I’m a huge fan of Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes, which combine great food with a rich appreciation of its cultural context. An understanding of the way food has developed over time adds an extra layer of authenticity, especially with a cuisine as steeped in tradition as that of India. Jaffrey delivers this context flawlessly, combining observations about a dish’s heritage with recollections about what it means to her.
This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible, a lofty but not unjustified claim for an authoritative source of information and recipes about the humble curry in all its worldwide guises.
Mix 560g of boneless lamb shoulder with 4 teaspoons of finely grated ginger and 7 pulped cloves of garlic and leave to marinate for half an hour. I actually used mutton, on the bone this time, the bones adding a further complexity to the finished dish.
Slice a couple of onions finely and fry in a large pan until golden and crisp. Remove, drain and chop up.
Add the meat to the pan, with its marinade and half a teaspoon of turmeric, cayenne pepper to suit your need for heat and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, add a tablespoon of yoghurt, stir in and gradually add three more tablespoons, or more if you like a creamier curry. Stir in 450g of fresh or frozen spinach and the fried onions, replace the lid and simmer for fifty minutes, or until tender. Mutton will take a bit longer than lamb.
This is a straightforward dish, easy to prepare and very tasty. It sits happily in the fridge, flavours improving overnight.
Other lamb and mutton recipes: