every one you wouldn’t be without.

For the perfect rice cook it in double the amount of ml in water to the amount of rice in grams. So in this case 175g of rice to 350ml of water. Add the star anise to the water to infuse the rice with that fantastic aromatic flavour. Get it to boiling then turn it down to a simmer. Pop a lid on and cook for 10 minutes, then take it off the heat and leave it with the lid on for another 10 minutes. When your ready for it just use a fork to fluff it up a bit. Season it now to your liking.

So once your lamb mince has browned in the pan add your mustard seeds, onion and pepper and cook for five minutes to soften. Then add the Sri Lanken curry powder, ginger and garlic. Cook for another minute until your kitchen smells amazing then add the passata, cook for a minute and add the water and stock. Let this marvellous medley of flavours simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. When it has thickened add the chickpeas and baby spinach until the former are hot and the latter is wilted. Take off the heat and stir through the coriander. Serve with your rice and let the miracle begin.

Spiced Pork with Creamy Lentils and Nigella Chapatis

Amazing lentil, mixed with an abundance of great flavours Including a heart warming Malay spice mix. I’ll get to the chapatis later.

This dish is a bowl of two halves. On one half are creamy lentils cooked with carrots and onion, spinach, garlic and Malay spice which is a mix of cinnamon, cayenne, coriander, cloves, galangal (comes from the ginger family), cumin and cardamom. You know just from those ingredients that you are going to get a very aromatic flavour. Creme fresh is stirred in at the end to give that creaminess. On top is a pork steak rubbed with salt and pepper and some of the Malay spice. Cooked perfectly under the grill (or perfectly on one side and somewhere north of over done on the other).

On the other side we have nigella chapatis. These are basically tortillas cooked in a dry pan then drizzled with olive oil and nigella seeds. Now unfortunately what this means is, the nice crispy tortillas you just cooked go soggy in the oil. I would have thought it would be better to brush on the oil and seeds and then cook them in the oven till crisp. Anyway I would highly recommend this, just leave out the chapatis the dish doesn’t need them.

This dish is from our Hellofresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Malay Chicken and Red Lentil Curry


Spice.. in my mind a good (spicy) curry is one that is hot enough for you to question wether it was a good idea to start eating it but stops just short of actually melting your taste buds and stopping you actually tasting any of the dish. Heat is a part of the flavour, not a test of my mascualinity. Now you’re expecting me to say that this dish blew my socks off, well it is the opposite. The malay spice had a great flavour it just lacked that extra punch. Its true it was mild enough to taste the courgette and ginger, the garlic even the onion. It had warmth but to be honest I would rather have had none. It left me wanting more. 

I’m sure a lot of people know how to cook rice. I thought I did. Put the rice in a pan, fill said pan with water boil till rice is soft. Drain the water, BAM rice done. Wrong. It always stuck together and was more like rice pudding. Here we had 175g of basmati rice. We brought to the boil 350ml of water with a pinch of salt. When the water was boiling we added the rice, put a lid on and reduced the heat to medium. After letting it simmer for 10 minutes, remove it from the heat and leave it to steam for a further 10 minutes with the lid on. When its done just flake it up with a fork and you are left with a bowl of rice that is perfectly cooked and each individual grain is separate from the last.