Here is a really special Indian dish that I wanted to share with you in a long time. I’m sharing it now, to celebrate my return! It’s like a kind of Indian-style rendang: moist morsels of lamb coated in thick meaty sauce and coconut. It is deeeelicious! So flavoursome, and such fun to eat. I love the lamb pieces wrapped in roti, or with some other nice bread. In any case, you’ve got to eat this with your hands!
This curry is based on a recipe by Anjum Anand from her Indian Food Made Easy BBC series. I changed (upped) the spicing to suit my tastes, and added a South-Indian touch with curry leaves, dried red chillies and mustard seeds. Basically, the lamb is cooked with spices until the meat is tender, and the sauce is well reduced. Then, you sprinkle toasted grated coconut in (fresh or desiccated), and coat the lamb. Yes, it takes time to cook it, but it requires little attention, and it’s really worth it. The first time I made it, I totally forgot about it and spent 2 hours on the phone to a friend, but miraculously, it didn’t burn, and it didn’t harm it all. Next time I was more careful, but it was equally good.
Our camera issues haven’t been resolved yet, so no pics this time, sorry. We’re in a long and slow process of choosing a new camera. Possibly, hopefully, a DSLR!
Coconut Lamb Curry
SOURCE: Based on a recipe from Anjum Anad’s Indian Food Made Easy
PREPARATION TIME: about 5 min
COOKING TIME: about 2 h 40 min
SERVES: 4 as a side dish, or 2 – 3 as a main
50 g desiccated coconut
2 tbsp ghee
3 dried red chillies
2 – 3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
a pinch of black mustard seeds
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cm ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes
salt to taste
500 g boneless lamb, diced
200 g water
1/2 tsp garam masala
I. Toast the desiccated coconut in a non-stick pan until a little past golden, and set a side. This will take a minute or two, so watch it!
II. 1. Heat the oil in a wide pan (I love to use my wide and shallow Le Creuset pan, but any thick-bottomed pan will do, with good non-stick properties if possible.). You’ll know it’s hot enough when you put a spoon in it and it starts sizzling. Then add the dried chilies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to pop, put the lid on. When they stop, add the onions and cook them until they start going golden. Next, add the ginger and garlic, and then cook the mixture until onions are well browned.
2. Now add the chilli powder and turmeric. Stir, and add the tomatoes and salt. Cook this until the oil starts oozing out, separating from the tomato and onion mixture, glossy and beautiful.
3. Now you’re ready to add the meat. Brown the meat in the pan with the onion mixture for a few minutes, add water, and bring to boil. Then cover and simmer on a low heat for about 50 min, or until the lamb is tender. I love to cook it even longer, until it’s melt-in-the-mouth soft. Check the lamb occasionally and add more water if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the lamb is done, uncover and continue cooking, stirring often, until any excess water has evaporated.
4. When there is only a bit of liquid left coating the lamb, sprinkle in the garam masala, check the seasoning, and then stir in the coconut. Serve with roti or some other nice bread, with a few veg side dishes if you want. Enjoy every morsel! And let me know how you got on.