We thought we’d seen off the worst of winter, but it looks as though it has other ideas.
It hardly seems fair. Just as we were getting used to longer days, milder temperatures, and the odd spot of sunshine, Winter has to go and sucker-punch us, launching a sneak attack, dumping a thick coating of what my pa-in-law used to refer to as “that hateful white stuff” on our pavements and bike paths.
I decided to fight back with food, on both a physiological and psychological level.
Yes, you’re quite correct, that does mean a curry.
The obvious candidate here was a Rogan Josh style curry.
Firstly, a Rogan Josh tends to be on the mild side, making it suitable to the less flame retardant palates of Mrs. Paleovirtus and Paleovirtus Jr.
Secondly, as with nearly all curries, the spices have a warming effect on the body, a perfect antidote to the plummeting temperatures outside.
Thirdly, a Rogan Josh is more often than not quite red in colour, and red things often promote feelings associated with heat, and warmth.
Mind and body, insulated from the Arctic conditions beyond the double-glazing by a nourishing layer of crimson-hued spiciness.
The fact that a Rogan Josh more often than not is made of lamb didn’t exactly hurt, either.
Generally speaking, this family is capable of eating as much lamb as a shepherd could shake a crook at.
Hopefully, Winter will now take the hint, and make its way down to Antarctica for a spot of penguin harassment.
Laters, Wint old mate. See you in December…
Keema Rogan Josh
- 1kg minced / ground lamb
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large, mild, red chillies, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- ½ a bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 2 tsp dried mint
- ½ tsp ground cardamom seeds
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp turmeric
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- coconut oil
- Place the onion, garlic, ginger, fresh coriander, and chillies in a blender, and process until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Place the paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin seeds, ground coriander seeds, dried mint, ground cardamom seeds, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, turmeric, and salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Add just enough water to produce a thin paste. Stir well, and set aside.
- Heat about 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick lidded pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the fresh vegetable paste to the pan. Stir fry for about 4 minutes or so.
- Add the water and spice paste. Stir well, and continue to fry for 3 minutes or so.
- 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.
- Add the tomato purée, and stir well. Add about 1 dl of water, stir well, and cover the pan with its lid. Cook the meat on a low simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, and cook for about another 5 minutes or so, in order to cook off any excess liquid. Once the meat is cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Serve, together with a side of cauliflower rice.
Kashmiri chilli powder, if you can get hold of it, will bring an even deeper red colour to the dish, and a slightly different flavour, too. If you can obtain some, replace the paprika and cayenne pepper with it, in equal amounts – i.e. 5 tsp in total. Fret ye not, it’s very mild, and so you shouldn’t notice much of a change heat wise.