Organic and Free Range – both of these types of food are very important to me. Even though we are on a budget for food we try to buy local and have the food sourced from the best places we can afford.
It really bothers me when you are in a supermarket and you see the food origin of something that could easily come from the UK but instead has been shipped over from beyond mainland Europe. I get it with fruits that cannot grow in our climate but meat and fish is another matter.
When Sainsburys contacted me and told me about their Organic September campaign I knew I had to take part. I try and buy organic veg if it’s on offer but it’s not always possible but my rule is as long as I try it’s better than nothing at all. Sometimes the product you want is beyond your budget or sometimes it’s just not available and that’s exactly what happened to me when I went shopping for the ingredients for this recipe.
I wanted to share one of my favourite curry recipes and I was intrigued to see was there any taste different using all organic ingredients but I hit a massive stumbling block with the key ingredient, the lamb. I really needed a leg or shoulder of lamb but the only organic lamb in my local Sainsburys was lamb mince. Mr T suggested making a keema curry but I knew it wouldn’t be the same. It needs the chunks of meat to bring it all together. I had all the other organic ingredients in my trolley and then I realised, it doesn’t matter than I can’t get every ingredient from the organic range, the main thing is I’m trying and making that effort to use better quality ingredients in my cooking. Something is better than nothing at all.
I felt good making this curry, it felt clean and wholesome and even though most of it was from the organic range it was still cheaper than eating out. Mr T also enjoyed the organic wine Sainsburys kindly sent us. I'm not a fan of alcohol but he seemed to enjoy it (well the bottle was empty by the time we went to bed!)
This is our go to recipe for curry, the original is here but we have adapted it over the years and now we always make it when people come over, it’s a definite crowd pleaser. It does involve a bit of prep but once it’s done you can leave it simmering on the pan for hours until you are ready to eat.
Lamb and Spinach Karahi
A good glug of sunflower oil
550g onions diced
50g Garlic (yes you read that right)
50g fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1tbsp ground turmeric
1tbsp hot chilli powder
1tbsp ground cumin
1tbsp ground coriander
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1kg lamb leg or shoulder cut into small chunks
2 birdeye chillies (more if you like it hot!)
½ tbsp garam masala
A bunch of fresh coriander
- Heat the oil in a large pan.
- Add the onions and cook over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally and cover until soft
- Put the tomatoes, water, ginger and garlic into a liquidizer and blend until smooth.
- Remove the onions, add them to the paste and blend briefly until smooth.
- Return the puree to the pan and add the lamb, salt and all the spices apart from the garam masala.
- Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer on a low heat for at least 2 hours.
- Once the lamb is soft put 150g of the spinach into a pan and cook until wilted down.
- Put this in a liquidizer with a wee drop of water and blitz until smooth.
- Stir in the spinach paste and the chillies and leave to simmer until ready to serve.
- 10 minutes before serving add the remaining spinach leaves, garam masala and most of the coriander (set aside some for garnish)
- To serve, sprinkle over the remaining coriander and accompany with rice, naan or any other sundries of your choice.
Thanks Sainsburys for the opportunity to get involved in your campaign, it’s been a great challenge!