Making lamb and chickpea curry is all about throwing everything in the pot and leaving it to cook. Admittedly you need to set aside a couple of hours for it to become mouthwateringly tender, but otherwise it’s easy prep and sitting back and relaxing while it gets on with cooking. The thing I like most about curries is they get better with time. So the prospect of leftovers means what you get to eat the next night, or whenever you get to eat it, is even more delicious than first time round.
This lamb curry is particularly simple. No curry pastes to make, just throw the spices in the pot and fry for 5 minutes before adding the liquid. It really is a cheat’s curry, which came about because I didn’t have the right ingredients on the pantry shelf to make dhansak (from The Food of India) so left out all the lentil components and ran with the rest. Sometimes you just have to hedge your beats and give things a go, and so I did, and this is the result.
Dhansak not only includes lentils, but also eggplant. And you guessed it. On the night of cooking – no eggplant either. But here’s the thing. With only two people eating the finished curry, it meant there was a lot of leftovers. To make it a little different, I bought a small eggplant, cubed and fried it until it was luscious and creamy, then added it to the curry while it was heating through. So although it didn’t make the original version it was a successful addition to the remainder and one that you should consider, especially if you’re trying to make the leftovers go further. Or another idea: add it in the first instance.
This curry also has lime juice added at the very end. It’s a bit like adding a squeeze of lime juice to a stir fry – it gives it a zing that takes the flavour to a whole other level. Although my favourite curry is rogan josh, this lamb and chickpea curry gives it a run for its money. Enjoy!
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cm piece ginger, grated
- 500 grams lamb (cut into 2.5cm cubes)
- 1cinnamon stick
- 5 cardamon pods
- 3 cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder (more if you like it hotter)
- 1 x 400 gram tin tomatoes (roughly chopped with a knife)
- 1 x 400 gram tin chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Heat a splash of oil in a cast iron pot and fry the onion, garlic, and ginger for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and softened.
- Add the lamb and fry until browned.
- Add the cinnamon stick, cardamon, cloves, ground coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir through and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, and ¼ tin of water. Mix through, cover and simmer until the lamb is tender (approx 1.5 hrs)
- Add the chickpeas, lime juice and season with salt. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve with basmati rice.