Cloves

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Flavour-wise, cloves pack a punch. This is probably why I always have loads of them in the cupboard – you don’t need many of them in any given recipe. They mostly remind me of Christmas due to their presence in spicy, warming recipes, like gingerbread and mulled wine, but I’ve recently been using them in other types of dishes.

When looking for a way to use up an almost full jar of whole cloves in the cupboard, I found a recipe for ‘Minced Lamb Korma’ in The Complete Book of Mince which is a spoof cookbook by, apparently, René La Sagne. Although this is a very silly book, the recipes I’ve tried so far genuinely work.

I enjoy the combination of lamb and spices, having first attempted it in the Turkish Lamb Pilaf recipe I made at Easter. This curry has an array of spices – cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Rather than just adding all these spices into the curry sauce, the recipe instructs you to mix the cardamom, cumin and turmeric into the raw meat and allow it to hang out in the fridge for an hour or so before you cook it. This allows those flavours to really permeate the meat itself, rather than just the sauce.

This was a good, solid recipe – although it produced an extraordinarily unattractive curry, it was tasty. It was a great way of clearing out the storecupboard, just a little.

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