We are trying to cut down on carbs again so trying to come up with ways to have curry flavours without eating rice or breads.
This recipe is inspired by Morrocan B’stilla, replacing the filling with Indian flavours and replacing the almond cinnamon icing sugar sprinkle traditionally used in the Morrocan version with Kersik, a Keralan coconut crumb mixed with cinnamon and cardamom powder.
Basically, you first make a dry curry with desiccated coconut and then bake it in a light filo pastry crust. The result was a delicious crispy package with spicy slow cooked lamb filling.
Defrost Pastry: 2 hours Prep time: 20 minutes cooking time: 2 hours
- 7 sheets filo pastry
- 4 lamb chump chops, bone in, cut into bite size pieces (reserve bones to use in curry)
- 1 large onion thinly sliced into half moons
- 3 cloves garlic, equal ginger and 2 red chillies pounded into paste (about 3 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cinnamon stick or piece of cinnamon bark
- 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
- 4 cardamom pods
- 3 dried chillies
- 1 star anise
- Handful curry leaves (oprtional)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon cummin powder
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon cinammon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder(optional)
- 1/4 cup melted butter slightly cooled
1. Remove filo pastry from fridge to bring to room temperature allowing 2 hours.
2. Prepare onions, ginger garlic chilli paste and cut up lamb.
3. Heat oil in heavy based casserole dish, add cummin seeds, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves and cook over medium heat until crackling stops. Take care not to burn spices.
4. Add onions and cook slowly until golden and just starting to caramelise.
5. Add ginger,garlic, chilli paste and mix through onions cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
6. Add turmeric, chilli and cummin powders and mix through to distribute evenly and just heat through.
7. Add lamb, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dried chillies and 2 tablespoons water to stop sticking and coat lamb in onion spice mixture. Slow lamb to seal, stirring from time to time for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add 1.5 cups of hot water or chicken stock to just cover lamb. Simmer with lid on over low heat for 30 minutes, checking regularly to ensure it isn’t sticking.
9. While lamb is simmering, toast the coconut until golden brown in a dry pan, taking great care as it will burn quickly if not constantly shifted and stirred. Allow coconut to cool slightly.
10. Add 1/2 the toasted coconut to the lamb and mix through, add more water or stock and cook for another 15-20 minutes until lamb is very tender and liquid is reduced.
11. Taste to see if additional salt required, this is unlikely especially if you are using chicken stock with salt in it.
12. Clean, chop coriander and mint. Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.
14. Remove lid and reduce mixture until liquid almost totally reduced, leaving only a moist coating on the lamb. Then mix through coriander and mint.
14. Transfer lamb to a plate to cool, remove dried chillies, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods(if you want and can find them). I just leave them in! PRE-HEAT oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
15. Whilst lamb is cooling, mix cinnamon powder and cardamom powder with remaining toasted coconut, pound together in a mortar and pestle, making a fragrant mixture to layer between the pastry sheets.
16. Take one sheet of filo pastry, lay horizontally, brush with butter and lay another sheet on top and repeat with another sheet. After 3 sheets, brush the next one with utter and add a sprinkling of the Kersik coconut mixture. (4 filo sheets in total horizontally)
17. Layer a sheet of filo vertically across the middle of the horizontal stack, brush with butter, sprinkle with coconut mixture and repeat with 2 more sheets. (3 filo sheets vertically in total)
18. Add the lamb mixture in a neat even pile in the middle section where the base is made up of 7 sheets of filo.
19. Fold the horizontal section over from right to left, taking some of the vertical section over to create a straight edge, brush with butter, sprinkle with more coconut if you have any left, fold the left side in and repeat with remaining sections of pastry to create a neat rectangular parcel.
10. Place the parcel face down on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush with remaining melted butter.
11. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
12. Remove, sprinkle with remaining Kersik, allow to cool for 5 minutes and cut into wedges to serve with salad, and raita.