For the last few weeks I have been away in India which has been a constant reminder of how much I yearn for fantastic cultural food and also the authenticity of it all. It’s one of the main things that got me into cooking years back and something that keeps me excited, curious and with an open mind to what Indian cuisine has to offer.
Hailing from a Maharashtrian family we always ate some amazing food from the west of the country which also included gujarati, parsi and goan. Some of our family friends who are Parsis insisted my mum and dad came over often for a parsi Sunday feast. With a delicious array of curries and dry dishes including this fried chicken that’s an invitation we never missed! During my recent trip it’s always a family ritual to visit not just local restaurants but also friends so we could get our fill of Parsi food.
One such dish from this community that my mother cooked for us when we were younger is a traditional recipe of ‘Dahi nu Gosht’. Lamb cooked in yoghurt with spices and fresh coriander. The flavours in this are brilliant with lamb steeping in the curry for nearly an hour infused with whole spices. The recipe is simple and one that uses fresh ingredients as well, which lends a distinct flavour alongside lamb. Adding the yoghurt mix to the lamb curry towards the end means you don’t have to worry about it splitting.
I also used some extra coriander paste tossed along with sliced red onions to make my salad which worked perfectly with the meal.
I’m back in the UK now and this frosty cold weather is just the perfect excuse to cook my family recipe.
Add 3 garlic cloves and ½ piece of ginger to a blender along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Blitz to a coarse paste. Marinate the lamb chunks in this paste for 30minutes or preferably overnight.
Blend the coriander, chilli and cumin seeds with a splash of water to form a smooth thick paste. Mix with the Greek yoghurt and set aside.
Separately blend the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste for the curry and set aside.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the vegetable oil; add the cinnamon stick, cloves and chillies fry on a medium heat for 8-10 seconds as they splutter and infuse the oil.
Add the chopped onions and cook with a pinch of salt for 12 minutes until they soften and are a light brown colour. Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further minute to rid of the raw flavours.
Now add the turmeric powder and the marinated meat. Fry for 5 minutes to seal the lamb and add water. Season to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 50minutes until the lamb is tender. Leave the lid half open after 30minutes of cooking time and stir. This will help thicken the gravy. Turn the heat off once cooked and rest for a few minutes. Now add the coriander and yoghurt mix a few tablespoons at a time. Garnish with some coriander and serve with lemon, chapattis or parathas and an onion salad.