When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!
I got into experimenting with Indian spices back in the early nineties when I shared the ‘mature student’ flat with an Indian guy called Nev; a very enthusiastic and able cook. Out went the curry powder, to replaced with a masala dabba and a lust to learn. Over ten years later, and I am still perfecting the art of spicing and cooking delicious Indian influenced dishes, tastes that I never tire of.
As curry’s go, this recipe has relatively few ingredients and is quick to cook. Furthermore, it is extremely tasty – tender succulent meat, subtle spicing, and the sweet fruity balance from the ripe dried apricots.
A great dish to cook for friends at the weekend, delicious served with plain rice, sag aloo and a chapati. An Alsace white wine – Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris or Riesling works well with this curry. I hope you try it, and if you do, let me know what you think!
Lamb and Apricot Curry Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
450g/1lb Leg of lamb meat, cut into thick strips
2 medium onions, peeled, one sliced and one quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch long thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
1 large green birdseye chilli, halved and seeded, or more to taste
200ml/6fl oz natural plain yoghurt (full fat is best)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
teaspoon of sea salt
Stick of Cinnamon
2 plump green cardamom pods
6 dried apricots, quartered
2 tbsp butter
Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Blitz the quartered onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a mini chopper or processor until finely chopped, or chop by hand. Place in a large bowl. Add yoghurt, tomato puree, cumin seeds, garam masala and salt. Mix thoroughly. Then add your lamb and well coat in the marinade. Allow to marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large pan, fry the sliced onion in 1 tbsp of butter until they become lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool before chopping briefly in a processor or grind in a pestle and mortar.
Once your lamb is marinated, heat up the pan that you used to fry the onions (add more butter if it is dry) and add your ground cooked onions. Warm through for a minute and then add the lamb and marinade. Stir fry over a high heat for 2 minutes, then cover the pan, and lower the heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Stir in a little water if the sauce becomes dry.
Meanwhile, in another pan, melt the remaining tbsp of butter over a low heat. Lightly tap the cardamom pods with the flat of a large knife, just to open a little. Then add the apricots, cardamom and cinnamon to the butter and gently cook for 2 minutes.
Pour the butter/spice/apricot mixture over your curried lamb and serve.
This is one of those seasonal dishes that is so simple and yet so flavoursome. I like to use chicken thighs when slow cooking, as they stay moist and succulent, as well as providing more flavour in your sauce. You could always pull out the bones once cooked if you prefer. Serve this with some lovely local, sweet new potatoes that are about now, steamed or boiled with a couple of cloves of garlic – when cooked squash the garlic into some butter with a fork, crush into the cooked potatoes, and season – a delicious, easy weekday supper.
Chicken with Leeks & Cider Recipe
6 chicken thighs
2 large trimmed leeks (about 500g) washed & sliced into thick rounds
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp plain flour
300ml dry cider (I used Aspall’s)
300ml chicken stock
4 sprigs of thyme
Salt & pepper
Trim any excess fat off of the chicken thighs and then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt the butter over a medium low heat, and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the leeks to the same pan you cooked your chicken and sauté on a low heat for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Then, add the flour and stir in well with the leeks, cooking for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cider and stock, a little at a time.
Put the pan back on the heat, bring up to boiling point and then add your chicken thighs and two sprigs of thyme. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for thirty minutes. Taste and season accordingly.
Remove the leaves from the remaining thyme and scatter over the finished dish when served.
Delicious with mashed potato or crushed new potatoes as above.