Students unlock the secret to the ultimate teenage curry


Two aspiring young chefs from Sherborne in Dorset have created a curry in time for Diwali, which they believe could hold the answer to many a teenage maladies. With turmeric to clear acne, ginger to keep winter colds at bay and cinnamon to boost memory function for exams to name a few, the innovative lamb and chocolate curry recipe is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation’s teens.

“We’ve called this curry the ‘Chakra Curry’ because it represents Colds, Happiness, Acne, Kissing, Revision and Asthma,” says Dominic Stephens, 17. “We were originally inspired by the TV chef’s recent series ‘Rick Stein’s India’ but wanted to tailor our curry to teenagers, as that is the market we know most about. Our research into the health-giving properties was gathered from studies from Ohio to Iran, so we’re confident that there is substance behind the spices.”

“Curry is one of the nation’s favourite foods, as is chocolate, and by bringing the two together we think we have hit on something that would appeal to teenagers,” adds Bella Elwes, 16. “We’ve taste-tested it among our friends and we’ve had a really positive response, despite some initial reservations about mixing chocolate with curry. Who knows, we could be on to something!”

Bella and Dominic teamed up with Spices of India and local award-winning chef Brett Sutton from the Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne to create the Chakra Curry. For full recipe details, see below.


The Ultimate Teenage ‘Chakra’ Curry

4 cloves
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
4 green cardamom pods (split them and just use the little black seeds)
1 tsp turmeric
1 pinch asafoetida (use sparingly as this is pungent!)
500g cubed lamb shoulder
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small hot green chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
4cm root ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 stick of cassia bark
500ml water
30g dark chocolate 80%, finely grated
Sea salt and pepper
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon

Dry fry the cloves, cumin seeds and cardamom pods in a frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted and the aroma is starting to release. Grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar, add the turmeric and asafoetida. Put the cubed lamb in a large bowl and rub in the spice mix, along with the grated ginger, chilli and garlic to marinade. Warm the rapeseed oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until soft but not brown. Place the lamb in the pan and sear it before pouring in the chopped tomatoes and the water and the cassia bark. Add the grated chocolate and a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for an hour or until the meat is cooked and the sauce is thickened. Add the lemon juice and season to taste. Take off the heat and garnish with fresh, chopped coriander before serving with rice and chapattis and/or naan bread.