This ‘traybake’ lamb curry is very easy to put together. At the end of cooking, I stir in some cashew cream in place of the more usual yoghurt, which gives a wonderful, creamy richness.
- 1 kg lean lamb shoulder, cut into 4–5 cm pieces
- 2 tbsp rapeseed sunflower oil
- 2–3 tbsp ready-made curry paste (or a homemade paste, see below)
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 10 cardamom pods, lightly bashed
- 400 g tin whole plum tomatoes, in juice
- 200 g unsweetened cashew cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Coriander leaves (optional)
- Lime wedges (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7.
Put the pieces of lamb in a large roasting tin, trickle with the oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast the lamb, uncovered, for 20 minutes. If this isn’t enough time to colour the meat, give it a little longer. When the lamb is nicely browned, take it out of the oven and lower the setting to 170°C/Gas 3.
Stir the curry paste into the browned lamb, then add the sliced onion and cardamom pods. Crush the tinned tomatoes in your hands and add these to the roasting tin, along with their juice (removing any stalky bits). Combine well, then cover tightly with foil and return to the oven for 1¼ hours.
Remove the lamb from the oven. Stir in the cashew cream, along with 3–4 tablespoons water if it appears to need loosening – the sauce should have a nice coating consistency. Return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes or until heated through, then taste and add a little more salt if necessary. Serve scattered with coriander leaves, with lime on the side for squeezing if you like. Rice is the ideal accompaniment.
Home-made curry paste
Finely grate 50 g peeled fresh ginger, 4 large or 6 medium peeled garlic cloves and 1 small or ½ medium onion, then mix with 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil and a pinch of salt. Alternatively, put all these ingredients into a small blender with 2 tablespoons water and pulse to a purée.
Recipe from Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, hb, $45.00). Photography © Simon Wheeler.