Category Archives: Lamb/Mutton

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks (with chilli, garlic and tomatoes)

What’s winter without slow cooked lamb shanks!

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks (with chilli, garlic and tomatoes) - thespiceadventuress.com

We love lamb shanks and it is always one of our top picks when we dine out during the colder months. But this time, I decided to give it a go at home because all that you need for this delicious dish is time and patience.

The recipe is really simple and as I mentioned, these lamb shanks only need time to get tender, juicy and fall-off-the-bone. So slow cook it on your stovetop or braise in the oven, or perhaps put it all into your slowcooker just before heading out for work. And when you return, you will have the most delicious, indulgent lamb shanks that can be served with couscous and a simple green salad. Feeds a crowd!

And if you are a curry lover, you will be mighty pleased with the flavours of these slow cooked lamb shanks. The addition of garlic, chillies, paprika and tomatoes lend rich earthy undertones that make the dish an ultimate comfort.

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks (with chilli, garlic and tomatoes) - thespiceadventuress.com

On the weather front, Melbourne is grappling with the change of seasons. Spring should be here soon but winter does not want to leave us yet. So while some days are warm and sunny, others are bone chilling freezing. So check out the forecast and get these lamb shanks on to enjoy it best before winter fades away….

And do tag me using #thespiceadventuress if you make these slow cooked lamb shanks; it’s always a joy when you share your photographs with me.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 lamb shanks
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Freshly milled black pepper; to season

This recipe was developed, styled and shot for Stuff Mums Like, so find the full recipe here. 

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks (with chilli, garlic and tomatoes) - thespiceadventuress.com

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Moroccan Lamb Chops + Snippets from my Early Easter Party

It was an early Easter party for us this year. Actually totally unplanned; it was meant to be a barbecue party with a few friends which eventually turned out to be sort of an Easter lunch.

Succulent - thespiceadventuress.com

Before we get to the party and the recipes, let me share with you the story of my Weber and how it came into our lives. Way back in 2013, when I had just started blogging, I came across a giveaway hosted by Kikkoman in association with Weber. The prize pack was the new Kikkoman condiments being released that year along with a Weber Q200.

And on a lark I participated (I enter a lot of giveaways guys and its pretty common knowledge amongst my friends) and won!

The prize pack arrived and the interesting bit is that we were living in an apartment at that time where the Weber could not be used. And it stayed in a box for the longest time till we moved homes late last year. So finally the Weber that I got in 2013 was inaugurated in 2016 for a Christmas party. So naturally we are very excited to use it after waiting all these years that every party planned eventually ends up as a barbecue themed one.

There were a few recipes I had scheduled to be developed and photographed for the blog as well as clients and two of these fit in perfectly for the party menu. So the idea of a casual get together turned into an early Easter party. And coupled with other dishes, we soon had a feast on our table.

So here’s what I had on the menu for the day…

For starters, we had Cajun sausages and grilled corn.

The recipe for Cajun sausages has been there on the blog for the longest time and is a favourite in our home. It’s quick to put together and hence features regularly on our weekend entertaining.

No barbecue would be complete without grilled corn and we had it the classic way, rubbed with butter, lemon and chilli powder (substitute with paprika for less heat).

Cajun sausages, a delicious party starter - thespiceadventuress.com

Grilled corn with butter, lemon and chilli - thespiceadventuress.com

For mains, we had two meat dishes – Moroccan lamb chops and the Middle Eastern style beef kofta platter.

I have been dying to try out Noha’s beef kofta recipe for the longest time and this seemed to be the perfect occasion for it. No adaptations or tweaks; just followed the recipe as such. And yes, good quality beef mince with a bit of fat is highly recommended.

If you aren’t already following her, please do for all the deliciousness she puts up on her space.

Middle Eastern beef kofta platter - thespiceadventuress.com

Coming to Moroccan lamb chops, I had to share it with you guys because it’s simple, tastes awesome and everytime I have made it, it’s been a big hit.

Lamb chops with a bit of fat attached is recommended especially while grilling because it helps keep the meat moist and tender. The marination is simple and is best done a day ahead. I have frenched the lamb chops because it looks nice and pretty that way but you don’t strictly need to.

Moroccan lamb chops - thespiceadventuress.com

Moroccan lamb chops - thespiceadventuress.com

Our choice of wine for the day was the Yering Station Pinot Noir 2015, a really balanced wine on the palate with hints of cherries, dark berries and savoury forest floor spice. I loved the fact that the tannins are not overpowering and has a delicate finish, thus pairing beautifully with grilled Moroccan lamb chops.

Yering Station Pinot Noir 2015 - thespiceadventuress.com

Moroccan lamb chops - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe adapted from Cooking with Alia

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg lamb chops; frenched
  2. ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley; finely chopped
  3. ½ cup fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  4. ½ cup fresh mint leaves; finely chopped
  5. Salt; to season
  6. ½ cup olive oil
  7. 3-4 garlic cloves; grated
  8. 1 tbsp paprika
  9. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  10. 1 tsp cumin seeds; crushed

Method:

  • In a bowl, mix the herbs and spices with olive oil.
  • Add the lamb chops; season with salt and allow to marinate for at least 6 hours, overnight if possible.
  • Grill on high heat on both sides till done.
  • Enjoy!

And finally it was time for dessert. I had created an Easter themed icecream cake as a guest post for Stuff Mums Like. Since it was a warm day, the icecream cake made the perfect dessert to end our happy meal.

Easter themed icecream cake with chocolate nest - thespiceadventuress.com

An extremely simple one, this cake consists of three different icecream layers on a base of cookie crumble. Store bought icecreams were used; saves time and great for parties. Choose whichever flavours you prefer and the number of layers too. A totally customizable cake, it’s great for birthday parties too especially if you are hosting one at home for children.

The addition of the chocolate nest and chocolate filled Easter eggs add that special touch of festivity.

So hop over to their website for the full recipe.

Easter themed icecream cake with chocolate nest - thespiceadventuress.com

Kashmiri Rista……Sandwiched!

If you have travelled through Kashmir or have been lucky enough to eat at a Kashmiri wedding, then you would have definitely come across Rista.

Rista is a famous meatball preparation that holds a prestigious place in the Kashmiri wazwan. For those who don’t know what a wazwan is, it is the elaborate traditional feast of Kashmiri cuisine. A multi course, non-vegetarian meal that has become symbolic of the culture of this magnificent region.

Always made using lamb/goat, Rista is a delicious, aromatic and rich meatball curry with a classic deep red colour from the Kashmiri chillies and saffron – two ingredients that are available everywhere these days yet, must be an integral part of your shopping list when visiting Kashmir.

Rista is a traditional dish and involves a bit of prep work like most traditional dishes. The key components of this dish are the lamb mince itself (though in Kashmir, it is most likely to be goat mince, especially from the leg part), chilli water and shallot paste; it is the unique combination of these ingredients that makes this dish special. The mince is traditionally beaten with a wooden pallet to attain the soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture but that might not really work out in our modern kitchens where a food processor would ‘almost’ do the job.

Though traditionally this dish would be in a curry format i.e. with semi thick gravy, I decided to give it my own spin.

Kashmiri Meatball Sub with Baby Spinach, Pickled Shallots and Jalapenos – yes, that’s how I transformed the Kashmiri Rista.

Kashmiri Rista - a traditional meatball preparation from Kashmir in a new format - thespiceadventuress.com

I haven’t touched or altered the recipe of making the Rista in any manner and I want to preserve its originality. Only the sauce gets simmered down till it just about coats the meatballs. Shallots are a vital ingredient of Kashmiri cuisine and hence being used in a pickled form to add the sour, salty punch and to cut through the richness. Fresh spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers add a healthy, vibrant freshness and texture to the sandwich…and of course, the jalapenos for that extra kick of heat.

If you do not fancy a subway, you can still follow the recipe and enjoy a delicious and authentic version of Kashmiri Rista. But for those who don’t mind a bit of experimentation in the kitchen, try out my version of the Kashmiri Meatball Sub with Baby Spinach, Pickled Shallots and Jalapenos.

Kashmiri Rista - a traditional meatball preparation from Kashmir in a new format - thespiceadventuress.com

And once again thanks to an amazing friend, Supriya (my expert on Kashmiri cuisine) for teaching me yet another classic from the region. I also learnt the Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs) and the classic Mutton Roganjosh from her, both of which you need to check out.

