Lamb Tikka Masala

Okay, lamb tikka masala served with cauliflower rice. Remember, the marinade is everything if you want to enjoy flavoursome meat.

In a freezer bag, I placed garlic, ginger and chilli, with a good squirt of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of tandoori spice mix. I cut the meat from The bone of the lamb leftover from the New Years Eves joints and I diced it roughly into 2cm cubes and added it to the marinade. You can of course use raw chopped leg of lamb. Tie the top of the bag and squish it around a bit. The marinade was put together on New Year’s Day to allow the spices to do their work for 48 hours. I cooked my curry sauce on 3rd January in bulk. This is a recap on how I make my gravy.

Peel 7 or 8 medium onions And chop into fairly small pieces in a blender. Fry the onion on a low heat in a large pan. Add a tablespoon of crushed garlic and about the same amount of crushed ginger. Next you need to consider your spice mix! I always go with the following. Chilli to taste, either fresh or dried, and for this volume of sauce I added one tablespoon of turmeric, two tablespoons of cumin, the same amount of dried coriander leaf, garam masala and two knorr vegetable stock cubes. Fry out the spices for five minutes stirring constantly. Add 400g tomato purée (2 tubes) and cook that out for a further few minutes. Boil the kettle and empty the hot water into your aromatic spice mix. Just enough water to create a medium thick sauce. Add salt to taste, turn the heat to low and place a lid on the pan. Cook on a low simmer for a minimum of one hour in order to cook out the rawness of the spices and purée. Thus creating a uniformed sweetness from all of your combined ingredients.

There you have it, a perfect gravy (curry sauce) every time. With this basic sauce you can create a multitude of different dishes and curries. As I said earlier, I bagged up 4 portions and froze, leaving the remainder for my tikka sauce. And how was that achieved?

I ground two good handfuls of almonds in my coffee grinder and stirred that into the sauce (pre ground is fine). I then added my lamb marinade and a liberal drizzle of double cream. Simmer for a further 40 minutes. Check the tenderness of the lamb. If you are using a raw lamb marinade for this I would fry it off before adding the tikka sauce and cook for around 1hr 30 minutes on a low heat. The tandoori spices from the marinade infuse into your basic sauce, elevating it to a very authentic tasting Tikka Masala. Of course you can use chicken or king Prawn, just alter the cooking times appropriately. Remember, your basic gravy/sauce is already cooked out.

Did you know, I don’t think that I have ever cooked a curry with beef due to respect for the Hindu belief that the cow is a sacred being! It’s funny, I remember living in Goa and missing Spaghetti Bolognese lots. I purchased a tin of corned beef in order to feast on this Italian classic, however Bharti the Indian nanny was not at all impressed. She, being Hindu did not like the thought of sharing the apartment with tinned cow! I forewent that bolognese and binned the tin. Anyhow, given that experience, a beef curry just seems so very wrong.

As for my cauliflower rice on this occasion I chose pre prepared and frozen. Available in most supermarkets nowadays. Very simple to heat in your microwave. Regular rice is also cool if you are not going for the low carb option! Enjoy.

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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