This was inspired by a visit to the Edinburgh Mela, a multicultural festival (predominantly Pakistani and Indian) held in Edinburgh each August. Multiculturalism has taken a bit of a knocking recently (much of it, I suspect, from people who are delighted to have found an acceptable way of being unpleasant towards Muslims), but I'm unclear as to what the alternatives are. Zero immigration? Forced assimilation? Ghettoisation? None of them sound very attractive to me.
In the kids' activity tent at the Mela there was a spice mixing workshop, where children could choose their own whole spices, and pound and mix them in a mortar to make curry powder. For this curry, we used Sammy's meat curry powder which contained turmeric, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander, peppercorns, black cardamom, cinnamon and fennel.
2 small red onions
2 cloves of garlic
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger
3 teaspoons of good quality curry powder
500g minced lamb
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes
250g green beans
- Peel and finely chop the red onions, and peel and mince the garlic and ginger. In a high-sided frying pan or saucepan, gently heat the onion in some vegetable oil. When it is nearly done, add the minced garlic and ginger, and fry for another minute. Add the curry powder, stir well, and fry for 10 seconds.
- Add the mince and fry, stirring well to break up any lumps, until all the meat is browned. Add the tomatoes and the salt, bring to a boil, then turn down to minimum, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and continue to cook until they are just done.