Curry, loosely termed, is one of those dishes that everyone thinks they can cook incredibly well. However, more often than not it turns out that those who have claimed such a thing are spectacularly mistaken. Indeed, I’ve met very few people who can cook a remarkable curry, which is almost surprising given the many declarations of brilliance. Remember this, preparing a curry by using a shop-bought paste does not count as making a curry. When constructing a curry intended to be truly exquisite, it is impossible to undervalue time, attention and a homemade spice mix. Though one may rest assured that once one has undertaken the feat of making a homemade curry, one shall never intentionally return to the relatively insipid paste which insists on emerging from the dingy recesses of a factory filled glass jar. There’s nothing quite like a harsh lesson in reality, is there?

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There is good news to report! After having a conversation with Rosemary, author of Cooking in Sens, about beautiful skillets, my dad, a consummate charity shop ferret, received instructions to find me one. Not only did the ol’ chap deliver, he delivered in style – the skillet you can see below is not only in my eyes beautiful, it is made by AGA. Such a pan would normally set one back at least £60; this pan set us back £5 and is in jolly fine fettle. It appears that one may find it rather difficult to extoll the virtues of perseverance in charity shopping too much.

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There are many things one can cook with a punnet of minced beef; it is perhaps one of the most versatile ingredients available. This, for instance, is a variation of a dish I used to eat a lot of at university, though since I’m a much better cook than I was 2-3 years ago it tastes slightly better. This recipe is taken from BBC GoodFood, though I used my own blend of spices and perhaps even my own initiative at times – do not be too shocked, WordPress.

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