Many thanks to Sue for both a delicious dinner after Ivy was born, and this recipe, which is infinitely variable and a great way to make ground meat taste really special. Lamb or goat would be awesome, but ground beef is good, too. It's delicious served with basmati rice, peas, and raita (yogurt with grated cucumber, dill, coriender, and salt).
2 lbs. ground meat
1 T. ghee or other fat
2-3 tsp. each: cumin, coriander, and turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
hot chile to taste (or omit for a mild curry)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
2- to 3-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
1 small jar peeled/diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon
In a small food processor, pulse the garlic, onion and fresh ginger to make a paste, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as necessary.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the spices in fat until they are dark brown, stirring. Add the garlic/onion/ginger paste and stir some more. Turn the heat to high, and cook for a few minutes, then add the ground meat, crumbling it into small bits.
Add the tomato sauce into the mix, and salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and simmer on low heat for about half an hour, until the beef is done. Taste for salt. Add the lemon juice, remove the cinnamon stick, and serve.