House Lamb Curry

Curries are definitely my thing! I love the aromatic flavours that entice all your senses. I often mix my own curry spices, I have a small collection of different spices that sit in my pantry waiting to be used, now with my recent trip to Durban, I have accumulated a fair amount of new spices.

Finding the Victoria Market downtown Durban was a mission, my poor husband was slightly less thrilled to be on this mission with me, however, he also knows that once I get something in my head, it is best to go along for the ride…most adventures do turn out to be a whole bucket of fun.

I NEEDED to find a spice vendor that would mix my spices, I NEEDED to experience meeting such a spice vendor and truly experiencing what I have only heard or saw on TV, and boy oh boy did I get what I wanted…and more.

This is where I met Joe, from Joe’s Corner Shop at the Victoria Market.  Joe has “prison chubs”  covering his arm and a bandaged foot with a black toe peeping out with no toenail…I didn’t want to ask, so I kept the conversation to spices.

joes corner shop sign

Once Joe found out that we were from the Eastern Cape, he quickly ran (read limped) to the back of the shop asking if we could deliver a parcel for him…my husband and I exchanged looks of “turn and walk away…and do so fast” however Joe realized that his package was actually for the Western Cape and continued with the spices.

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After discussing the different spices Joe offered to make me my own special spice mix, he asked me what flavours I favoured, if I liked it stronger or milder type mix.  I opted for a medium style, as I like hotter, but also know it’s not for everyone) and while he was tossing different spices together, he was calling the names out to me, this only got me more excited, wanting to try my special masala mix as soon as possible.

joe

Last night I got the opportunity…cold wet day out, I decided a “House Lamb Curry” was in order, slowly cooked for 5 hours…the wait was worth every second, I was blown away with the flavours and can honestly say, if you are every visiting the Victoria Market in Durban, stop by Joe’s Corner Shop.  The best part, he also deliver’s worldwide…or so his sign says.

I didn’t need to add much to the spice mix, so this would me more of a recipe idea than a recipe!

Angie’s House Lamb Curry

600g – 900g Lamb Neck / Lamb Knuckle (I used a mix of both, bone in)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
4 heaped tsp Masala Curry Mix from Joe
1 heaped tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp crushed ginger
1 Knorr beef stock gel
2 cups boiling water
2 large onions
Seasoning
3 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks, skin on

Preheat the oven to 150°C

In a cast iron pot, over a medium heat fry the onions until translucent.  Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry gently until the oils start splitting from the spices.
Add the meat and brown off
Add the stock gel, water and whole peeled tomatoes.

Cover pot and place in the oven for 3-4 hours to slowly cook.
Add potatoes and cook for a further house until potatoes are soft.

Avoid stirring the pot too much; you don’t want to break up the meat.

lamb house curry

Healthy, Aromatic Chicken Curry. My Ultimate Comfort Food

The seasons are changing, the mornings are dark when we wake up, the sun sets earlier and we are slowly turning to comfort food.  For me…my ultimate comfort food is curry.  I love aromatic curries with that slight tingle on your tongue which brings a hint of a blush to my cheeks.

One of the earliest dishes I remember cooking is curry, I use to help my dad, get things ready for him, and slowly learnt how to manipulate the spices to achieve certain flavours.

Curries I make per feeling, I do not have a fool proof recipe, I don’t have a secret, there is no magical answer to the best curry…it is a feeling, it is a mood thing, and most importantly it’s your spice combinations.

Now the rule of thumb for a good curry is fresh ginger & garlic and onions.  This is how I would start a good 90% of the curries I make, unless I am doing a Korma, in which you fry your spices first to release the oils in the spices. Along with your ginger and garlic, you need fresh spices.  Keep your spices closed in an air tight container, the older your spices, the less potent they are.

Many people have mentioned that they are scared of spices, they don’t know how to use them right, unfortunately I can’t tell you how to use spices “right”, but I can tell you that you don’t need to be afraid. You can always fix it…that I can tell you how to do…easily.

Healthy, Aromatic Chicken Curry
Serves  4

4 skinless chicken breasts , cut into chunks
(if you are not healthy conscious, use thighs – gives absolutely wonderful flavours – in my opinion you should always use bone in chicken for that something extra in your curry)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 large clove of garlic, diced
1 thumb of fresh ginger, diced
2 large potatoes, skin on, cut into chunks
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp ground cumin
2.5 tbsp turmeric
2.5 tbsp medium curry powder
1 tbsp whole cardamom pod
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Please note that these spice measurements are as close as I can guess, I cook by feeling and cannot give accurate measurements as the flavours change and I adjust as it goes)

Preheat your oven to 150°C

Mix all the spices together and set aside

In an oven proof dish, layer the onions, garlic and ginger over the bottom of the dish.
Layer the chicken on top, sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken, pour in the can of whole peeled tomatoes.
Fill the can quarter of the way with water and pour that into the dish.

