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I used to be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of spices needed to cook a curry, and with a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old, I’m really time poor. I want easy, everyday dishes, but I certainly don’t want to compromise on taste. My partner, Jim, is English and loves a spicy takeaway curry (He calls it a Ruby Murray, cockney rhyming slang for curry). It’s hard for us at the moment to go out for dinners as we have young kids and Indian takeaway is quite an expensive option so most weeks, we try out a new homemade curry dish. To speed things up, I now use curry pastes which are a great way to get the authentic taste in no time at all. Jim would like to thank Real Magazine for giving me this challenge as he has had to test this recipe four times! His verdict? “Your best yet.”

What you need

Serves: 4  Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


750 grams lamb mince
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or ghee


1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 tablespoons Madras paste (I used a 280-gram jar of Sharwoods madras paste)
300ml boiling water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped

How to make

1. In a large bowl, add the mince, cumin, ginger and salt and using clean hands, mix until combined. With wet hands to prevent sticking roll into tablespoon-sized balls.

2. In a large frying pan, on a medium heat, melt the butter and brown the meatballs turning for 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

3. Using the same pan, (add more butter if needed) fry the onion and the garlic until soft.

4. Add the paste, mix through and fry for a further minute. Add the water and stir through.

5. Add the tomato paste, stir, bring sauce back to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes until thickened.

6. Drop the meatballs into the sauce and simmer for five minutes.

7. Serve on rice and/or with roti, scatter coriander and add a dollop of natural yoghurt or store-bought raita.


You can make most of this curry ahead of time, just hold back dropping the browned meatballs into the sauce until five minutes before serving.

Or you could…To add some greens, add frozen peas or spinach into the sauce 5 minutes before serving; chicken mince will also work well with the flavours of this dish.

This curry sauce freezes well.

This recipe is currently featured in REAL Magazine, on sale in New World Supermarkets now.

Comments (2)


2 Responses

  1. I used to be wary about cooking Indian food to, so many spices. Now that I have a few of the basics though I can cook one of my favorite cuisines in no time! This looks absolutely wonderful! Can not wait to make this one.

    • Ingrid Opera says:

      Hi Gwen, I was surprised at how easy a curry is to make – most will only take 30mins even if you use a combination of spices rather than a paste. Good Luck, let us know how you get on.

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