This is a meal in a pinch kind of deal. Not from scratch, quick to make, fabulous to reheat, NOT HARD AT ALL dish for geniuses.

I love chili but sometimes it’s a little over the top old el paso, down home on the range kind of flavor profile, even if you do it Cincinnati style and throw in a bunch of cinnamon. So i found some great ground lamb and a jarred Indian simmer sauce at the store and the brain wheels clunked into motion and started turning. What’s this? I thought. Can I fling this all together and have it turn out as beautiful and effortless as EVERYTHING ELSE I DO?! Sure! And you can too! Let’s go!!


Packet ground lamb

Indian Simmer Sauce in a jar ( I use a jalfrezi because there are already red peppers in there, which I love but am loathe to buy since they’re a billion dollars, and the more vegetables the merrier, ususally. Also, my favorite Indian restaurant in Bristol, The Raj, had an amazing Lamb Jalfrezi and I wanted to relive my youthful days across the pond. Not really. I’m kidding. I mean, that is a real place but it’s not the reason. It just tastes great).

One or two russet potatoes

One large yellow onion

One can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Extra virgin olive oil

Handful cilantro

Ok, the idea here is to use the least amount of effort and dishes in the kitchen. It’s a fabulous way to work, honestly. Since the potatoes take the longest to cook through, chop them up and throw them into a pan on medium heat after warming up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When they are about halfway cooked through, dump them into a large stock pot. They will cook the rest of the way in the chili as everything is added.

Chop the onion roughly, and toss it into the same pan you used for the potatoes. Turn the heat to medium low and sweat the onions for a few minutes. Add the ground lamb and brown it as uniformly as you can. A few raw spots here and there are fine, they will cook in the broth you’ll be adding in a moment.

Add the onions and lamb to the stock pot. Add the rinsed beans, and the jar of jalfrezi sauce. Fill the jar to top with hot water, close, and shake to get the excess sauce that’s stuck on the sides. Pour into pot. Repeat this once more. Bring the whole gorgeous mess to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about a half hour. Drink a Kingfisher and call a friend while you wait. Write a postcard or build a terrarium. And it’s done!

Rinse some cilantro and rip up the leaves. 

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle the cilantro on the top. If you don’t like cilantro, then skip it. You could a dollop of some plain nonfat Greek yogurt if the stew is too spicy. Eat as much as you want, there’s no judgement here. Watch the best Bollywood movie ever, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Party.


Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, from 1995’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)



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