Friday, 27 September 2019

Slow Cooked Lamb and Daal

Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients and method! It’s actually very straight forward to make and is perfect for a dinner party as a lot of it can be pre-prepared! The flavour combination is banging!

Here I use arguably to most well recognised Welsh product not only in Wales and Great Britain but the World. I am of course talking about Lamb! Not any lamb, Welsh PGI lamb. What does that mean? It stands for Protected Geographic Indication which is a byword for quality and means that the produce bearing that logo has been highlighted as having particular characteristics specific to that area. 

Think Champagne or Parma ham. Here I use a cut of lamb that is full of flavour and very reasonably priced. I always recommend using a quality butcher so find out where your local one is and use them!

Serves 4


For the lamb:

  • 1.       4 PGI Welsh lamb neck fillets – trimmed of any sinew, tapered end removed and reserved to use in another dish.
  • 2.       1 tsp – black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds
  • 3.       1 cinnamon stick
  • 4.       ¼  tsp – dried red chilli flakes
  • 5.       3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 6.       4 fresh curry leaves (if using dried leaves use 8)
  • 7.       2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 8.       1 tsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 9.       1 tsp of fine sea salt
  • 10.   450ml of fresh stock (lamb ideally but beef or vegetable fine)
  • 11.   500ml of passata

For the daal:

  • 1  150g of red split lentils
  • 2.       1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 3.       4 cardamom pods
  • 4.       1 cinnamon stick
  • 5.       4 black pepper corns
  • 6.       4 cloves
  • 7.       2 green chillies
  • 8.       4 curry leaves (if using dried leaves use 8)
  • 9.       1 tsp of garlic and ginger paste
  • 10.   ½  tsp of ground turmeric
  • 11.   ½ tsp of fine sea salt
  • 12.   Juice from a lemon

For the pickled red cabbage:

  1. Half red cabbage finely diced
  2. 250ml white wine vinegar
  3. 125 ml water
  4. 60g caster sugar
  5. 15g  fine sea salt
  6. 1 star anise
  7. 1 cloves
  8. 1 cinnamon stick
  9. 1 pepper corns
  10. ¼ tsp coriander seeds
  11. ¼ tsp cumin seeds


For the lamb:

  • 1.       In a frying pan seal all lamb neck fillets in 2 tbsp of oil on a high heat and set aside
  • 2.       Dry toast all the spices in another pan including the red chilli flakes and cinnamon stick then grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.  
  • 3.       In a large oven proof casserole dish heat a 1 tbsp oil, add the ground spices and curry leaves and gently heat
  • 4.       Add the garlic and ginger paste a cook out
  • 5.       Pour in all liquid elements; stock and passata
  • 6.       Add the tamarind paste and salt then stir through
  • 7.       Put the lamb neck fillets into this and cover. Add a dash of water to cover the lamb entirely if required
  • 8.       Transfer to the oven and cook at 120C for a minimum of 5 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the liquid. Once cooled carefully remove the lamb from the liquid and set aside.
  • 9.       Strain the cooking liquid into another saucepan and bring to a simmer, skim anything that comes to the surface and reduce until the sauce is thick. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.
  • 10.   Add the lamb back to this sauce and warm though before serving.

For the Daal:

  1. Wash the lentils in water
  2. Cook in a saucepan with 400ml of water to cover the lentils, bring to boil, no salt!
  3. Simmer until the lentils cooked through
  4. Blitz the cooked lentils in the saucepan with hand/stick blender
  5. In a frying pan heat the oil, whole spices including the chillies and curry leaves, add the garlic and ginger paste and cook out. Add the remaining ground spices, cook until the chilies start to sizzle and pop
  6. Now pour all of this into the lentils
  7. Simmer until liquid has reduced to a thick but pourable consistency, skim as you go.
  8. Fish out the whole spices and chillies
  9. Add salt and lemon juice to taste

For the pickle:

  1. For the pickling liquid add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 mins
  3. Place the diced cabbage into a heat proof container that has a lid
  4. Pour over the hot pickling liquid and allow to cool then cover and transfer to the fridge.
  5. Leave to pickle for as long as possible
  6. Drain and place on an all purpose cloths before serving

To severe:

Place a ladle full of the daal into a centre of the plate, the lamb goes on top of this and scatter the red cabbage to serve. Here I’ve finished with some coriander leaves and coriander oil (oil optional).

Please let me know if you have any questions and happy cooking!

Friday, 12 October 2018

Butternut Squash Bhuna

A seasonal dish that is sure to warm you up as the temperature drops. Grab a bowl full of this hearty and nutritious curry with its thick spicy sauce and curl up by the fire. Preferably with a beer close by. The lightly pickled red onions help cut through the richness of the curry. This recipe also happens to be vegan friendly and gluten free.

Ingredients: Serves 2-3 people

·        500-600g Butternut squash – peeled, de-seeded and cubed 
·        2 tbsp Rapeseed oil (a bit extra for roasting)
·        ¼ tsp black mustard seed
·        4 fresh curry leaves (can used dried if required)
·        1 green chilli
·        1 tsp ground cumin
·        1 tsp ground coriander
·        1 tsp ground fenugreek
·        1 tsp ground turmeric
·        1 tsp red chilli powder (can add less for milder result)
·        1 tsp garlic and ginger paste
·        500ml passata
·        ¼ tsp fine sea salt
·        Couple of handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
·        1 red onion finely sliced
·        1 tbsp white wine vinegar
·        ¼ tsp fine sea salt


For the curry:

1.     Place the butternut squash into a baking tray, coat with a little oil, mix and roast in a pre-heated oven set at 200c for 25-30 mins. A knife should just be able to pierce the veg, you do not want it too soft or it will go to mush in the sauce. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2.     Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and add the green chilli whole, black mustard seeds and curry leaves to it.
3.     When the above spices start to fizz and pop, turn down the heat slightly and add in the remaining spices and mix well with the oil.
4.     Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for a minute.
5.     Add the roasted butternut squash into the pan and coat with the spices.
6.     Then add the passata and salt and mix though.
7.     Simmer partly covered with the lid for 15-20 mins until the sauce is reduced and thick.
8.     Add in the spinach leaves at the end and mix though.
9.     Taste and season with salt as required.

For the pickled red onions:

1.     Thinly slice one red onion
2.     Transfer to a bowl/container and add the white wine vinegar and salt
3.     Mix, cover and leave to stand for 20 – 30 mins ideally longer if time.

To serve:

Serve with fluffy and fragrant basmati rice and top the curry with the pickled red onions and coriander leaves.

I love this dish and I hope you do to! Please have a try and let me know how you get on. Better still post pics of you dishes tagging me in on Twitter and Instagram and I'll share them.