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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Delicious Lamb Curry

The days are turning chilly and it is time to start thinking of curries and stews once again. Truth be told, I love lamb curry even on a hot day, so the slightest excuse will do for me. I'll walk you through my lamb curry recipe. I start by obtaining choice cut lamb form my local butcher. I opted for two shins and a neck, approximately 2 kg.

I diced 4 large onions and then collected fresh herbs from my herb garden. If you don't have fresh herbs, dried herbs will do quite nicely, but do try to get your hands on fresh rosemary at least. Just about anything goes well with curry. I added marjoram, thyme, origanum, basil, mint, lemon verbena, dandelion and rosemary. How much to add? A handful of each. I seldom get tied up in quantities.

I heat some oil in the pot I will make the curry in to fry the onions. The stick of rosemary goes into the pot to fry with the onions.

While waiting for the onions to fry, I strip the rest of the herb leaves from their stalks and chop them very fine. I added some curry leaves from the freezer, since I did not have these in the garden.

I add 2-3 heaped teaspoons of each of the following dried spices: Curry, Coriander, Turmeric & Paprika. I also add a curry mix (consisting of aniseed, star aniseed, etc. You can buy this from your best spice dealer or most vegetable markets).

Now it's time to mix the 'wet' ingredients. I pour about a cup of vinegar in a bowl and add the same amount of apricot jam. Every curry needs a little sweetness. To this I add a heaped teaspoon of fresh ground ginger, a teaspoon of crushed fresh chilly and 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped garlic. These quantities you can vary according to taste. I mix all of the 'wet' ingredients together before adding it to the herb and spice mixture. put all of this in the pot with my onions and fry it for about a minute or two, allowing the aromas to develop.

I add the meat and make sure to stir it well so that every morsel of meat is covered in the mixture. I then add salt to taste and a cup or two of water. Before I put the lid on my pressure cooker, I add a whole cinnamon stick. I will bring this to steam, lower the heat and let it cook for about an hour.

While waiting for the meat to soften in the pressure cooker, I chop up some fresh vegetables to add later. I add these too early they will cook too soft and loose all character.

After about an hour, I remove the pressure cooker from the heat and wait for the pressure to subside before I open it. I add only the carrots, since they take a little longer to soften than the other veggies.

I put the lid back on, but do not shut it. I want the carrots to boil for 15-30 minutes without building up pressure in the pot. I add the green beans and potatoes when the carrots are done.

I once again bring the cooker to steam, turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for approximately half an hour. It is always best to make curry the day before it is to be served, because allowing it to stand will allow the flavours to develop fully. I therefore let the brew cool down quickly and put it in the fridge to sit overnight. The next day I heat up past boiling point (always important when re-heating food) before dishing it out. Nice compliments to curry is to serve it with grated coconut, fresh banana and chutney. I served it with yellow rice.

Yellow rice:
Use about 2 1/4 cup of water for every cup of rice. Add a teaspoon of salt for every cup of uncooked rice.

Add turmeric (2-3 teaspoons for 3 cups of rice). This will give the rice the distinctive yellow colour.

Add a stick of cinnamon.

Add a handful of pitted raisins.

Add water. Bring to the boil. Turn down to medium heat. Remove from the heat when done. Bon appetit!

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