I've got the post Christmas overindulgence guilt quite badly this year which is frustrating as I tried so hard to moderate the nice stuff and not go too overboard for a change! Nevertheless I clearly had just one (yeah right) Quality Street or glass of fizz too many as this side of the festive season is feeling decidedly more podgy than the other end did.
This has resulted in very early morning workout sessions at the gym (something I am dubious about as at that time in the morning I'm not sure I'm even standing, let alone running) and trying to eat a tad more healthily than we normally do.
I still want nice food though - straight up diet food is just plain boring. This is a cheat's curry not because you are cheating on flavour but because you are cheating on calories! I've subbed out the coconut milk and rice and instead played some of the back benchers who have just been waiting for a shot at the big leagues. Come on out fat free yoghurt and cauliflower!
I hate cauliflower normally and was so dubious about making this - I had a bowl of regular rice soaking ready to go in case this turned out horribly but it is amazing. It is so mild (it smells quite bad but tastes wonderful) and just absorbs whatever flavours you throw at it. It comes out light and fluffy and honestly feels like you are eating a bowl full of rice.
Steve came in from cricket and I thrust a spoonful of the 'rice' at him and demanded he try it without telling him what he was about to chow down on. He loved it and was really surprised when I told him what it actually was!
I teamed this "rice" with an easy, low fat curry (most of the calories are in the lamb so sub it out for chicken or fish to reduce the calorie content even more). This is a very mild, tomato based curry that is packed full of flavour. Most of the heat comes from the madras paste and the chilli powder but if you want to amp it up a notch throw some whole chopped chilli's in. Naga's have a lovely tone that will go really well with this dish but may be a little hot, otherwise a couple of red birdseye will do just fine.
300g lamb neck, chopped into chunks
3 whole tomatoes
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 carton fat free natural yogurt
1/2 onion, chopped
1tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp black peppercorns
1tsp fennel seeds
2 tsps curry powder
2 tsps chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons madras paste
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon almond (or other mild) oil
2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
Splash of water (start low, 2 tablespoons and add more if needed)
Coriander and spring onion (chopped to serve)
1 head cauliflower
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 handful dessicated coconut (to taste)
2 tablespoons turmeric (to taste)
Salt and Pepper
So, let's get cooking.
Start with your whole spice seeds and peppercorns. Lightly toast them to release their fragrance then get an arm work out in by bashing them in a pestle and mortar until they are all cracked open.
Cover the pan with tinfoil and allow the cauliflower to steam for about 10-15 minutes.