Heat the oil and add salt and spice, if using. Stir constantly for half a minute and don't let spices get smoky. Place onion in the spice and turn down the heat and cook at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and pepper and continue to cook.
Add beef or lamb and brown the meat. Add the vegetables and a few tablespoons of water or coconut milk, just enough to steam. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes until vegetables are soft, adding water or coconut milk if needed to steam. Flavor balance with a little lemon juice, salt and black pepper.