Place in oven and let slowly cook for 3 hours.  Remove from oven and add the potatoes, put back into the oven for another hour, crank up your heat to 200°C and finish off for 30 minutes.

The meat will be soft and juicy, without being shredded, the flavours will have developed nicely over the long slow cooking period.

Healthy, Aromatic Chicken Curry

 

Zucchini & Carrot Koftas with a Spicy Yoghurt Curry Sauce

Something that I did learn a lot about during my 3 years of living with an Orthodox Jewish family was laktas. Potato laktas as well as a variety of other creative laktas are eaten during the Jewish festival Hanukkah. One of my all time favorite laktas is Carrot, Apple & Zucchini, I took this and just adapted it to fit in with a curry evening that I had to do…so without further ado…here with my…

Zucchini & Carrot Koftas with a Spicy Yoghurt Curry Sauce

For the Koftas

Grated carrots
Grated Zucchini
Roasted and ground cumin
Roasted and ground coriander seeds
Seasoning
Eggs, beaten
Flour
Oil for frying / deep frying

Mix the carrots and zucchini, add the spices and seasoning. Add flour and eggs, roll into balls and deep fry, or alternatively make more of a “pancake” type shape.

For the Sauce

Cape Fruit Yogurt
Greek Yoghurt
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
Cardamom
Cloves
Cayenne pepper
Hot Curry Powder
Fresh Chilies
Onions, diced
Garlic, crushed
Ginger paste
Coconut Milk

Fry off the onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant
Add spices and chili
Add Cape Fruit yoghurt and Greek yoghurt,
Let cook out for about 15 – 20 minutes,
Add coconut milk

You want to cook the sauce out for a while, until all the flavors have combined and you have not harsh flavors jumping out at you. You can change the heat to your liking, if you like it a little less spicy, rather leave out the fresh chilies, or alternatively leave out all the “heat” and replace with fresh mint just before you serve for a more fresh taste.

And now for some more news…

This Chef has gotten engaged! I could not be happier…I have found the man of my dreams and we can not wait to spend the rest of our lives together. It was a unusual engagement, but I couldn’t of asked for a better way to be asked to marry the man of my dreams. I will do a posting about that…maybe even start a blog about the lead up to the big day…the date being…21.01.2012

Avial Vegetable Curry

I call it my Avial Curry. Avial just being the part of India which it originated. I find this to be one of my favorite curries of all times, and it can double up as a Meatless Monday Meal.

Now keep in mind that I do this on a scale for 200 pax…you might want to just go on feel, but this is more of less what I do…

The sauce:

500ml Plain Yoghurt
2L Coconut crème
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
5 Cloves
2 tbsp Crushed Garlic
1 tbsp Crushed Ginger
2 Onions
Ghee for frying

Salt to taste
Green Chilies to taste

Roast your cumin seeds and cloves and ground
Heat a saucepan, fry off onions, garlic and ginger, and add spices
Add the yoghurt and coconut crème, season and add chilies if using.

Turn head down to a low temperature and let the sauce simmer for about an hour. You are really looking to cook out the acidity of the yoghurt and let it blend beautifully with the coconut crème.

Then what I do is I see what colors of vegetables I have in the fridge. You can use anything really, I used:

Butternut
Red pepper
Yellow Pepper
Green pepper
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Carrots
Sugar snaps

Fry off your harder vegetables first in a little ghee, then add the sauce once the vegetables have softened, bring to a simmer and then ad your sauce. Turn off and add the peppers and sugar snaps.

Serve with basmatic rice and Naan breads. I absolutely love it! It’s a light, refreshing curry, with not to much of a bite, but the best part of all is you can make it as hot as you like.

Siamese Pineapple Mussel Curry

Firstly, let me start off saying that this is not my recipe, credit goes to the Head Chef I work under, otherwise known as the Drunken Chef.

It is very interesting, every Wednesday night we have a curry night, for R80 pp you have 4 different curries and 1 non curry dish, poppadoms, rice and home made naan.

So over the last 7 weeks I have learnt so much more about curries, and every week its something new. I absolutely love it! This week one dish we did was a Siamese Pineapple Mussel Curry…its goes something like this….

Mussels (half shell)
Fresh pineapple
Coconut milk
Green curry paste (home made)
Fresh Coriander
Onion
Ginger

Now, the actual recipe I can’t give, but looking at those ingredients I am sure you will figure it out.

Your end result is a beautiful fragrant Thai like curry that has a quick sharp bite on the tongue, with a linger of subtle ocean like flavors. The pineapple and mussel combination is really interesting on the palette, which takes my mind to the Vietnamese Jungle.

I was absolutely amazed at how good this was. Try it out!