My most used cookbook ever...

Lamb Indian Final.jpg

It really bothers me when I have some meat bought or taken out of the freezer and for one reason or another I don't get around to using it ... and then not wanting to waste it you end up making something half arsed just for the sake of it ... well today I was in that most familiar of situations and couldn't bring myself to start cooking a shoulder of lamb ... I had already made beer battered cod and the feta garlic chips and some oat soda bread earlier in the day and was feeling a little weary! However 9pm came and the thought of the lamb sitting in the fridge unused was far too much for me ... it was too late to put on the bbq and far too late to slow roast it in the oven so I went to an old reliable in my Indian cookbook section (yes there are sections !!!) and pulled out my most worn cookbook ... this book I have used more often than any other over the last 13 or so years, the book I have bought for five or six friends and family members just so they can try the recipes for themselves ... 
I know i have harped on about Ottolenghi in previous posts but this author for me could actually be my number one ... Atul Kochhar ... for those of you who have seen him on TV (or to that one friend who has done a cookery class with him ... not jealous at all) ... you will understand why! 
I have lost count how many times I have made multiple versions of many recipes however ... I have never actually followed his recipes step by step ... the reason for this is I always tend to slow cook my curries for 4,5 or 6 hours ... and therefore always add more tomatoes or stock than he mentions just so I keep my meat moist! 
Tonight I decided I would actually follow a recipe I have never made before and post it here for people to see ... hmmmmm....
Postscript ... It's now 12:30am on Monday morning and I wanted to get a photo of the final dish ... as it was plated ... I decided to just try it ... see how it is ... well the bowl is now empty and I have a very satisfied smug smile on my face ... Mr. Kochhar ... chapeau ... you've done it again ... well tasty !!!

To Buy book ... click on photos to go to my amazon link

The Recipe ...
Mamsa Ishtew (Aromatic (lamb) stew with coconut milk - Karnataka, South India)

The Book ...
Simple Indian (Published by Quadrille) by Atul Kochhar)

Mamsa Ishtew (Atomatic (lamb) stew with coconut milk)


8 cloves
5 green cardamon pods
2 bay leaves
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 green/red chillies, slit lengthways
1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns
1 teaspoon of tumeric
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
 2 teaspoons of ground fennel seeds
4 small potatoes (jersey royals) scrubbed and halved)

500g boneless leg of lamb (I used shoulder)
400ml coconut milk
10g root ginger julienne
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, sliced
10 curry leaves
1 star anise
5cm Cassia Bark or Cinnamon stick

Indian Lamb Ingredients.jpg

What to do ...

  1. Cut the lamb into 4cm cubes.
  2. Place in a deep heavy-based pan with the coconut milk , three quarters of the ginger julienne, the lemon juice and simmer for about 30  minutes (until the lamb is three-quarters cooked).
  3. Heat the oil in a seperate pan and sauce the garlic gentle for a minute without colouring.
  4. Add the curry leaves, whole spices and bay leaves and saute (fry) until the spices crackle.
  5. Add the sliced onions and chillies and fry gently until the onion is softened, but not coloured.
  6. Add the peppercorns, turmeric, cumin and ground fennel seeds and sauce for 8-10 minutes until sealed and golden brown on all sides.
  7. Add the spices and potato mixture to the lamb and mix well.
  8. Cook on a low heat for a further 15-20 minutes or until lamb is very tender. 
  9. Check seasoning and add if necessary.
  10. Garnish with the remaining ginger julienne to serve. 
  11. Serve with rice or bread. (if you need ... remember there's already some potatoes in the stew).
  12. Eat and enjoy.
Lamb Indian Final.jpg