Ingredients:

For the Rista:

(Yields 12-13 meatballs)

  1. 500gm lamb mince (with at least 25%fat content)
  2. 1 whole egg
  3. 4 cups water
  4. Salt, to season
  5. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 5-6 tsp kashmiri chilli water
  7. ½ tsp garam masala
  8. 1 ½ tsp shallot paste
  9. 2 tsp saffron water
  10. 2 tsp ghee/clarified butter
  11. ½ tsp shahi jeera/caraway seeds

For the sandwich:

  1. Crusty bread rolls (3 meatballs per sub which makes around 4 subs)
  2. A handful of baby spinach
  3. 2 semi-ripe tomatoes, cut into even discs
  4. 1 cucumber, sliced finely
  5. 1 cup pickled shallots
  6. 2 fresh jalapenos, sliced finely into discs

Notes:

To make Kashmiri chilli water, soak 10-12 dried Kashmiri chillies (stems and seeds removed) in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Grind well with water and sieve to get the vibrant red chilli water. Can be refrigerated upto 2 weeks or store frozen as cubes for upto an year.

To make shallot paste, roast 10 – 12 shallots in a pan with a tbsp of oil till light brown. Grind to a paste with as little water as possible. Excess can be refrigerated and stored for upto a week or frozen and used upto a month.

Method:

  1. To make pickled shallots, slice the onions, add 1 tbsp salt, a pinch of sugar and 1 tbsp vinegar. Keep for at least 10 minutes; mix the shallots by hand and then squeeze out all the liquid from the onions.
  2. To prepare the meatballs, add the lamb mince along with one egg to a food processor (If you are adding fat separately, make sure it is added cold). Season lightly with salt and blend for a minute or two. Wet your hands and remove the mince mixture onto a plate.
  3. Place a pan with 4 cups of water on the stove to boil. Begin to roll the meatballs as the water starts to heat up.
  4. Wet your hands lightly to roll the meatballs easily; add each meatball into the water as soon as you roll it.
  5. As the meatballs begin to cook, you will notice the fat begins to leach out into the water which turns it cloudy (this is an important step). Move the meatballs around in the pan to ensure that it cooks evenly on all sides.
  6. Once the meatballs are looking springy or have begun to rise to the surface (this should happen in 5-6 minutes), add the turmeric powder.
  7. Then add the chilli water (do not get worried about the quantity as this does make the dish spicy) and garam masala.
  8. Next, add the shallot paste followed by saffron water. Taste and season with salt; cook for another 1 minute.
  9. Remove the meatballs carefully into a bowl and continue to cook the sauce to reduce and thicken the consistency. You need just enough sauce to coat the meatballs and also to drizzle a bit in the sandwich. Once this consistency has reached, return the meatballs to the pan, mix and remove from heat.
  10. In another pan, heat ghee and add to the meatballs; cover immediately and keep for 5 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, assemble the other components of the sandwich.
  12. Place all the different vegetables and meatballs in separate bowls so that each person can make his own sub – a fun way to bring family and friends together.

Even though it might look like a whole lot of steps, this is an easy to make recipe once you have all the ingredients at hand.

Bon Appétit!

Kashmiri Rista - a traditional meatball preparation from Kashmir in a new format - thespiceadventuress.com

Celebrating the ‘Great Australian Curry’ with a Delicious Jaffna style Goat Curry

Curry and Australia are inseparable, all thanks to the multicultural diaspora of this beautiful country. But can a curry change the world?

Maybe not. But a curry can definitely help and contribute towards putting food on another family’s table. Isn’t that ironic? Yes, it is and that is why we need to join hands with Opportunity International Australia in its annual fundraising campaign ‘Great Australian Curry’ to help and raise funds to help give a hand up to families living in poverty.

Celebrating the ‘Great Australian Curry’ with a Delicious Jaffna style Goat Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

I had collaborated with Opportunity International last year on their fundraising ‘Food for Thought’ campaign, which gave me an insight into how this organization works. As I mentioned in last year’s post, I am not a big believer in giving away a few dollars (or more) to an NGO or charity organization and think I have done my bit for the society. I like to be involved in campaigns where I know the exact reach of that money and if it is being used in a truly positive manner i.e. is there at least one person whose life I have touched in a positive way.

Opportunity works through a unique system of microfinance, community development, training, local presence, technology and rural outreach programmes. And this year’s ‘Great Australian Curry’ campaign is a great way by which food lovers like us can contribute in a meaningful manner towards poverty and diminishing its impact.

Opportunity International Australia - Celebrating the ‘Great Australian Curry’ with a Delicious Jaffna style Goat Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

This year’s campaign is extra special because it is being backed by three-time Olympic gold medallist, Stephanie Rice and former Australian test cricketer and fast bowler, Michael Kasprowicz.

