Goa is a region in India that appeals to me. One of the reasons for this is that most people there speak English which is a huge advantage to me. However there are other reasons too such as the spice farms and the wildlife.
I just love the smell of spices wafting around in the air so to experience the smell of fresh spices either still growing or just harvested would be high on my list of priorities. I can just imagine walking around the markets taking in the atmosphere and perhaps learning how to use the different spices properly.
I have always enjoyed cooking Indian food but during my time in England I quickly discovered what I was cooking (using sauce from a jar) was very different (and bland) to what I could cook. I lived in an area with a strong Indian influence which allowed me to try many different dishes from the variety of Indian restaurants in the locality. I was also lucky enough to have an Indian supply shop directly across the road from where I lived. Sometimes I would go in there just to enjoy the smell of the spices but I would always come out of there with some extra knowledge of Indian food. I was also lucky in that one of my housemates at the time although he was actually from the Middle East he worked as a chef in an Indian restaurant and loved to cook from scratch. He could spend all day putting together a dish and he liked to share it with the rest of us. One of my favourite dishes was Lamb Pasanda but I have never actually cooked it so I have decided to give it a try for India night.
250g lamb pieces
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1cm piece of root ginger finely chopped
2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
100ml of cream
60ml of water
1 tablespoon of ground almonds
1 green chilli sliced
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
Paprika sprinkled as garnish
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
Ghee or unsalted butter for frying
Put the meat, chilli powder and salt in a bowl to marinade for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. I also added the yoghurt at this stage but it can be left until cooking time.
Blend the garlic, ginger, and fresh chilli in the yoghurt (if you haven’t already used it all in the marinade). Heat the Ghee or unsalted butter, add the coriander, cumin, nutmeg and turmeric on low heat for about 5 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the meat cooking until it changes colour. Add 60 ml of water, stir, turn down heat and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Add the cream, almonds and garam masala and cook for a further 5 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice and naam bread.
Join me next time for Italian night