Curry

Sudden craving to make and eat a lamb curry. Indian supermarket on Bethnal G Road for cheap spices, Tesco for organic lamb. Went with Madhur Jaffrey (first time), but given the amount of ingredients ground, roasted, pulped, chopped, reduced, browned, and simmered into it, wasn’t overly impressed with the result. My fault I’m sure, but it wasn’t quite rich or deep enough. Still, it made a fine accompaniment to Sunday evening on the sofa with Patrick in front of Gigi.

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Madhur Jaffrey’s Lamb Korma

(courtesy of the Guardian)

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3 tbsp ground coriander; 1 tbsp ground cumin; 1 tbsp desiccated unsweetened coconut
4 medium onions, peeled and chopped; 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped; a thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped; a large tomato; 1 tsp ground turmeric
6 tbsp vegetable oil; 5 whole cardamom pods; 6 whole cloves; 7 whole black peppercorns; 2 bayleaves; a cinnamon stick; 2 small hot red chillies (optional)
1.6kg cubed lamb – shoulder, leg or, best of all, neck
1 tbsp plain yoghurt; 2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala

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Roast the coriander, cumin and coconut in a pan for a few minutes, until just darkened, then put to one side. Put the onions, garlic and ginger in a liquidiser, along with the tomato and turmeric, and blend to a paste.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat four tablespoons of oil over medium flame. When it is hot, add the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, bayleaves, cinnamon and red peppers, and stir. Add just enough meat to sit in one layer without crowding, and cook, turning, until it is a rich brown all over. Repeat with the rest of the meat.

Tip the browned lamb and cooked spices into another pot. Return the cooking pan to the hob, add the rest of the oil and add the paste. Stir as the liquid evaporates and the paste starts to stick to the bottom. Lower the heat and stir for five minutes longer, adding a little water as necessary.

Now add the roasted spices, and cook, stirring, for another five minutes, then stir in the yoghurt, taking care that it does not scorch. Return the meat to the pan, add salt and enough water to cover the lamb, and stir to scrape up any spice mix adhering to the bottom of the pot. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a quiet simmer. Cover, and leave to cook for an hour or so. Stir in the garam masala and cook for a further five minutes.

A few sliced green chillies, some chopped fresh coriander leaves, fried onion rings and a little ground cardamom seed are a traditional finish to the korma. Aloo gobi, rice and chapatis are great with this

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