The smell of a pot of curried mince fills me with childhood memories, we never ate this at home but the mums that ran the tuck shop at school would cook cauldrons of the mince and sell huge amounts of toasted curried mince sandwiches in our lunch breaks. The smell would meander along the corridors, as you changed classrooms and you would wish lunch would come faster.

Mince in its varying forms is a family staple, as is curry.  Most of my friends will have a version of Thai, Indian or a Japanese curry in their weekly meal repertoire. This straddles the need to use mince in the week’s budget meal and the love for curry most families have.

My amazing friend Manisha makes a wonderful version that is flavoursome. Manisha’s recipes are delicious, if you love aubergine try her recipe for aubergine curry. I made it the other day but didn’t have to roast the aubergine and just cubed the flesh and made a quick curry using her spicing, it was really good.

I do love versatile recipes and the curry mince could:

Top a baked potato or sweet potato

Served as bowl food over rice, cauliflower rice with chutney

Served as you would chilli con carne but with sides of chopped salad, raita and popadoms or naan bread

Served as part of a Indian buffet or party menu, with the aubergine curry or any of your favourite vegetables curried

In a toasted sandwich

Over a freshly toasted slice of bread like you would eat baked beans on toast you serve a ladle of curried mince

Or as my boys asked for it as a Sloppy Joe (piled into a baguette) with an added handful of grated cheddar cheese and baked in the oven, just to melt the cheese. You can skip the melting of the cheese.

Curried mince really is so versatile.

I made a double batch and filled a container to give to my daughter at uni. It freezes well and easily can be a standby family meal too. I must say with any saucy mince dish, l always double the recipe as if you are going to the trouble of boiling a pot for 500g of mince you may as well add another 500g and get ahead on days when you are pushed for time.

This recipe can easily be made with quorn mince for vegetarians or any vegan friendly mince, they unfortunately aren’t able to be frozen.

Curried Mince
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
A delicious cost-effective fragrant meal that will be enjoyed by the family mid-week, friends for an Indian style meal, a warming dish to served on Halloween and wonderful in a toasted sandwich like they served in tuck shops in the 1980s.
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4-6
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 large onions chopped
  • 2 teaspoons heaped grated ginger
  • 3 teaspoons heaped curry powder
  • 3 teaspoons heaped coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon heaped turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 6 large tomatoes, grated
  • 1kg minced lamb/ vegan mince
  • 100ml water
  • 100 grams of frozen peas
  • Salt, pepper and dried red chilli to taste
  • 1 level teaspoon mango powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida powder (optional)
  • 100ml water
  1. Heat the coconut oil, add the asafoetida (if using) and cumin seeds, allow them to cook and when they start to splutter, then add the chopped onions and grated ginger, cook until the onions are a light brown colour.
  2. Add the remaining spices: turmeric, coriander and curry powder and little water so that spices mix together well.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 -10 minutes.
  4. Add the minced lamb or vegan option and stir until the mixture is broken down into small pieces.
  5. Cook until the colour of the mince darkens this will take 2-3 mins.
  6. Add 100ml water and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, top the pot with a lid and allow the mince to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on what mince you have used you may see the lamb fat rising to the top of the pot, if this happens it usually coincides with the mince being cooked.
  7. Add the peas 5 minutes before you are ready to serve the mince and season the mince to taste with salt, pepper and desired dried red chillis.
  8. If you are making a double batch with the lamb mnce make sure you remove the amount you want to freeze without the addition of the cooked peas. You would want to add fresh peas to the reheated mince.
  9. Check the pot often and if needed add a little more water. When cooked the mixture will be soft but without being runny.
  10. Just before you are ready to serve, add a teaspoon of mango powder if using.
  11. Serve inside chapati bread, over rice or with naan.
Enjoy this quick and easy recipe. logo