Lamb or Chicken Balti

The Balti curry was developed in the curry houses of Birmingham, UK and refers to the type of pan it is typically cooked in. Everyone has there own version of a balti. This one can be made with lamb or chicken and has a thick tomato based spicy sauce.
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
1lb / 450g diced lamb or chicken
1 large onion, peeled
1 clove garlic
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp good quality tomato puree
10 fl oz / 1/2 pint / 275 ml lamb or chicken stock
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks

Herbs & Spices
1 tbsp Balti Stir Fry Mix
Cooking Instructions
Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blend into a puree. Add a little oil if needed.

Heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion puree (watch out for splattering). Fry for about 6 mins until the mix looses its pungent raw onion smell. The onion will start to soften and turn translucent. Try not to let it turn too brown. The water that has come out of the onion should start to evaporate. Take care to stir the mix as it will stick to the bottom of the pan. If necessary you can add a little more oil.

Add the balti spice mix and fry for a further 2 mins. Take care not to burn the spices, turn down the heat and add a tsp of water if necessary (but not too much, you don't want to loose the oiliness, the mixture should fry rather than simmer). Once the spices are aromatic, add the tomato puree and mix well. Allow the tomato to gently fry for about 5 minutes, again taking care not to allow it to burn. The tomatoes should darken in colour and you should see orange oil start to separate from the mixture as the water is driven off. The longer the tomatoes can fry gently, the more intense the flavours will be.

Add the meat and stir to coat thoroughly with the tomato sauce. Allow to gently fry for about 2 minutes until the meat has sealed. Then add the stock - take care it may splutter. Stir the curry well to make sure the stock is incorporated and nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pan and allow the curry to simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked. If during this time, the sauce becomes too thick, then add a little more water.

Whilst the curry is cooking, fry the peppers gently in the remaining oil for 5-7 minutes until just tender.

Once the meat is cooked, stir in the peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes before serving.