Tuesday, 22 September 2015

lamb keema with potatoes & peas - plus a contemplative week

It’s been one of those weeks, packed full of interesting challenges, excitement and tons of reflection on life. I met some really amazing people over the weekend and actually had meaningful conversations, instead of the usual small talk that I avoid (hence my loner phases). I was eating a pretzel earlier today and thought that life is a lot like that. Pretzel shaped - not a box of chocolates. A winding mini superhighway that ends up on the same path - except you’re faced with two choices as the pretzel ends.
We all eventually come back to the place or places that we are meant to be, in spite of hurdles and meandering paths. And the journey is what makes everything the way it is. Instead of being caught up in the act of getting somewhere, I like that now I can allow myself to breathe and let things be a little without feeling as though I’m running a marathon with one finish line in sight. So I decided to simplify things more. Focus on the essential and own the experiences life throws instead of wishing them away. And in that vein I spent some quiet time in the kitchen – without music this time (usually Nina Simone), preparing a classic dish that is so easy and satisfying and makes every challenge seem worthwhile. 

Normally I'm not a huge fan of red meat however, on occasion I have a craving for a burger or steak with lots of mustard or bearnaise sauce. If I'm eating Asian food then it’s either lamb and potato curry, or lamb keema curry. This simple but hearty curry is very similar to chilli as its rich and intense and is delicious scooped up with flatbread or boiled white rice. I know we’re expecting an Indian summer for three weeks very soon however I'm finding it chilly right now and needed something hot and spicy for sustenance. It’s not a complicated dish to make and honestly you just throw everything in and simmer. Keema curry is another one of my favourite big batch cooking recipes as it keeps well and the flavour just gets better the next day.

Ingredients (serves 4)
500g lamb mince
4tbs oil
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 medium onion finely chopped
½ square inch crushed ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
3 whole green finger chillies
½ red pepper chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 medium potato chopped
100ml water
1 small cup frozen peas

Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic, ginger and onion. Add salt and sautee until translucent, but not browned. About 2 mins.

Add mince and stir for about 2 mins. At this stage add the dried spices and stir through. Reduce heat to medium-low simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Uncover pan, stir through and add chopped tomatoes, pepper and potatoes, peas and whole chillies and add the water and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Adjust salt if necessary. 

Serve with flatbread or white rice!

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