Michael Kasprowicz said: “I recently visited Opportunity’s work in Delhi, India. Seeing firsthand the impact of small loans, empowering parents to meet the needs of their children, was so rewarding. Kids can dream of becoming whatever they want in the future, whether it be sportspeople or teachers, because they know their parents can afford to give them an education. It’s the way it should be.”

Stephanie Rice invited Australians to get behind the Great Australian Curry. “By simply getting together with some friends and family and cooking up your favourite curry, we can help raise much needed funds and give people in Asia a hand-up,” she exclaimed.

The ‘Great Australian Curry’ was officially launched last week with a fun curry cook-off between Stephanie and Michael. You can watch all the action here and get inspired to cook up some curry.

Great Australian Curry cook-off with Stephanie Rice and Michael Kasprowicz - thespiceadventuress.com

So how exactly can you help?

Plan – Decide on which curry you would like to cook (that’s where I come in with ideas and recipes) at home or maybe a fun cook-off with friends/colleagues or simply head over to your nearest curry offering establishment sometime in October or November.

Set up your goal – Start your unique fundraising page here and mention the goal you would like to achieve.

Donate and spread the word – Get everyone you know onboard and encourage them to not only share the curry with you but also contribute towards this campaign to help families living in poverty in Asian countries like Philippines, Indonesia, India etc….

Ofcourse I cannot leave you guys without a curry recipe so today I have a very special dish for you – the Jaffna style goat curry.

Celebrating the ‘Great Australian Curry’ with a Delicious Jaffna style Goat Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

Adapted from a Peter Kuruvita recipe, this curry is a rather simple one. And with this, I added yet another spice blend to my collection – the Srilankan roasted curry powder. Garam masala has taken a backseat forever!

In traditional Srilankan cooking, two forms of spice blends are common – the roasted and the unroasted variety. While the former is reserved for the rich curries and nonvegetarian dishes, the latter is milder and for seafood and vegetarian dishes (exceptions ofcourse). The key to a good roasted curry powder is getting your hands on good quality whole spices and then roasting it yourself. The roasting is taken right to the edge without burning it, so watch over it diligently.

I read up a lot of recipes and articles on how to make both the versions and ended up using this one I found on YouTube; seemed the most basic and authentic version. Also just as with many traditional spice blends like the garam masala, the Srilankan roasted curry powder also varies slightly between households.

Unroasted Srilankan curry powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Srilankan roasted curry powder - thespiceadventuress.com

The Jaffna goat curry uses both the roasted and unroasted curry powder which is liberally used to marinate the meat along with a few other aromatics and thin coconut milk. Another interesting thing about the recipe is that it only uses the thin and not the thick coconut milk so you still get that rich dark curry opposed to the creamy coconuty one.

As I mentioned, this is an adaptation of the traditional curry (which uses blood and offals); I have not done both, choosing to keep it simple and easy to make by all.

Celebrating the ‘Great Australian Curry’ with a Delicious Jaffna style Goat Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

And before we get on to this recipe, here are five other curries that would be perfect to host the ‘Great Australian Curry’

  1. Thai Massaman Curry
  2. Indian style Chickpeas and Mustard Leaves Curry
  3. Cambodian (Khmer) style Chicken Samlâ Curry
  4. Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices)
  5. Burmese style Prawns with Tomatoes Curry

Jaffna Goat Curry

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg goat curry pieces (with bones)
  2. 1 tbsp Jaffna unroasted curry powder (recipe given below)
  3. 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  4. 5 green cardamoms; crushed
  5. ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  8. 1 ½ tbsp red chilli powder (adjust to heat preferences)
  9. 2 tbsp Srilankan roasted curry powder (recipe given below)
  10. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  11. 200ml thin or 2nd extract coconut milk
  12. Salt, to season
  13. 4-5 shallots; finely sliced
  14. 3 garlic cloves; grated
  15. 1 inch ginger; grated
  16. A few sprigs of curry leaves
  17. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

  1. In a large pot, add the goat curry pieces along unroasted curry powder, cumin powder, cardamoms, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, roasted curry powder, tomato paste, salt and thin coconut milk. Mix and keep aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in another vessel (earthenware if you have) and add the curry leaves, shallots, garlic and ginger; sauté till the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Then add the marinated goat pieces into this, season with salt and mix well to combine. If there is extra marinade in the first pot, add a little water to it and rinse it out into the curry so none of that lovely flavour is lost. Add more water to the curry if necessary and cook covered on low heat till the goat pieces are tender and falling off the bone. Stir occasionally and add water if more gravy is required.
  4. Garnish with curry leaves and serve warm.

