Once more the intrepid kitchen adventurer sallies forth on his great quest for innovative creative culinary concoctions. Cue some appropriate music:
Can you believe that real musicians go into studios and record this. It must be a hoot; getting paid for drivel. But this post is not about politics or late night advertising channels. I’ve been trying to branch out from the more tradition socks blowing Friday night tradition of the drunken dunkin’ of naan breads into a fiery sea of grease filled madness. My favourite post Chelsea Reach destination was The Rani.
Oddly enough I’m using lamb. The enclosed photo does show little pools of cold fat. I don’t think it’s enough to worry about as it’s not a complete carapace of slimy grease. If you’re a purveyor of the fat means flavour mantra it’s fine but if you prefer, the delicate use of a small spoon could remove the more prominent layers of blatant guilt. It’ll disappear into the general unctuous mass when it heats up again anyway. Ever since the discovery of tamarind, the sour element has been a source of great fascination. It can come from a wide range of ingredients. There are some suggestions in the ingredients list. Whatever you use it will go well with the traditional heady spices. And then you can actually call the recipe your own. Please avoid the highly irritating phrase that starts with “this is my take on….” Now I’m trying not to think of Nigel Slater in one of his indignant “you don’t have to follow recipes” rants. To which I reply:
“Keep your hair on Mabel, Delia’s precision based sciences are a great starting point. Now get back to your market garden and stop referring to ‘your fishmonger’ I don’t have a bloody fishmonger. The nearest one is ten miles away on a street with double yellow lines. And as it’s by a bend in one of the town’s busiest roads it would be too dangerous to park there even with my blue badge.”
I’ve kept the method as simple as possible.
2 lamb neck fillets cut into rounds or 1lb of diced shoulder
1 onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of chopped garlic
A long thumbful of shredded ginger
Whatever chilli you feel like (I used mild because the actual flavour sings out without the robustious punch of a hottie.)
7 mangosteen berries-also called kokum (available from Asian grocers or online specialists. These can be substituted by a good teaspoonful of tamarind paste and lime juice. It’s the sour element so you can be creative here. Fresh mango is a possibility too.)
Teaspoons of ground coriander turmeric fenugreek powder cumin
Big squeeze of tomato puree
Tin of chopped tomatoes and a tinful of water. Seasoning.
Method. Fry the onions and meat for colour then put everything into a slow cooker or a heavy casserole dish and cook on low for at least six hours. When serving, fight off the advances of the ravenous family or friends with a large ladle. Make them sit down and wait.
Serve with rice or naan bread or chapatis. (Or any combination thereof.) I added some salt during cooking at a bit more at the end. If you like, sprinkle some garam masala over 20 minutes before the end. If you like it creamy, add 2 healthy tablespoons of thick Greek yogurt as well.
As a flourish before serving top with fresh coriander. Sit back and hear your diners gasp.
Thank you for reading.