October 31, 2007
Sniff sniff. Sob sob. I have been ill.
Divine retribution. Poetic justice. Having made fun of my man I was now at the mercy of his creative cooking, i.e. pesto pasta and spaghetti bolognese.
By last night, I was feeling better. And a little desperate. My throat was dry, my eyes like slits and my hands quivering. I… needed… a… masala… fix… BADLY.
I settled on a pressure cooked Parsi lamb curry with apricots, Jardaloo Salli Boti. Mother left me the recipe for this rich, sweet and sour curry in Summer and I kept it safe until the weather turned cooler.
But hubby was not quite ready to relinquish control of the kitchen, yet. He watched my every move, insisting the lamb wasn’t ready until it had dissolved into the curry, shaking the pressure cooker while its lid was on, throwing in extra apricots and whacking the flame up pointlessly when I wasn’t looking.
Did anyone say relapse?
Thankfully, the pressure cooker meant the lamb curry took 45 minutes to make. Hubby wolfed down his whole plate in seconds insisting it was “perfect for his palate” and “the lamb could have fallen off the bone more”.
I better recover soon. There ain’t no room for another cook in my kitchen…
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius or gas mark 6. Place the three whole spices on a baking tray and dry roast untilt the green cardamoms turn pale brown.
In a small food processor or blender, grind the whole spices together with the ginger, garlic and a tablespoon of water.
Leave the oven on. Bring a large pan/pressure cooker (at least 5l) with three tablespoons of oil to heat over a high flame.
When the oil is hot, add the onions and fry for about five minutes until they turn pale caramel. Then add the spice paste and stir for another five minutes until the onions soften.
If the paste starts getting stuck to the bottom of the pan, add a little hot water and scrape it off.
Now add the spice powders, the lamb shanks and the tomatoes, and stir like mad for 10 minutes. Add salt according to taste, submerge in hot water and either leave to cook on a medium flame covered for an hour and a half, or in a pressure cooker for 25 minutes after the first whistle.
In the meantime, coat the sliced potatos with one tablespoon of oil, some salt and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping over mid way. Remove from the oven as soon as they are done, to prevent them from going soggy. You could just use readymade oven chips, but this was so simple and satisfying.
When the lamb is cooked, sprinkle the sugar, the worcestershire sauce and the apricots into the curry. It should be rich and thick, so do add a bit of water if it is too dry.
To serve, spoon a lamb shank onto a plate. Serve some potato chips and brown basmati rice on the side. Then sit back and recover.