Note – It is best to make this curry ahead and let it sit for a while for the flavours to develop.

Ingredients for unroasted curry powder:

  1. 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  2. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  3. ½ tbsp fennel seeds

Method:

In a grinder, add all the whole spices and grind to get a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and use as required.

Ingredients for Srilankan roasted curry powder:

  1. 3 sprigs curry leaves
  2. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  3. ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  4. 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  5. 10 dried chillies
  6. ½ tbsp black peppercorns
  7. 5 cloves
  8. 5 green cardamom
  9. 1 stick Ceylon cinnamon (not cassia)
  10. 2 dry bay leaf

Method:

Note – Roasting the spices has to be done in steps as some of the spices need to be roasted longer than the others. Some versions of this blend also use fenugreek, mustard and pandan leaves.

Add the coriander seeds to a pan and allow to roast on low heat for about a minute and then add the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Roast for another 15 seconds and then add the curry leaves. Mix regularly and keep the heat low to avoid burning the spices. Continue to roast for another 30 seconds and then add the chillies. Allow to roast for a minute and finally add the fennel and cumin seeds. Roast for another 15-30 seconds and remove from heat. Allow to cool completely and then grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.

Celebrating the ‘Great Australian Curry’ with a Delicious Jaffna style Goat Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs)

Kashmir – a mysterious, beautiful land that always evokes a deep sense of calmness and peace within me.

Ironic, isn’t it…especially given its turbulent geo-political issues. I have never visited Kashmir except through the thousands of breathtaking photographs of the place but everytime I think of the land, it’s ‘Garden of Eden’ that I remember. And everytime I visualize Adam and Eve eating that apple, its pictures of Kashmir that flash through my mind.

Travelling through Kashmir remains one of the top wishes on my bucket list, and particularly visiting the saffron fields and picking out the flowers; I want to experience that at least once in my life. Though today’s dish has nothing to do with saffron, it has all to do with the cuisine of the region. Tabakh Maaz or Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs!

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

A very traditional preparation of the region, Tabakh Maaz is one of the integral dishes of a wazwan. (You can check out more about wazwan on the Internet or read my mutton roganjosh post). And I learnt this recipe too from my dear friend, Supriya who remains my expert on Kashmiri cuisine. I am a lucky gal indeed!

Making Tabakh Maaz is rather simple but one which takes a bit of time and some good quality ingredients. It is a brilliant example of how spices flavour a fish without adding any heat. The lamb ribs are slow cooked in a broth flavoured with whole spices and then fried off in ghee. It is rich and indulgent, a dish that warms you from within and definitely not one if you are calorie-conscious.

I left the fat layer on the ribs for that extra flavour but you can choose to trim it off. Traditionally it is served as 2-3 ribs together on the bone but I have kept it 1-2. Tabakh Maaz is usually a starter type dish of the wazwan but I had it as the main protein for dinner, so served it with Afghan style bread, cucumber yoghurt dip with sumac and a fresh green salad. One of the ways of adapting a traditional recipe to your family’s needs.

Whole spices to make Tabakh Maaz or Kashmiri style lamb ribs - thespiceadventuress.com

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

So here we have a very traditional lamb dish from Kashmir – Tabakh Maaz or Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gms lamb ribs; cut into 2-3 pieces
  2. 2 inch cinnamon bark
  3. 3 black cardamom
  4. 5 green cardamom
  5. 2 dried bay leaf
  6. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  7. 1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds
  8. ½ tbsp dried ginger powder
  9. A pinch of asafoetida/hing
  10. 2 large garlic cloves; crushed
  11. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  12. Salt, to season
  13. 1 cup milk
  14. 2-3 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

Method:

  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the lamb ribs and fill with water, enough to just cover the ribs.
  2. Bring to boil and remove the scum that floats on the surface.
  3. Then add all the spices, garlic and season generously with salt. Also add 1 cup milk and stir well to combine.
  4. Cover the vessel, reduce the flame and slow cook the ribs for 1 hour or till the meat has become tender and almost fall off the bone.
  5. Remove from heat and take out the ribs slowly and keep aside. You can either keep the ribs in large chunks or cut into smaller pieces.
  6. Heat another flat pan, add the ghee and add the ribs one by one. Fry on medium to high heat till one side has caramelized before turning over. Remove when the other side has also caramelized well.
  7. Serve warm.

