D hates the phrase Fakeaway. He thinks that it sounds like something uttered by a maniacal WW leader trying to persuade people that chicken breast rolled in egg white and crushed cornflakes tastes better than a KFC (this has actually happened to me, and to be strictly fair, I’ve never tried cornflake crusted chicken so can’t confirm for sure whether or not it is preferable to a visit to the Colonel).
Anyway, I know what he means – the point about takeaway food is, sometimes, that it is just a little bit…well, dirty. There’s no other word for it. Takeaways should be an occasional pleasure that come tinged with a little bit of guilt.
Actually, I don’t advocate feeling guilty about any foodstuff, which is a breakthrough if ever I heard one. If you (and by you I mean me) are prepared to take the hit on it: be that a gain at the scales or several trips to the gym, or a day of fruit and salad and little else, then I say go for it. But I still think that to experience the full pleasures of a takeaway there should be a bit of mess, an avoidance of cutlery where possible, and a greasy chin.
This is not dirty; there will be no excess grease. It is very tasty though
Oh, and my top tip for the day. I always buy large pieces of root ginger and freeze them, then, when I need to use them for cooking, grate them straight from frozen. There is no need to peel, either before freezing or using, and they are far more amenable this way - not to mention they keep for a much longer period. Chillies freeze equally well.
Lamb seekh kebabs
180g lean lamb mince (16% fat or less)
3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1-2cm fresh (or frozen) ginger, finely grated
Small handful of fresh mint, chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped and seeds removed
Tsp garam masala
½ tsp chilli powder
Small handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 large onion, thinly sliced
To serve: 2 pitta breads
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Serves 2, 11 pro points per portion
These couldn’t be easier to make. In a large bowl, combine the lamb mince, garlic, ginger and other herbs and spices and a generous pinch or two of salt – the easiest way is to just get your hands in there and squish well (a technical term, I’m sure). Then form into four fat sausage shapes. You could mould them around skewers if you so desired, although I have to say that I didn’t bother. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow them to firm up.
In a moderate oven (180-200) bake the little kebabs for around 30 minutes.
Around halfway through the kebabs’ cooking time, melt the butter in a large pan and, over a very gentle heat, start to soften the onion. Add a generous pinch of salt to allow them to sweat without colouring.
Remove the kebabs from the oven, slice in half long ways and place, cut side down, in the onion pan for a minute or two. This will help them to form a pleasing crust. Meanwhile, toast and split the pitta breads.
To serve, spread the soft, buttery onions out over the pitta bread, top with the kebab meat (four pieces per person) and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce. I suggest serving with some sort of chipped potato - I made wedges which I tossed in some oil, paprika and dried chilli flakes before roasting for around 45 mins. They’re roasties by any other name but nice nonetheless. Oven chips would also work here. Remember to add on the points for any accompaniments.