Lamb Curry With Saffron Basmati Rice

Lamb Saffron CurryCook this warm and spicy curry for a simple meal.

For the curry :

2 tbsp olive oil

450g/1lb mix of loin of lamb and leg of lamb, cut into 5cm/2in pieces

2 onions, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 small red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cumin

3 juicy beef tomatoes (weighing about 150g/5oz each), roughly chopped

2 large field mushrooms (about 150g/5oz in total), roughly chopped

1 lime, juice only

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the rice

150g/5oz white basmati rice

½ tsp ground saffron threads, infused in 4 tbsp hot water

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

For the curry, heat half of the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying-pan over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb (in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan) and brown evenly all over for 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the onion, garlic, chillies and ginger with a little more of the oil and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are golden-brown. Add the cinnamon stick, turmeric, garam masala and cumin and fry, stirring well, for one minute.
Add the tomatoes and mushrooms to the pan then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for one hour, or until the lamb is tender. Add a splash of boiling water to the pan during cooking if the mixture starts to look dry.

Meanwhile, for the rice, place the rice into a large saucepan and cover with enough water to reach about 2.5cm/1in above the rice. Add the saffron and its soaking water and place the pan over a high heat.

As soon as the water comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cover the pan with a lid. Cook gently for 8-10 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When the curry is cooked, squeeze the lime juice over the curry, season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with the rice.

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