Healthy Lamb Curry
Adding lentils to a curry is a great way of making it feel more filling without adding too many extra calories. I like to stir in some baby spinach towards the end of the cooking time and serve with a generous spoonful of cooling cucumber raita.
- 800 g lean lamb leg steaks (or lean lamb meat)
- oil, for spraying or brushing
- 3 medium-large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 25 g chunk fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped (deseed first if you like)
- 4 tbsp medium Indian curry paste
- 100 g dried red split lentils, rinsed and drained
- 400 g can chopped tomatoes
- 600 ml water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt plus extra to season
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 100 g young spinach leaves (optional)
- ground black pepper
- cucumber raita, to serve
- Trim the lamb of any hard fat, cut into roughly 3cm pieces and season well. Spray or brush a large non-stick frying pan with oil and fry the lamb in batches until lightly coloured on all sides. Transfer the lamb to a flameproof casserole as each batch is browned.
- Spray the frying pan with more oil. Add the onions to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat, add the garlic, chilli and cook for 5 minutes, while stirring. Tip the mixture into a food processor and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃/Fan 160℃/Gas 4. Blend the onion mixture into as fine a paste as you can. You may need to remove the lid and push the mixture down a couple of times until the right consistency is reached.
- Add the onion mixture and curry paste to the lamb. Place over a medium heat and cook together for 2-3 minutes, Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, bay leaves, salt and sugar.
- Bring to a gently simmer, then reduce the heat. Cover the pan loosely with a lid and cook in the oven for 1½-2 hours or until the lamb is very tender. Adjust the seasoning and stir in the spinach, if using, replace the lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes to wilt the spinach. Stir well and serve.
Freeze the cooled curry in labelled zip=seal bags or foil containers for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat thoroughly in a large, wide-based saucepan, stirring gently until piping hot.