The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Curry Recipe'

Aloo Keema - Minced Lamb and Potato Curry
Aloo Keema is a traditional Pakistani recipe using lamb mince and potatoes. This recipe packs in lots of spice and is also really easy to cook perfect for a mid-week dinner. Its enjoyed best with some fresh chapattis or alongside rice.  If you're keen to learn how to make more Indian dishes with guidance from our chefs, why not attend one of our Indian Cooking classes or our brand-new Indian Bread Making class

Recipe for Aloo Keema
(minced lamb and potato curry)


500g minced lamb

1 medium onion finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cardamom pods

1 giant black cardamom

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

2 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp roasted ground cumin

1 tsp hot chilli powder

½ tsp garam masala

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

2 medium-sized potatoes cut into chunks

200g chopped tinned tomatoes

8 strands of fresh coriander

200ml hot water

1 tsp lemon juice


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan, when hot add the whole dry spices; cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, giant cardamom.  Sizzle for a few seconds then add the onions and fry, stirring for a few minutes until they're just turning brown.

  2. Add the tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat until the water has evaporated and the oil is separating.

  3. Now add the minced lamb, use the back of the wooden spoon to break down the morsels of meat to prevent it from being lumpy.

  4. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and salt.  Stir well to ensure the spices blend into the lamb and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on the saucepan.

  5. Add the potatoes and the water to the pan and stir well, cover with the lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

  6. Remove from the heat, garnish with the freshly chopped coriander and lemon juice and serve with chapattis or naan bread.


Cooks tip 2: For a thicker consistency, reduce the amount of water.
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Channa Masala - Chickpea Curry Recipe
Although they’re not much at their first appearance, it’s surprising how incredibly tasty Chickpeas can be to cook with. They are not a bean or a pea, but a legume which is classified as both a vegetable and a protein. Isn’t it remarkable how something so small can target two food groups?

Chickpeas are perfect for vegans, vegetarians or anyone on a meat–free diet, as their protein count is astonishing.  They contain 19g per 100g, only 8g less than the ‘go-to source’ chicken.  On their own, Chickpeas are bland, so when combined with other ingredients, the protein content will equalise that of meat.  Yet this isn’t the only reason we should start consuming more of these legumes.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

  • They are also recognised for their high fibre content. Fibre rich foods aid not only in digestion, they balance pH levels in the gut, increasing healthy bacteria and eliminating unhealthy bacteria.

  • They are ‘good-carbs’. The carbohydrates in Chickpeas are complex carbs, which means they are digested slowly and stored as energy to be used later. This helps control blood sugar, as it allows for sugar to move more slowly into your bloodstream; therefore, this will not suddenly spike blood sugar levels.

  • Typically, vitamin C is known for its immune boosting qualities, yet zinc and copper are equally as effective for the development of immune boosting cells. Chickpeas contain 17% of our daily intake of zinc and 30% of copper per 165g.

Although more often used in Indian, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean cuisine, they are so versatile that they can be used in most dishes. Why not try them sautéed with garlic mushrooms and served on toast? Or fry them with garlic and combine with a paprika and cumin yoghurt mix and add them to a baked sweet potato?  Their texture  allows them to be blended and work well as dips, such as hummus or, my favourite, chickpea and red pepper.

However, my favourite chickpea dish is Channa Masala. The spices and chillies, combined with the smoothness of the chickpeas, create an amazing combination of flavours and textures!


Channa Masala
(chickpea curry)


3 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 large cinnamon stick

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

½ tsp asafoetida

2 tbsp gram flour

200g tinned chopped tomatoes or passata

2 tsp tomato puree

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

3 tsp finely chopped ginger

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp hot chilli powder or to taste

1 tsp jaggery

½ tsp salt or to taste

¼ tsp garam masala

1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves

480g boiled chickpeas (canned is fine)

100 ml hot water or to preferred consistency

3 tbsp fresh coriander

1 tbsp lemon juice


Cooking Instructions  

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, when hot, add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds and leave to sizzle for a few seconds.  Turn off the heat, then add the asafoetida quickly followed by the gram flour.  Stir the gram flour into the oil and cook for a minute, the latent heat will be sufficient. (gram flour burns very quickly)

  2. Turn on the heat to low and add the garlic and ginger, infuse with the cinnamon and cumin for about 2 minutes before adding the tomatoes and puree and increase the temperature to medium to bring the sauce to a simmer.  Return to a lower heat once it has regained simmer temperature.

  3. When the oil separates, and the water has evaporated from the tomatoes, lower the heat and add the spices; ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, jaggery, salt, garam masala, half of the fresh coriander and dried fenugreek. Cook the spices over a low heat for 5 minutes.

  4. Add the chickpeas, stir through ensuring the chickpeas are thoroughly coated.  Keep the temperature on a gentle heat and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on to allow the spices to meld into the chickpeas and to cook with the steam and the heat.  Add a little water to create a sauce.

  5. Garnish with lemon juice and the remaining fresh coriander or strips of ginger if you prefer.


To learn how to cook more fantastic Indian or Middle Eastern recipes, view our classes here>
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Butternut Squash with French Beans Curry
As it's 'Meat Free Monday' we will start National Curry Week with a firm favourite of mine.

Squash and pumpkin are not native to India, so this is my take on using everyday highly nutritious local ingredients with aromatic spices to create a dish that delivers deliciousness every time.   Although I'm using French beans (also known as green beans), they are every bit locally grown, as is the squash.

Butternut Squash with French Beans Curry
Serves 4


2 tbsp ghee or vegan butter

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium (120g) onions, finely chopped

2 tsp garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

¼ tsp hot chilli powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp mango powder

½ tsp ground turmeric

300g butternut squash

150g French beans

40 ml water or as necessary

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

1 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

Preparation instructions: 

  1. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 2 cm pieces.

  2. Heat ghee or vegan butter in large pan, add the cumin seeds and then the onions. Stir  and cook until the onions have softened and are turning lightly brown.

  3. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and dry spices; stir into the onions on a low heat, to ensure the spices do not burn, cook for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add butternut squash and beans, stir well.  Place a lid on the pan and cook for about 20 minutes or until squash and beans are just tender.

  5. Add a little water as necessary to enable the vegetables to cook gently, without creating a gravy consistency.

  6. Remove from the heat, garnish with 1 tbsp of fresh coriander, and toasted flaked almonds.

  7. Serve at once.  Enjoy with chappatis or a lentil dish such as Tarka Daal.


Nutritional breakdown

French beans  are a delight for weight watchers since they are low in calories yet nutrient-dense.  They are packed with carotenoids and highly concentrated amounts of chlorophyll.  They contain just 31 calories per 100g, no saturated fat, and are high in dietary fibre which acts as a bulking laxative.  And to top it all - plenty of Vitamin A, B6, B12 and Vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

Butternut Squash is also another power player, it is one of the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables you can eat, with a vast rich array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as significant amounts of digestive fibre. Like French beans, butternut squash is loaded with antioxidant alpha and beta carotenoids to protect your body’s cells from damaging free radicals. Research by Manchester University has shown that alpha carotene has a significantly better anti-carcinogenic activity (the ability to prevent the spread of cancer cells) than the more well known beta-carotene. Beta-cryptoxanthin research suggests a regular intake can reduce your risk of developing arthritis and lung cancer.

Squash is also a great source of two other powerful antioxidants known as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are especially good for protecting your vision.  Our bodies concentrate these two carotenoids in the macular region of the eyes where they protect our vision from damaging UV and blue light radiation.


If you would like to learn how to cook about nutrient dense dishes attend our nutritional cooking class where you will learn how to change your eating habits for a lifetime.


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