Lamb Xacuti – Goan curry

Cooking this recipe was inspired by the beautiful story and recipe posted by The Storyteller’s Kitchen Chicken Xacuti but I made it tonight using lamb. It was certainly very delicious and is easy to make but does involve quite a number of steps for the three seperate spice mixes involved.

I didn’t have any mace so just gave it a miss but the original recipe calls for it to be included in the masala (dry spice mix).

I have added extra coriander and curry leaves and was pleased with the result.

I have also divided the recipe up into the different components into groups to help follow the recipe. Hope it helps!

This is almost like an Indian version of Indonesian rendang except sharper tasting through the use of green chillies and lots of fresh coriander. We had a tangy cucumber, tomato, carrot and spinach salad with it and plain basmati rice. A very More-ish dish!

Prep time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Resting time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Coriander Spice Marinade:
8 garlic cloves
1.5 cm piece of ginger
6 small green chilies
1/2 bunch of coriander
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon turmeric

Coconut and onion paste:
1/3 cup of desiccated coconut
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil

Spice Masala:
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
7-8 cloves
7-8 black peppercorns
1 star anise
7-8 dried red chillies
2 small pieces cinnamon bark broken into bits
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder

Meat:
1kg lamb on the bone – I use 5-6 lamb chump chops with the fat removed and diced into small chunks with the bone left in

Braising mixture:
3 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
Handful curry leaves
1 large onion finely diced
1 tomato roughly chopped
2-3 cups water
1 cup coriander leaves ground to paste

Garnish:
Coriander chopped
2-3 small Green chillies chopped

Method:

1. Chop all ingredients for marinade, then grind ingredients into a paste, chop meat, add marinade to meat and marinate for 30-45 minutes

2. Dry roast dry spices for Masala in a small non-stick pan over medium heat until fragrant, allow to cool then grind to a fine powder in spice blender or coffee grinder – set aside

3. In the same pan, dry fry desiccated coconut over gentle heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until golden brown. Then add 2 tablespoons oil and fry 1 diced onion until browned. Allow onion and coconut to cool, then grind together in mortar and pestle until onion is melted into coconut into a thick paste. Set aside

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottom casserole pot with a lid, then add curry leaves and fry until just fragrant, then add diced onion and fry until golden brown stirring to ensure onion doesn’t burn. Add tomato and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes have disintegrated and oil reappears.

5. Add lamb mixture and additional ground coriander paste and 1 cup of water to onion and tomato mixture and boil for 15 minutes.

6. Add Masala mix and coconut-onion paste and another cup of water and simmer for another 25 minutes until lamb is really tender.

7. Take off heat, allow to rest for 30 minutes, garnish with coriander and green chillies and serve.

Irish Lamb Stew for St Patrick’s Day

This is an old family favourite stew made extra delicious by the addition of crispy fried bacon and the use of white pepper. I love lots of fresh thyme in it as well.

Perfect way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day no matter where you are in the world🍀🍀🍀

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Irish Lamb Stew

Ingredients
5-6 lamb neck chops,with some of the meat cut into smaller chunks off the bone
1 tspn salt
1 tspn black pepper
1 tspn white pepper
½ cup flour
½ cup water
Vegetable oil and butter
4 cloves of garlic crushed
2 onions sliced into thickish rings
Chicken stock
2 carrots chopped into medium size chunks
2 desiree potatoes chopped into quarters
Half a bunch of thyme leaves stripped from stalks
2 bay leaves
1 cup white wine

Method
1. Place bacon in frying pan and cook until crisp and fat has rendered into pan
2. Put lamb, salt, black pepper and flour into mixing bowl and coat lamb evenly
3. Brown lamb in batches on high heat in frying pan – might need to add butter to pan which helps brown lamb when bacon fat runs out
4. Once finished with frying pan deglaze it by adding a cup of water and keep pan juices aside
5. Place a thin layer of oil in the casserole pot, then add garlic and half the onion and sauté until onions become golden and transparent
6. Add bacon pieces, lamb, white pepper, thyme and bay leaves to casserole pot and cover with wine, deglazed pan juices and chicken stock – simmer for 40 minutes-1 hour.
7. Taste to see if extra pepper and/or salt is needed
8. Add potatoes, carrots and rest of onion to lamb and simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender
9. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with irish soda bread

St Patrick’s Day at The Roger and Molly’s Bar NYC

Arrived in New York after 26 hours of travelling from Sydney at 4.30pm on St Patrick’s Day.

We were staying at The Roger, a boutique hotel on the Corner of Madison and East 31st, in the area still known as Nomad(north of Madison park). I remember staying in mid-town years back when I visited New York and it is certainly changing with many more trendy bars and restaurants and a much more vibrant and a far less grungy atmosphere.

The rooms are very spacious by New York standards and ours even had a seperate walk in wardrobe. Anyway, impressed as we were with our digs, we wanted a true New York Irish experience to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. After some quick online research, Adrian suggested Molly’s Bar about 15 minutes walk down in Gramercy, on 287 3rd Avenue just down from East 23rd st.

