On Saturday evening I had the lovely Douglas over for dinner and some more Mr Rose and Spyder’s Web and I fancied doing a little curry. This was, I freely admit, because Alberto had made one on Friday evening and the smell of it cooking was so tasty that it made me want one too. I fancied something with lamb and so I flicked around on the internet until I found this tasty little Indonesian recipe. I decided to pair it with the same turmeric rice that Alberto had cooked the night before, which he’d got from the Woman’s Weekly Super Foods cookbook. The rice recipe is easy to do and complements the curry well.. I also added a couple of onion bhajis and some mini-naan breads, with appropriate dips.
750g of lamb, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons of groundnut oil
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 bay leaves
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised and knotted
1 cardamom pod
1 cinnamon stick
880ml of coconut milk
For the spice paste:
5 cloves of garlic
5 red chilies, deseeded
4 candlenuts (I found a website that suggested using Macadamia nuts as a suitable substitute)
1 inch pieces of fresh ginger
1 inch piece of fresh turmeric (I used a a teaspoon of ground turmeric powder instead.
1 cm piece of fresh galangal
½ a tablespoon of coriander seeds
¼ of a teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of palm sugar (In completely forgot this and the resulting curry still tasted fine.)
2 teaspoons of salt
½ a teaspoon of ground white pepper
For the turmeric rice:
Basmati rice for four
½ a teaspoon of ground turmeric
2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
500ml of chicken stock
Using a blender, blend all of the ingredients for the spice paste, until you have a thick paste that is a smooth as you can get it. I found that a hand blender worked fine for this, although I was, obviously, only using half the amount of all of the ingredients, as I was making a curry for two, not four. It’s possible that the hand blender wouldn’t have coped as well with the full amount.
Heat the groundnut oil in a large saucepan and sauté spice paste, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, cloves, lemongrass, cardamom pod, and cinnamon stick for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant
Add the lamb and stir well to ensure that the pieces are well coated with the spice paste and then cook until the pieces are browned all over.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1½ to 2 hours. I covered the saucepan with a lid as I didn’t want the sauce to reduce too much. Stir regularly.
To make the turmeric rice: in a medium sized saucepan heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds, turmeric and rice, stirring well to ensure that the rice is well coated with the oil and turmeric.
Add the stock, then bring to the boil. Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, turn down the heat and simmer the rice for 10-12 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
Turn off heat under the curry and serve immediately with the turmeric rice.