Queen chef shares how to ‘bring out real quality’ in traditional curry dish – ‘don’t rush’
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There are many different types of curries, with lamb keema being a popular one. Expert Jeff Baker, Executive Development Chef at Farmison & Co, who has cooked for the Queen, has shared top tips on perfecting the perfect keema.
He told Express.co.uk the best way to “bring out real quality” in a keema dish is to use quality ingredients.
Keema is typically made by using minced lamb and is a popular dish all over the world.
It can also be used with other types of minced meat.
Jeff explained: “Using the finest quality ingredients such as grass-fed British lamb is the best way to bring out real quality in any curry.”
The expert also recommended seasoning the meat before the cooking process.
This way, the meat can keep its natural juices and enhance its aroma and flavour.
He explained: “Make sure to season your minced lamb before beginning the cooking process. Sea salt works really well in bringing out the other flavours when being sautéd.”
To bring out the flavour even more, Jeff advises using the same dish for the meat, onion and garlic.
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He said: “This will allow for the flavours to combine, giving it a rich flavour.”
As well as using good quality ingredients, bringing out flavour also happens during the cooking process, especially when simmering.
The expert added: “Don’t rush the simmering process. Leaving for one hour on a low heat will help with the tenderness of the meat, keeping your lamb soft and juicy.
“Coriander pairs perfectly with the dish and try to stick to fresh coriander and add this on top to maximise the flavour and add some vibrancy.
“Creating your own madras curry paste is also a great way to get a flavoursome hearty keema and it’s easier than you think.
“However, if you’re stretched for time, Patek’s madras paste also works nicely.”
Once the dish is finished, Jeff recommends pairing with basmati fish.
He added: “Roti breads with yoghurt and coriander relish also work nicely together.”
Jeff’s tips will also work in any other curry dishes such as a masala, korma and bhuna.
Jeff’s lamb keema recipe:
For the keema:
– 500g minced lamb
– One large onion, peeled and sliced
– Two cloves crushed garlic
– 20g ghee or clarified butter
– 400ml chopped tomatoes
– 200ml rich lamb our poultry stock
– One heaped tbls madras paste
– One heaped tsp garam masala
– 150g garden peas
– Sea salt
– One tsp cornstarch mixed with a splash of cold water
For the paste:
– 80g coriander seeds
– 40g cumin seeds
– 10g malabar black pepper
– 10g black mustard seeds
– One cinnamon stick
– 20g garam masala
– 15g chilli flakes
– 10g turmeric
– Four gloves garlic
– 50g root ginger
– 20g tamarind paste
– 100ml sherry vinegar
– 75ml rapeseed oil
For the lamb keema:
Season the minced lamb with a sprinkling of sea salt before heating half the ghee or butter over a medium heat in a flameproof casserole dish and sauté the lamb until well browned and then set aside.
Add the onions and garlic to the same dish with the remaining ghee and soften over medium heat until soft and lightly coloured, it’ll take around 10 minutes.
Add curry pasta, tomato and stock and simmer for five minutes before thickening with the corn starch.
Next, add lamb to the gravy and cover with a lid before simmering gently for one hour.
Add the peas and garam masala and simmer for another five minutes, add the fresh coriander and it’s done.
For the madras curry paste:
Toast the whole spices in a dry pan over medium heat and then blend to a fine power.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it becomes a paste before heating the mixture over a low heat until it boils and begins to separate from the spices.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.
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