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Rich lamb and spinach madras recipe

Curries are a big hit, especially being something warming and usually nourishing too – perfect for the cold winter months when we all need a little extra comforting. This madras is a favourite of mine, and the heat can be adjusted depending on your tolerance.

Timings 

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Cooking time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Serves

Four to six

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 tbsp oil, vegetable or groundnut
  • 900g lamb neck or shoulder
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 stalks of curry leaves
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
  • 2 bird’s eye green chillies
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 200g frozen leaf spinach
  • 100g natural yogurt

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground coriander, cumin seeds, ground cinnamon, mild chilli powder, fennel seeds and a tablespoon of the oil. Cut the lamb into 2.5cm pieces, and toss through the spice mix. Season generously with salt and pepper and leave to one side.
  2.  Place a large casserole or saucepan on a medium heat and add the remaining oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes until they start to pop, then reduce the heat slightly and add the chopped onion.
  3. Sauté for 12-15 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and chopped coriander stalks and fry for a further two minutes.
  4. For a medium heat, keep the chillies whole and pierce with a sharp knife. For a stronger heat, finely chop. Add to the pan.
  5. Stir in the marinated lamb, turn the heat up a little and fry for a few minutes, until starting to brown, then stir in the tamarind and plum tomatoes. Bring to the boil, breaking up the tomatoes, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for one hour.
  6. After an hour, stir in the frozen leaf spinach and natural yogurt and cook for a further hour with the lid on, or until the lamb is melting and tender. Roughly chop the coriander, stir through and season to taste. Serve with fluffy basmati and naan.

Georgina Hayden is the author of Taverna: Recipes from a Cypriot Kitchen (Square Peg). Her next book, Nistisima, will be published by Bloomsbury in March



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