I needed a curry, badly.
More specifically, I needed chillies, because I’ve found that in this life, one thing counts, bird’s eye chillies, large amounts.
On this particular evening Paleovirtus Jr. was preparing a tuna salad for herself, and Mrs. Paleovirtus had requested pork chops with a cheese sauce, so basically I had free rein to cook something tailored to the foibles of my palate alone, which 9 times out of 10 means fiendishly hot.
So there I was, idly flicking through cookbooks, and up popped the recipe for Keema Do Pyaza.
Keema means minced meat, usually lamb, and Do Pyaza means something along the lines of “two lots of onions”.
In terms of the actual cooking, this usually refers to the fact that one lot of onions goes into a curry paste that is fried off at the start.
Whilst the main dish is cooking, a second lot of onions is slow fried on the side to a deep caramelised state, and then introduced into the main dish at the last minute, as well as being used as a garnish.
Great stuff – Keema Do Pyaza it is then.
Then, whilst I was out shopping, I started to develop a strong craving for spinach. Perhaps I had stumbled across some sort of sinister guerilla marketing campaign by an underground collective of spinach farmers. Who can tell? Sometimes you’re better off not knowing.
In any case, all well and good. Spinach (or Saag), lamb, and fine spices work very well together indeed. I was just going to have to morph my Keema Do Pyaza into a hybrid type Keema Saag Do Pyaza.
“Hmmmm, a somewhat unorthodox preparation“, said the conscious mind.
“Get lost!“, said the taste buds, “We’re enjoying this!”
Lamb Curry With Spinach and Onions
- 500g minced lamb
- 4 onions, finely sliced
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 green birds eye chillies, roughly chopped
- 1 good handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 2 tbsp of curry powder
- 2 tsp of extra hot chilli powder
- 65g fresh baby spinach
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- coconut oil
- about 4 tbsp of coconut cream
- 2 tbsp of tomato puree
- Place the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, fresh coriander, and the chillies in a blender, and process until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat about 4 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Add the 4 sliced onions. Sprinkle over about 2 tsp of salt, and stir fry until the onions are a deep, brown, caramelised colour. This could take anything up to 40 minutes or more. Drop the heat if you have to to avoid burning the onion. Once the onions are nicely caramelised, remove them from the pan, and set aside.
- Place the curry powder, extra-hot chilli powder, freshly ground black pepper, and salt to taste in a small mixing bowl. Add just enough water to make a thin paste. Set aside.
- Heat about 4 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the vegetable paste. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the water and spice paste. Stir well, and continue to fry for 2 minutes. Add the minced lamb. Stir well to coat with the spices and vegetables. Stir fry until the mince has lost its raw colour, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the coconut cream and the tomato purée. Stir well, and bring the pan up to a low simmer. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Keep an eye on the consistency of the curry. You don’t want it to burn or stick, so add a splash of hot water if required, but the curry should be on the dry side.
- Remove the lid, add the spinach, and stir fry until the spinach has wilted. Add the caramelised onions, and stir well.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Serve the curry together with naan bread, or cauliflower rice.