 

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Queues to get in at Molly’s Bar in New York on St Patrick’s Day

The tiny bar,established in 1960 and known to be New York’s most authentic Irish bar in New York, with sawdust on the floor and a log fire, was packed to the rafters with New Yorkers of Irish descent and every other descent celebrating St Pat’s Day – raucously! As loud as it was, we got there around 8.30pm and managed to avoid any queues and even to get a booth. Somehow  the noise seemed to diminish when we sat down and it was still fine to talk and enjoy our delicious meal of Irish favourites – corned beef served with cabbage, vegetables and mash and of course, Irish Lamb Stew.

We knew we were in the US of A when the gigantic main  courses arrived, but just like the noise, the size of the dishes diminished when we tucked in! Both meals were delicious and served with complimentary traditional Irish Soda Bread. (Excuse the poor quality of the food pics but it was pretty dark in the booth!) Accompanied by Irish Harp Lager and a delicious glass of red wine from Washington State. Prices for meals and drinks are reasonable and tallied up to about $80 including tip for 2 of us, without an entree(appetiser) or dessert, but including more than 1 round of drinks!

Great green atmosphere on St Pats Day but I think it would be just as much, or even more fun, on a normal evening.

 

Hunters style Indian roast leg of lamb

Indian Hunters style Roast Leg of Lamb

This is my version of the traditional Jungli Maas – the roast meat cooked by hunters using game. The original version of this recipe does not include ginger, garlic or curry leaves but I’ve adjusted the recipe to add further depth to the flavours. Delicious with a cooling cucumber and tomato kachumber salad or a green salad, and roast potatoes – even better as leftovers the next day. Don’t be scared off by the number of chillies they provide flavour rather than too much heat unless of course you decide to eat them which I wouldn’t advise for any other than those with serious chilli tolerance. The juices left in the pan are rich, spicy and delicious in moderation. Ghee is essential.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 2.5-3 hours
Ingredients:

1 2-2.5 kg leg of lamb, with bone in, that will fit in your largest casserole dish with a lid or get your butcher to cut in half
35 dried red chillies, preferably Kashmiri
200g ghee
Handful of curry leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons ginger and garlic crushed into a paste
1 tsp salt
250ml hot chicken stock
Coriander or parsley for garnish

Method
Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees celcius
Remove seeds from 25 of the chillies, slicing them in half (wear gloves or ensure you wash your hands well after)
Make deep incisions with a sharp knife
Rub lamb well with the ginger and garlic paste, massaging the paste into the incisions (those gloves are probably advisable at this point too)

Put the ghee in the casserole dish and melt over medium heat

Add the cinnamon and curry leaves to flavour ghee
Add the lamb and brown all over
Add chillies and salt to the pot, then carefully add hot stock as the mixture might spit when adding to ghee
Bring to simmer, cover with the lid and put carefully into oven
Cook for 2-5-3 hours until lamb is falling off the bone

Hunters style Indian roast leg of lamb
Hunter style Indian roast leg of lamb

You will need to baste the lamb every half an hour and add more boiling water if the mixture is getting too dry
Rest the lamb for 15-20 minutes
Pull the lamb off the bone and serve with juices spooned over the top
Garnish with coriander or parsley

 

Lamb and spinach curry with lime

This is my version of lamb and spinach curry which is fresh and zesty through the addition of mint, coriander and lime to the traditional lamb and spinach combination. It goes really well served with rice or naan/flatbreads, and a side salad of tomato and cucumber.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes
Ingredients:

750g diced lamb
1 bunch fresh English spinach, cleaned, washed and chopped finely
250g packet of frozen spinach defrosted
1/2 bunch mint – leaves only
1/2 bunch coriander – chopped
2 tablespoons ginger and garlic crushed paste
1/2 lime cut into thirds, other half reserved
2-3 red chillies, left whole
1 onion finely diced
1.5 tomato chopped
1 tspn salt
1 tspn cummin powder
1/2 tspn chilli powder
1/2 tspn turmeric
2 pieces cinnamon
4 cardamom pods
1 tspn cummin seeds
Handful curry leaves
3 tbspns vegetable oil

Fresh spinach adds extra texture to the silkiness of the frozen spinach.
Fresh spinach adds extra texture to the silkiness of the frozen spinach.

Method
Heat oil in large heavy based casserole pot
Add cinnamon, cummin seeds, curry leaves and cardamom pods and cook until fragrant, taking care not to burn the spices
Add onions and cook on medium heat until translucent
Add ginger and garlic paste and heat through
Add tomato, red chillies, then salt and ground spices – cummin, chilli and turmeric powders
Let the mixture heat through, then add diced lamb and stir-fry until meat is coated in onion spice mixture and sealed.

Add spinach, mint, coriander and lime to lamb mixture
Add spinach, mint, coriander and lime to lamb mixture

Add fresh and frozen spinach, mint and coriander, 1/2 a lime cut into thirds and a cup of water
Bring to a simmer and cook on medium heat with lid on for 40-50 minutes until lamb is tender, stir from time to time to ensure it’s not sticking, add more water if needed. Taste to check if lamb is tender and add more salt if required
Remove lime pieces, garnish with extra coriander and serve with quarters of fresh lime to squeeze over.

Simmer lamb and spinach mixture over medium heat until lamb is tender
Simmer lamb and spinach mixture over medium heat until lamb is tender