Though the basic recipe for making Tabakh Maaz is the same across the state, there can be variations from region to region. For eg: Kashmiri Pandits soak the ribs in plain yoghurt before frying it off in the ghee.

Note – The broth in which the ribs were cooked has a beautiful flavour. It can be strained and use as a stock for making soups and risottos.

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices)

Most of my readers are still reeling over the ‘Vegemite Masala’ – a total fusion affair for many. So I decided on something more traditional today.

Gosht Durbari or a wickedly rich, intensely flavourful, deep dark lamb curry. Not sure if the Oz heat can take this curry but my ‘winter wonderland’ friends will thank me for this.

Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices) - a delicious slow cooked lamb curry with fried onions, yoghurt and spices - thespiceadventuress.com

 

The star ingredient of this dish is the fried onions; this makes the curry so intensely rich and flavourful. I would definitely suggest making fried onions from scratch instead of the store bought fried shallots. Way different in flavour….believe me, I have tried both versions. Fried onions may take some time but that’s the only real job in this otherwise simple dish.

Spices are minimal, just there to add layers of flavour without much heat. A dish that works if you have non-Indian friends at your dinner table who love a good curry but can’t handle too much heat.

Fried onions - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Make sure you get lamb or mutton on the bones as it imparts most flavour to the dish. And this curry is best paired with flatbreads or layered rotis with a yoghurt dip/raita on the side to cut through all that richness.

So put on your aprons and let’s get cooking Gosht Durbari or a delicious lamb curry slow cooked with yoghurt, fried onions and spices.

Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices) - a delicious slow cooked lamb curry with fried onions, yoghurt and spices - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Recipe adapted from a similar version by Jaspreet Nirula

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg lamb (on the bone); cut into medium-sized pieces
  2. 1 cup thick plain yoghurt/curd
  3. 3-4 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  4. 1 ½ inch ginger; julienned
  5. 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  6. 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  7. Salt, to season
  8. For the spice paste:
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cinnamon bark
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • A pinch of nutmeg, grated
  1. 4 medium red onions; finely chopped
  2. Vegetable oil, to fry the onions
  3. Ginger juliennes; for garnish
  4. Fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan and deep fry the sliced onions in batches. Drain and keep aside.
  2. To prepare the spice paste, dry roast the whole spices till fragrant, cool and grind to a fine powder. Mix with the other spice powders and make a paste with a bit of water.
  3. Now take a heavy, deep bottomed vessel and heat ghee. Add the lamb along with yoghurt, chilli powders, ginger and salt. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the spice paste and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add enough water to slow cook the lamb.
  5. After 20 minutes, add ¾ ths of the fried onions, mix well and continue to cook till the lamb is soft and tender.
  6. Check and adjust seasoning, reduce gravy on high heat if necessary. Garnish with ginger juliennes, fried onions and coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with flat breads, parathas or rotis.

Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices) - a delicious slow cooked lamb curry with fried onions, yoghurt and spices - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Nalli Gosht (Lamb Shanks simmered in yoghurt and spices)

I sat down to write this post and poof….the mind’s blank!

Words aren’t flowing easily though there are tons of things I would like to share with all of you. On the more positive side, I received a mail from Leon who has created an infographic for rebateszone.com on ‘Top 50 Food Bloggers in Australia’. And ‘The Spice Adventuress’ is right there at No. 30….

Top 50 Food Bloggers In Australia
Getting back to today’s recipe, I am sure most of you would have read the Andhra style egg curry which I had posted a few weeks ago. I wanted to try out another dish from the ‘Indian Kitchen’ and it had to be this rather indulgent Nalli Gosht or lamb shanks simmered in yoghurt and spices.

Nalli Gosht is a traditional and famous Nihari dish.

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Most people confuse the term ‘Nihari’ with a particular recipe. But at a generic level, it actually refers to a particular type of South Asian curry that involves slow cooked lamb or beef cooked on the bones along with the marrow. The term ‘Nihari’ is used as a prefix to denote that the curry is usually served as a meal after the Muslim sunrise (Fajr) prayers which is followed by a long rest before going off to the afternoon (Zhuhr) prayers.

