There was a time when I didn’t enjoy cooking. I was more of an eat-to-live kind of person and it’s only since my son has started to take an interest in joining me in the kitchen that I’ve begun to enjoy preparing meals. Today I want to share a recipe that I’ve been making for a few years now, for lamb bhuna. This is a dish I first tried out when I was pregnant and preparing meals to freeze for those difficult “babymoon” days when your mind is mush and you need something quick and simple that you can remove from the freezer. So, here is my recipe, which takes around 20 minutes to make and costs less than £10 for all ingredients and condiments.
NB: This post is an entry for the #MeatMatters Challenge, sponsored by Simply Beef and Lamb. Learn more about the benefits of cooking and eating beef and lamb along with recipe ideas and inspiration here: http://www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk I did not receive any money for creating this post, but I did receive reimbursement for the ingredients and as it is a contest, I will be entering this post into the #MeatMatters Challenge for a chance to win a shopping voucher.
It’s really important to me to use high quality ingredients, and these don’t have to cost the earth. I’ve listed the ingredients I used below, together with a note of how much these ingredients cost me. I’ve used lamb in this dish because lamb is naturally rich in protein, which is great for a growing family and lamb provides seven vitamins and minerals (niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc, a source of potassium, phosphorus and pantothenic acid) that support good health and well-being. That’s why it was a great choice for my post-partum days when I was getting my strength back.
2 brown onions, sliced (£0.19)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped (£0.30 per bulb)
2 inches of ginger, grated (£0.31)
400g diced lamb (£4.00)
4 tbsp tomato puree (£0.50)
1.5 tbsp curry powder (£1.00 for a tub)
2 tsp turmeric (£0.85 for a jar)
2 tbsp tamarind paste (£2.00)
150 ml boiled water
A little vegetable oil, if not using a non-stick pan
You can use any oil you like, but I choose to use a non-stick pan and omit the oil to keep the calories and fat levels to a minimum. We’re very conscious of how much fat we eat in our house because my husband has had a stroke, so this is also a good choice for those who want a low fat meal.
Most of these ingredients should be readily available in your local supermarket and the prices I’ve quoted were correct on 20th March 2019. The only ingredient I had a tricky time finding was tamarind paste. I had to go to a larger supermarket for that but I used a small amount from the jar and kept the rest in the fridge. Obviously the prices quoted for curry powder and turmeric also refer to a whole jar or tub and you’re only using a small amount, so the price of this dish is actually slightly less than quoted. It serves three, unless you like a larger portion, in which case it would serve two. We like to bulk up with naan bread and poppadoms or rice. Sometimes, if we’ve defrosted this and had it for lunch, we’ll just mop up the sauce with bread.
The sauce is really rich and tomato-y (did I just invent a new word?!) and I’d describe the heat level as medium. You could use more or less curry powder to fire this up or tame it down, depending on your own personal tastes!
The best thing about this lamb bhuna is that it’s super simple to make and it takes about twenty minutes to cook altogether. Here is the method below:
- Fry the onions in a non-stick pan for around 8 minutes, until they are softened, but not browned
- Add the lamb and seal it
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot, bring it to a point where it is simmering but not bubbling too much. The trick is to not over-use the heat. Leave it covered and simmering like this for 5 minutes
- Serve it with rice, naan, poppadoms, chips or any other accompaniment of your choice.
And I’ve just realised there’s a chip in the plate I used. I suck at food blogging! But, see how easy this recipe is? It’s super quick and simple to make and is a perfect choice for weeknight dinners when you don’t have much time to cook. It’s also a great staple item to have in your freezer and defrost the night before if you have zero time to cook. It’s also a great choice to have as an alternative to take-away meals. It’s as good as anything you’ll get from the take-away and if you put it in little silver foil disposable pie trays, you can pretend you got it from the restaurant. One thing I really love about this dish is the vibrant red colour too, thanks to the 4 tablespoons of tomato puree. And tomato puree counts as one of your 5-a-day. 1.5 tablespoons equals one portion, and half an onion counts as a portion too, so that’s over 6 portions of fruit in veg in one batch of this bhuna.
I’ve shared a few pictures of Alex and Luke enjoying it. Or should I say, Alex enjoying it and Luke interrupting him and wanting a bit of his Dad’s after he had already finished his own? That’s just a typical dinner time in my house!
If you try this recipe and enjoy it, let me know because I’d really like to hear from people who make it themselves.