Sure, there’s a case for central heating or a roaring fire being your best bets for warming the house in winter. But also there’s something very attractive about leaving a pot to burble on the stove, sending its warm aromatic tentacles threading through the house.
Sara Oteri knows this well. Here the cook, writer and presenter makes a case for Sri Lankan-style lamb curry with basmati rice being one of her favourites to have on the go. It’s short on prep and also makes a fine centerpiece of a shared dinner.
“This is one of those one-pot wonders that makes a great family meal,” Oteri says.
This recipe requires 15 minutes preparation, 2 hours cooking time and serves 6.
Sri Lankan-Style Lamb Curry With Basmati Rice
1kg lamb-neck fillet, fat trimmed, cut into 4cm pieces
2tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 eschalots, roughly chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
2 long red chillies, roughly chopped
1tsp ground turmeric
1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 cup natural yoghurt
Juice and zest of 1 lime
200g green beans, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted
Basmati rice and thinly sliced chilli, to serve
To make marinade place half the oil, garlic, eschalots, ginger, coriander, chilli, turmeric and 2 large pinches of sea salt in a small food processor. Blend well until a paste forms. Place lamb in a large snap-lock bag with marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat remaining oil in a large casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook for 4–5 minutes or until lamb is sealed. Add stock and curry leaves, bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, skimming fat off the top occasionally. Remove lid and cook for a further 35–40 minutes or until meat is tender.
Add yoghurt, lime zest and juice, stir well and return to a low simmer for 15–20 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir beans through for last 10 minutes of cooking time. Remove curry stalks.
Sprinkle curry with coconut and extra chilli, if desired. Serve with basmati rice and extra chilli.