History is a little skewed as to the origins of the Nihari cooking. While some say the practice began during the Mughal times in Old Delhi, others state that these dishes come out of the royal kitchens of Awadh (present day Uttar Pradesh). The latter theory holds more promise and Nalli Gosht is often considered as a Nihari dish from Lucknow.

But over the course of time especially post-independence era, Nihari dishes evolved as an integral part of South Asian Muslim cuisine and today, there are several countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan where these dishes are extremely popular. In fact, the national dish of Pakistan is Nihari Beef.

Nalli Gosht remains an Indian subcontinent favourite. The lamb shanks are slow cooked in an extremely flavourful gravy made from a mélange of spices, aromatics and yoghurt till the meat falls off the bone.

In the olden days, slow cooking was a tedious process especially having to depend on wood or coal fire. To get the temperatures right and prolong the cooking time, special vessels called ‘shab deg’ would be used in which the meat with the spices and stock are left overnight to achieve the right flavour and consistency in time for the morning meal.

Traditionally, the meat is served along with a thin or soup like gravy but I have allowed the gravy to thicken slightly more which is purely a personal preference. Again, adding yoghurt seems to be a matter of much debate. My research has shown that some versions of Nalli Gosht, especially prepared in Lucknow adds yoghurt.

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While in the earlier days, this dish would have been served to the labourers who worked on the massive construction projects of the royals, today it has become an indulgent preparation for special days. The cooking process is never hurried; modern gadgets like the pressure cooker simply do not bring out the flavour enough. Slow cooking is the best way to draw out maximum flavour from the bones and for the yoghurt and spices to transform itself into a rich, deep, dark and flavourful gravy.

Nalli Gosht is well worth the effort and if you eat lamb, this has to be eaten at least once in your lifetime…..

(Recipe adapted from Indian Kitchen)

Ingredients:

1. 2 lamb shanks (around 300 gms)
2. 6 large garlic cloves
3. 1 inch ginger

Find the full recipe here.

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Vindaloo Lamb Chops

Whenever you are learning to cook a dish or experiment with a new cuisine, it is very important to pay attention to the basics.

Don’t try and go fusion and modern twists the very first time. Go traditional and learn to cook and perfect the dish as it has always been done. And since there are innumerable versions of the same recipe floating around on cyber world, do your own bit of research before narrowing in on a recipe that closely identifies to the original.

I thought of speaking about this today because I see a lot of people creating so called ‘fusion’ dishes without having a real understanding of the original. Now I don’t have a problem with fusion or modern, I do it myself all the time but only after I have almost perfected the original. And why is this important? Because it helps us to learn the basics, have a real understanding of how and why the dish or recipe came to be, a bit of history and also because it helps us to preserve the original which seems to be fast disappearing from today’s world.

For example, the vindaloo. One of the most popular Indian curries in the world but also one that is much misrepresented. The secret to a good vindaloo lies in the spice paste; get it right and you get the dish right. I got the recipe for a traditional vindaloo around 2 years back from a Goan source and I have made the spice paste so many times to get the exact balance which lends the right flavour complexity to the final dish.

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Once I got it right, I began to experiment with the spice paste to use it in different avatars like today’s dish – the vindaloo lamb chops.

The idea for this dish came while preparing for a party. I wanted to do a lamb chops starter but also wanted to do a quick Indian version of the same. So the thought of using the vindaloo spice paste came into mind, especially since I always have a stash stored in my freezer. It’s a dish that comes together so easily especially if you have the marinade ready beforehand.

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Succulent, delicately frenched lamb chops smothered with the lipsmacking vindaloo marinade, pan fried and finished off with a dash of tomato sauce.

The perfect weekend starter…..and fingerlickin’ good!

Ingredients:

For the vindaloo marinade:

(This makes more than the required amount; the rest can be frozen in batches and used whenever necessary)
1. 4 dried red chillies
2. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
3. 1 tbsp coriander seeds

Read the full recipe here.

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Uppu Kari (Chettinad Mutton Fry)

A conversation I had with my 6 year old last week…..

Adi: Mama, I am watching a cooking show
Me: Oh, that’s nice Adi; I am happy you are interested in cooking
Adi: Yes Mama, I also want to learn to cook yummy food like you make before I get married.
A flabbergasted me: Marriage? What’s the connection between cooking and marriage Adi?
Adi: Mama, you learnt to cook when you married dada rite? Just like that….
Me: No dear, I always liked to cook though I started to do it frequently only after marriage. I was studying till then rite!
Adi lets out a long sigh! As if what I have said makes no sense at all.
Me: Adi, you don’t need to get married to cook yummy food. You can learn to cook whenever you want.
Adi (in a slightly sterner voice): Ok Mama, but I will also cook yummy food when I get married!

