I’m a firm believer in making people feel welcome and at home when they’re visiting you, which means that I don’t want people worrying about what they’re able to eat. Because of this, I always try to take food intolerances or dietary requirements into account as much as possible. Why cook something they’re not going to enjoy?
I have quite a few friends who have IBS and some of those follow the FOPMAP diet. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols, which are short chain carbohydrates that can be rapidly fermented in the colon. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, wind and abdominal pain. This diet is all about figuring out triggers, which means that a lot of food is cut out in the initial stages. After this, people slowly reintroduce food to establish triggers.
Now fortunately, I don’t have IBS and the FODMAP diet should be done with a dietician, so I’m certainly not trying to give advice on the diet itself! However, I can point you in the direction of a blog I cannot recommend highly enough – Cook Low FODMAP.
I’d spoken to the friend who I had round for dinner on the phone that week and she was sharing her frustrations about not being able to eat certain things she enjoyed. In particular, she was craving a curry. I’m quite a stubborn individual, so I decided to make it my mission to try making her a FODMAP friendly curry! Frustratingly, I found it very difficult to find many recipes that weren’t full of crazy, abstract and expensive ingredients which I know I’d 100% never use again. The food also didn’t actually look that good. On the Cook Low FODMAP blog though, the recipes are right up my street! It’s written by a dietician so sounds like she really knows her stuff, and I learned a lot about the diet just from browsing her recipes.
For me, omitting garlic, onion and stock were the things I was struggling most to adapt from recipes I already know. My top learning points and tips for this are:
– Asafoetida is a ground herb which surprisingly was easy to locate in my local supermarket. It tastes like onion and as it can be overpowering, you can use a small pinch to great effect. The tops of spring onions can also be used to provide an onion flavour.
– Garlic oil can be used instead of actual garlic, again providing the same taste without the symptoms!
– For the carnivores and omnivores amongst us, slow cooking meat (particularly on the bone) flavours the dish by creating a natural stock.
I chose to make both a lamb curry and saag aloo (which I served with rice), but you could easily just select one of these to make instead. I really enjoyed both of these dishes, and in particular loved how quick, easy and flavoursome the saag aloo was! The lamb curry is really quick to prep, and the longer 2 hour simmer time gives you a chance to get on with other things. Both serve 4, so I was able to share some delicious leftovers with a non-FODMAP eater who equally enjoyed the meal!
For ease in following this recipe, please find the lamb curry below and the saag aloo in a separate post here. Louisa Reid from Cook Low FODMAP has adapted this lamb curry recipe from the Hemsley and Hemsley sisters.
- 1 tbsp garlic flavoured olive oil
- Green tops from a bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
- A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- 500g stewing lamb, cubed
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 courgettes, diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- A large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to season
- Fry the ginger and spring onion tops with garlic olive oil for around 2 minutes in a large, deep pan (for which you have a lid). Next, add all of the spices and cook for another few minutes.
- Add the lamb, and mix it around in the spices so that it is well covered. Next, add the coconut milk. Then using the coconut milk tin, fill this with water and add this to the pan too. Season with salt and pepper, and then leave to simmer with the lid on for 2 hours.
- Add the carrot, courgette and red pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and further seasoning to taste. Sprinkle coriander over the top.
- Serve with steamed rice and saag aloo, or anything else that you think would go well.
Recipe from Cook Low FODMAP blog – ‘Low FODMAP Lamb Curry’