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An Indian curry fix on a low carb eating plan?

September 1, 2009

lamb curry

I love eating a nice Indian curry…particularly while the nights are still cool. But how do I eat (and enjoy) my favourite curries while I am on this low carbs/eat most carbs by morning plan? I would normally eat this curry with a big bowl of steaming hot basmati rice, or some chappati or naan bread. The thought of eating it on its own did not sound terribly enticing I have to say. But I worked out that it can be done…and done enjoyably. It just takes a bit of reprogramming of the brain. I realised that I had made the shift from enjoying this curry with chappati/naan bread to rice when I had to start avoiding gluten. Now rice is the first thing that pops into my head with this curry. Hopefully soon, vegetables will pop into my head before rice! I made this lamb korma the other night (which never turns out even half as good as my mums despite using her recipe for it). Faced with the no rice dilema, I ended up throwing a lot of vegetables into the curry at the end…particularly cauliflower which I love cooked in curries as it ends up with a more interesting texture and flavour (a bit chewier and nuttier I think). The kids ate it with rice and we ate it in a bowl, on its own, with a spoon! It was quite ok.

Lamb Korma

List A:

500g diced lamb (preferably from the leg, perhaps with some bones as well)
1/2 cup natural unsweetened yogurt
3 tomatoes diced
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon whole black cumin (Sai Jeera) – add a bit of extra standard cumin if you don’t have this
1 teaspoon corriander seed powder
5 cloves of garlic chopped finely
2 teaspoons of ginger chopped finely or grated

List B:
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 black cardamon pod (leave out if you don’t have this, do not substitute green cardamon)
1 green cardamon pod
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

I large onion finely diced
A handful of mint and corriander chopped roughly

Mix all of the ingredients in List A, and leave for a few hours or at least half an hour.

Fry the onion in a little olive oil or ghee until it is starting to turn golden brown. Add the ingredients from list B and continue frying until the onions are really brown (but not burnt…although it is ok if they do burn slightly). Now add the meat along with all of the ingredients from list A.  Cook on high heat for 5-10 minutes to give the lamb a chance to seal a little and for the spices to cook. Lower the temperature, and cook covered until the lamb is tender (about 45 minutes depending on the size of lamb chunks). If you end up with a lot of liquid, leave the pot uncovered for the last half hour or more. Add vegetables if you like. Potato is typically what is added to this korma, but green beans, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, etc all go well with it too. Garnish with the corriander and mint.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2009 4:02 PM

    It looks delicious. I too love curries with rice – a little reprogramming is in order for my brain as well. Is the sai jeera the spice also known as nigella?

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      September 2, 2009 9:07 AM

      Hi FigJam, nigella is a different spice. Sai Jeera actually looks like cumin but is much thinner and a little longer, also a little darker brown in colour. It tastes similar to cumin but is less earthy and has other spice notes. I am not an expert by any means but I think in India we call standard cumin ‘jeera’ and this one ‘sai jeera’. Nigella seeds are called ‘kalonji’ and look almost like a black sesame seed. I think they are onion seeds….and they do have a bit of an onion taste to them from memory. But like I said, I am no expert!

      • September 2, 2009 10:23 AM

        Hmmm. Was nigella the spice in your prawn balchao? 🙂

        Maybe Sai Jeera is what they call “brown cumin” in some places…


  2. spiceandmore permalink*
    September 2, 2009 3:50 PM

    No, I hardly ever use nigella. I recently bought some because it is apparently a very good thing to eat (or drink in the case of the nigella seed oil) – lots of claims about its many health benefits. I really must post up that prawn balchao recipe soon….
    I think the official English name is black cumin but nigella is often mistakenly called black cumin too. Could definately be what is referred to as brown cumin…but the standard cumin is also brown…!


  1. Cauliflower « Spice and more

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