Clean curry night

Going out for a curry or getting an Indian takeaway in is associated with beer drinking, cheat nights and generally having a bad meal! Well a curry night doesn’t have to be bad! If you cook it yourself with fresh ingredients, swap ghee for coconut oil and leave out heavy creams and butter, you are actually left with a perfectly clean meal made up of protein and greens. Using lean meat and fresh produce you can cook up a dish that would blow the socks off your local takeaway.

This week I’ll be showing you how to make a fabulous keema dish which is minced lamb and peas. It tastes delicious with rice, spelt chapattis, or as I had it this week, just with a sweet potato! If you’re following a MC&L plan limiting wheat and dairy, you can swap out yoghurt raita with a cooling cucumber, tomato and spring onion salad and swap your carbs for baby gem lettuce which can be used to scoop up the keema as you would do with a naan or chapatti. The added crunch and coolness of the lettuce is a perfect accompaniment to the spicy keema. Great recipe for a Saturday night in with the family – they’d never know it was clean!

This recipe can be used for any meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. I would say if doing vegetarian, I’d go easy on the tomatoes and maybe just use one fresh tomato (or omit altogether). For fish dishes you can create a deceivingly creamy dish by again, reducing or omitting the tomatoes, and adding a generous dollop of yoghurt (I’ve used goat’s milk yogurt and soya and it works great if you’re following a dairy free plan) at the end of the dish. Ground almonds added to the paste before you add the fish also gives an amazing texture. Enjoy!!

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-4 finger chillies chopped and deseeded depending on how hot you want the curry
  • 2 thumbs ginger chopped or grated
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ajwain (bishops weed)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander chopped (chop some of the stalk too and keep separate for the paste)
  • 1 teaspoon of any pickle you may have in (optional)
  • Handful of frozen garden peas
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pan or wok and fry cumin, coriander seeds and ajwain until they pop
  2. Add onions and garlic and fry until golden
  3. Add ginger, chilli, tomatoes and salt to taste and simmer until they form a paste
  4. Add turmeric, coriander stalks and pickle if using and stir through
  5. Add mince and mash into mixture to ensure all pieces are broken thoroughly and covered in paste. I use a silicone spoon/masher thing which stirs and mashes at the same time – love this tool!  Mine’s a pampered chef one but you can probably get them from Lakeland or Peter Maturi or somewhere similar
  6. Once the mince is starting to brown add the peas and stir through
  7. Add the garam masala, stir and cover stirring frequently
  8. Mince should be cooked and peas soft in approx. 20mins.
  9. Serve with any combination of: spelt chapattis, rice, sweet potato or baby gem lettuce

If you are eating dairy free, a great alternative to ‘raita’ can be made with cucumber, tomato and spring onion, dressed with mint, coriander and lemon juice: 

Until next time,
Mandy xx