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Chris Bavin’s Lamb Jalfrezi Meatballs

A quick curry inspired by the Indian takeaway classic, this jalfrezi-style recipe from Chris Bavin uses lamb meatballs to create a rich, spicy dish in under an hour - ideal for a weeknight dinner.

From the book

Chris Bavin


Lamb jalfrezi is a perfect slow-cooked recipe, but sometime we just don’t have the time to use cuts of lamb that take time to tenderize. I could use lamb fillet, but it is very expensive, so instead here is a little twist on a lamb jalfrezi: a quick jalfrezi sauce with spicy meatballs.

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2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp crushed dried chillies
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 slice bread
1 tbsp milk
500g (1lb 2 oz) minced lamb
3cm (1¼in) piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 tsp garam masala
2 green peppers, chopped into 2cm (¾in) pieces
pinch of sugar (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. This will take about 3 minutes. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander and crushed dried chillies. Cook for 1 minute before adding the turmeric and garam masala. Cook for a further 30 seconds, then pour in the chopped tomatoes. Cook everything on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, remove the crusts from the bread, tear the bread into pieces and soak in the milk. Mix together the lamb, remaining garlic, ginger, bread (give it a mush up with a fork) and garam masala with a good pinch of salt. Divide into 12 meatballs.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs until lightly browned. Add the peppers and fry for 1 minute.

Meanwhile, when the tomatoes have cooked out for 10 minutes, blend the sauce until smooth. Add 100ml (3½fl oz) water to loosen it, if needed.

Drain off any excess fat from the meatballs, then add the meatballs and peppers to the blended sauce. Cook everything together for 3–4 minutes. Check that everything is sweet enough –add a pinch of sugar, if needed. Season with salt and top with the chopped fresh coriander. Serve with rice.

338 kcal, 18g fat, 15g carbs, 27g protein


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From the book: Fakeaway: Healthy Home-cooked Takeaway Meals

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