I ended the conversation, but making a mental note to return back to it at some point in the future. I was happy that he thought that he should learn cooking and also the fact that he thinks highly of my food and that I have been able to inspire him in some way. I am also relieved that I have not bought him up thinking cooking at home is a woman’s job. But cooking and marriage – I don’t think I understand quite what’s going through his little mind.

And later at dinner, over this delicious plate of Uppu Kari (Chettinad Mutton Fry), I shared this conversation with my other half, who as always laughed it off saying that I am going to make my son a chef.

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Uppu Kari is a very traditional Chettiar dish and one of the best kept secrets of the vibrant Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu. Today, one can find several variations of this dish but very few of these do justice to the real heritage of this preparation.

This recipe comes from the famed heritage restaurant ‘The Bangala Table’ situated in the Chettinad region. Uppu Kari or Chettinad mutton fry may have only a few ingredients but it has complex, fiery flavours and is so uniquely reminiscent of this cuisine.

The Uppu Kari is all about the smoky, vibrant and fiery flavour of the dried chillies; not just any variety but the plump round ones that are called goondu milagu in South India. Easily available at all Indian stores and grocers, these chillies are not very hot when kept intact. The combination of dried chillies with the shallots and garlic slow roasted with the mutton in a large wok is what gives this dish its flavour.

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The ingredients are few and the technique simple; all you need is a bit of patience while the mutton roasts itself slowly absorbing all the flavours. And do add that bit of liver, the texture it provides to the whole dish is amazing.

Ingredients:

1. 500 gms boneless mutton (cut into 1 inch cubes) + 150 gms liver
2. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
3. 15 dry red chilli (round variety/goondu milagu)
4. 1 ½ inch cinnamon bark

For full recipe, visit here

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood

Mutton Roganjosh

The best thing about having friends from different regions of the world is that you do not need to rely on Google or random cookbooks especially if you are interested in learning and cooking traditional dishes.

It’s not just about the recipe of a traditional dish, for me….the history is as important as the dish itself. Understanding the reasoning behind a dish, the culture, the practices, the importance of ingredients that go into the dish, the way it is consumed; all of this is what completes the experience of cooking a traditional dish for me.

And that is exactly what I achieved with today’s dish – Mutton Roganjosh.

Roganjosh is a dish that originated in Kashmir, India but it has become a curry that has spread like wildfire across the world. It was also one of the dishes that surprised and disappointed me when I sampled Indian food in Australia.

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I really don’t mind tweaking a recipe to suit individual tastes or incorporate local ingredients but taking away from the real character of a dish and its inherent flavours is not something I approve of especially if it’s a traditional one like mutton roganjosh.

So what do you do? Find yourself a Kashmiri foodie friend who will hunt down the most authentic mutton roganjosh recipe, straight from the roots. A big thanks to you dear, you know who you are.

Now let me come to the ‘disappointed’ bit I was talking about….the variations of roganjosh that I have eaten in the Indian restaurants here are nothing like the real thing. It is as far removed from the original in terms of ingredients, textures and flavours.

Mutton roganjosh is one of the main dishes that forms a part of the Wazwan which is the name given for a traditional multi course meal in Muslim Kashmiri cuisine. This is a meal which is taken very seriously and is a source of pride especially for the waz or the cook (you train for years to become a waz and is most often an occupation that is handed down generations, father to son). It represents the ultimate banquet in the Kashmiri Muslim society and no important occasion is complete without it. And my dear friend has got me this recipe from a waz, himself.

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Kashmiri mutton roganjosh is not a very spicy dish; in fact it has very less heat but plenty of flavour from the clever use of spices and aromatics. Kashmiri chilli powder is used in this and for those who don’t know….the kashmiri chilli powder adds a deep red colour to the dish without much heat when compared to the regular Indian red chilli powder which is less on colour and more on heat. It also has smoky undertones, a bit like paprika.

So if you are a curry fanatic and would like to taste the real roganjosh, let’s get cracking…….

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Ingredients:

1. 1 kg mutton (with bones)
2. 2 cinnamon stick

Read the full recipe here……

Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood.

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