warming lamb curry

serves 6, hands-on time 45 min, simmering time 1 hour 15 min

Ghee is a kind of clarified butter. Find it in Asian grocers or in the world food aisle at supermarkets.
Coconut water is what you hear splashing when you shake a fresh coconut - it's not coconut milk, which is made from the grated flesh.

Make the curry up to a day ahead, cover and chill. Or, freeze the finished curry for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.
Deseed or omit the chillies for a milder curry.

3 lamb neck fillets, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1cm thick pieces (trimmed weight
50g butter or ghee
1 red onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 green bird's eye chillies, split lengthways, to taste
330ml carton coconut water
Juice of ½ small lemon
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

for the curry paste
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated
10 peppercorns
2 tsp garam masala
6 cloves
1 heaped tsp cayenne pepper
1/2-1 heaped tsp mild chilli powder to taste
1 1/2 star anise
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato purée
4 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1. To make the curry paste, grind all the ingredients, except the onion, tomato purée and garlic, in a pestle and mortar to a powder. Transfer to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and whizz to a paste.

2. Put the lamb in a bowl and coat with the curry paste. Set aside. Heat the butter/ghee in a flameproof casserole with a lid, then fry the onion, bay, cinnamon and chillies over a low-medium heat for 10-12 minutes until deep golden.

3. Turn up the heat, then fry the lamb, stirring often, until the paste starts to catch on the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the coconut water and enough cold water to just cover the meat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Remove the lid and gently simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce reduced. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for 2 minutes. Scatter with the coriander leaves, then serve with rice, poppadoms and raita, if you like.

per serving 386kcals, 27.5g fat (13.6g saturated), 29.2g protein, 6.8g carbs (5.2g sugars), 0.6g salt, 0.9g fibre