Monday, 29 April 2013

One Pot Wonder: Jamie Oliver's North Indian Curry Recipe

It's getting to that time of year where I'm craving slow cooked, flavour packed, lovely warm dishes rather than things like salad or fish. Dishes where the meat falls apart when you pierce it with your fork. Food that you can't wait to devour. Meals that cry out for eating. So last week I cooked myself Jamie Olivers scrumptious North Indian Curry. Not only is it super warming, but it's a one pot wonder, which is alway a big plus for any dish. Plus, because it's a slow cooked dish, the meat wasn't super expensive. And like all curries, it only gets better with time, so the leftovers are just as good, if not better, than the meal the day it was cooked.
So here's how it goes. Being slow cooked, it's not difficult at all, but it does need cooking for around 2 hours. So I'd say start it at around 4pm for dinner, or make it the night before, then all you have to do is heat it up the next day before dinner.

Ingredients (serves 6)
Rapeseed oil (although I just used a good quality vegetable oil)
3 onions
1 thumb size piece of ginger
3 garlic cloves
3 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
4 cloves
3 cardamon pods
1kg lamb neck fillet (or another meat suitable for curries and stews), cut into 5cm chunks
5 tomatoes
3 carrots (not traditional, but I had them in the house and they needed to be used)
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves (ideally fresh, but I used dry)
1/2 tsp garam masala
A big bunch fresh coriander
Rice and natural yoghurt to serve

Start by doing all your measuring and prepping as normal, plus turn the oven onto 180 degrees celsius. So finely slice the 3 onions, peel (if it needs it) and chop the ginger, finely chop the 3 garlic cloves and deseed and chop the 3 chillies, quarter the tomatoes and peel and slice the carrots. Put the 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp chilli powder, 4 cloves and 3 cardamon pods in a bowl.
Heat a big glug of the oil in an oven proof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the sliced onions and chopped garlic, and fry until they are golden brown, so about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes. Stir in that lovely, aromatic bowl of spices and cook for about 5 minutes. The aroma of those spices will fill the room and smell fantastic.
Toss in the lamb chunks and stir them well, so they are coated with the lovely spices. Fry them for about 10 minutes, or until the lamb starts to colour. Stir in the tomatoes and carrots, as well as the stick of cinnamon and 2 bay leaves.
Then all you need to do is pop the lid on and stick the casserole dish in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart. You don't have to, but I checked the meat every 1/2 hour to see how it's going and give it a stir.

While the meat was cooking, you have plenty of time to cook your rice (and maybe even some desert, watch a movie, relax...). I decided to make a lovely yoghurt dip to serve with the curry. Something fresh to lighten up the dish. Ideally, I'd have used mint, but I didn't have any on hand. What I did have is some dried dill tips in the cupboard, so I combined some yoghurt with the dried dill tips, salt, garlic powder and lemon juice. If you let it sit for a while, the dill flavours the yoghurt, which is lovely. Again, maybe not traditional, but a good use of what I happened to have on hand.

If you're worried the dish is too watery when the meat is cooked, just stick it on the stove for 10 minutes or so. You don't want to dry it out, but it can't be too liquid.

Then all you need to do to serve is put a couple of lovely spoonfuls on top of your fluffy rice, sprinkle it with garam masala, add a few of the coriander leaves, as well as a big dollop of that yoghurt. Like most curries, it just gets better with age, so don't be afraid to cook this the day before.


  1. Most slow cooker meals taste very delicious, only you have to wait for long hours before it’s done. Nice post.

  2. This is a very nice dish!