It’s been a while and no before you ask I haven’t been on a sabbatical or a break of any sort. In fact I’ve been doing loads more cooking, filming and pop ups amongst other food related projects which have made it busier than ever. The thing is though what I miss the most is THIS. Writing recipes, cooking and sharing them here for everyone to read and try as well. The first person to notice that I’ve not been blogging for ages is none other than surprise surprise… my mum in India who’s always reminding me just how much she misses reading my blog.
So after months of comfort eating and cooking it seems looking forward to spring and a change of menu might have to wait a tad bit. The snow, chill and that frosty weather isn’t really going anywhere! For me on days like this the one sort of food that does justice is hearty curries, parathas topped with melted butter and that touch of spice to add as an accompaniment to my meal. I’ve been cooking loads of pickles lately, mainly for family, friends or for my cookery events and it’s proving to become an addiction to be honest.
Come to think of it Indians pickle everything; from vegetables, chicken, game, fruits and also meat. Pickling most definitely makes ingredients go further and preserves the main ingredient based on the usage of salt & high concentration of pickling spices in each recipe. They store well at room temperature and can be eaten just as they are. Some flaky paratha, naan or even some chapattis would be great. Even just some yoghurt with rice and a pickle to eat alongside. Thats the best part of Indian cooking small portions of food that have amazing flavours and go a long way in your meal.
Here’s my recipe for a delicious lamb pickle that’s easy and doesn’t need a long list of ingredients. For most people this might sound unusual but it’s probably one of the best ways to eat moist morsels of diced lamb. Cooked with chillies, fennel and mustard the flavours are fantastic and will get better with time over a few days as the meat blends in with the oils and spices.
Marinate the lamb in turmeric powder, chopped garlic and salt for and hour. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the lamb to the hot pan. At this stage no oil is required. Fry the lamb for 20-25minutes stirring frequently. The meat will start to release its moisture; continue cooking until all the liquid evaporates and the lamb piece have cooked through.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the mustard oil on high heat until smoking. Remove from heat and cool for 7-10 minutes. Reheat on a medium heat before adding the rest of the ingredients.
If using sunflower oil heat the oil on a medium heat in a pan, add asafoetida and mustard seeds. As they begin to sizzle & pop in the pan add the green chillies; stir for a few seconds. Turn the heat to low and add the red chilli powder, fennel powder and the cooked lamb. Fry on a low heat for a couple of minutes, add the vinegar, pinch of sugar and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Check the seasoning and adjust if required. Make sure to add a touch more salt as once it’s sealed and the flavours develop it will blend in with the spices. Cool the pickle for 10-15 mins. Now add the curry leaves and spoon into a sterilised jar and seal. Store in a cool place for two days before using.