We had a good night on Saturday at the Blog Awards Ireland 2013. For me, it was more than just a chicken dinner. It was the culmination of a year of slaving over a hot stove, slaving over a hot camera and slaving over a hot computer. I was nominated for the Best Food Blog (after a subtle campaign) and I entered one of my recipes for the Glenisk competition. Given that I haven’t won anything since accepting a carton of 200 Benson and Hedges in a rugby club raffle over 30 years ago, I was not anticipating a lot.
So, I was pretty delighted, amazed and thrilled when I won Best Food Blog AND the Glenisk competition. I had obviously managed to curry favour. How could I give something back? How could I honour the Blog Awards and Glenisk? Curry seemed like a good idea and that’s where my headline comes from. So it is time to favour a Lamb Curry.
- 1 leg of lamb or 1.5 kilos of lamb chunks
- 3 onions
- 1 cooking apple
- 100 gms of raisins
- 1 small tin of tomato purée
- 750 ml of top quality yoghurt.
- 1 big handful of fresh coriander
- A curry spice mix. I made my own (as you do).
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 2 teaspoons of mixed peppers
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
- 3 teaspoons of cardamom pods
- 3 teaspoons of turmeric (if you are lucky enough to have an international traveling friend, get the dried roots and crush them yourself).
Dry fry the cumin seeds until they start to change colour. Pod the cardamom and throw away the shells. Crush the turmeric if you are using dried roots. Then add everything that needs crushing into a mortar and crush with a pestle.
If you are using a leg of lamb (they are very cheap at the moment and it made sense to do so), de-bone the leg and chop into nice chunks discarding the fat, skin and other bits as you go.
Side note of kitchen caution: If you are deboning a leg of lamb, don’t do it the morning after the night before using a big, very sharp knife. You might do what I did on Sunday….
When you have stemmed the bleeding, pieced your thumb back together and bandaged the appendage, get on with the lamb preparation.
Put your injured hand into a plastic glove to keep the spice out of the wound and the blood out of the meat. Toss the meat in the spices.
Next, fry the meat until nice and brown on all sides.
Meanwhile chop the onions into chunks and sweat them off in a casserole dish. Then add the meat.
Let the frying pan cool down a little. deglaze the pan with a nice big dollop of yoghurt.
This picks up all the fried spices left in the pan.
Add the pan scrapings, the tomato purée and the delicious, organic, tasty yogurt to the casserole.
Add a small amount of water (or beer), some salt to taste and then throw in the raisins and stir them in.
Put it in a 200ºC oven for 45 minutes, adding the apple, sliced, with about 15 minutes left on the clock. Take it out, chop the coriander, and stir it in.
Serve this delicious (and not very hot) curry with Basmati rice. Serve it with a nice beer and eat it with a fork, using your good hand.
The curry was pretty delicious. It was a fitting celebration meal for having curried the favour of those fine, fine people at Glenisk and Blog Awards Ireland. Thank you all. I greatly appreciate the awards.