slow-roasted Indian-spiced lamb with coconut chutney

Serves 6-8

Unbelievable as it seems, it appears that the weather is going to be fine (in Auckland anyway) for about four days in a row…a miracle! So, if you’re getting a few mates together at the weekend, this is definitely worth a try – slow roasted Indian spiced lamb served on Indian flat breads with a quick coconut chutney, deliciously aromatic tomatoes and tamarind-swirled yoghurt. Bung the spice rub on the lamb the night before, then the next day basically just stick it in the oven for 5 1/2 hours – et voila you are a domestic god/dess! The other stuff takes about 15 minutes to prepare, so pretty much the easiest possible sunny-Saturday dinner.

Right then, it’s been a while so what else is there to report? Well good on you Australia for voting (non-bindingly…) ‘yes’ to gay marriage – you’re a little late to the party, but congratulations all the same! Aaaand my lovely Hoob is on his way up to Auckland for a few days next week – hurrah – it always feels like a bloody age since I’ve seen the men/boys. Then, with perfect irony a few days after he heads back my darling Pog arrives from Melbourne for my birthday, I’m so excited! It will be such a huge treat to have them both here, I will just have to stop myself from going into full, overboard, lunatic, annoyingly cloying mother mode…And 50 – holy shit balls how is that possible (early December)? I don’t know, I have to say having my 50th as a singleton is weird. Can I confess that I used to think about single women of a certain age – ‘oh my God how awful, what a hideous prospect’ and it turns out there was some truth in my smugly married, self-satisfied thinking. ‘Putting yourself out there’ when you work from home as a freelancer is trickier than you think (even if you already think it’s tricky), but dammit I do my best and for the last year have made it my mantra to go to every single thing (be it work-related or social) that I have been invited to. Sometimes I have felt like leaving within 5 minutes and sometimes I’ve had a ball…and sometimes I just ended up feeling really tired! Anyhoo, no real reason for that ramble other than I obviously spend too much time alone despite my best efforts and am still waiting for the bloody fabled ‘I am woman hear me roar’ post separation stage to kick in…

And finally (‘go you’ if you’ve kept reading), I am hosting and demonstrating at a fab little event partnered by Fisher & Paykel and Dish magazine this Sunday. I will be showing how to make a luscious soy glazed salmon with edamame, broccoli and avo salad and a brilliant kumara, noodle, sesame salad with coconut, white chocolate and lime mousses with raspberries for dessert. I will also be leaping about showing how I do a basic food shoot set-up with a few styling tips for anyone interested in that side of things…so if you’re keen, just head here to the Dish website to find out more. Right then, time to get moving – almost the weekend, hang in there!

 

Spice paste:

2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespooon cumin seeds
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 large thumb ginger, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup natural yoghurt

To cook:
2kg lamb shoulder
355ml beer (ale)
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1-2 teaspoons sea salt

Put all of the spice paste ingredients in a food processor and whiz into a paste. Put the lamb shoulder in a small, deep roasting dish (it should fit snugly). Use a small sharp knife to poke slits all over both sides of the lamb, then smear all over with the spice paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and preferably over night. Take out of the fridge 45 minutes before cooking. Heat the oven to 160˚C. Pour the beer around the base of the lamb and sprinkle the cardomom seeds into the beer. Season the lamb well with salt and cover with a double layer of tinfoil. Roast for 4 ½ hours , turning twice during cooking. Remove the foil and cook for a further hour. Serve with Coconut Chutney, tamarind chutney swirled yoghurt, tomatoes and coriander on heated flatbreads.

Coconut Chutney

1 fresh coconut (shake to ensure it is fresh with liquid)
½ cup finely chopped coriander
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon coconut cream
1 teaspoon grated ginger
½ green chilli, finely chopped (plus the other half, sliced to garnish)

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Drill a hole into two of the ‘eyes’ of the coconut and put in the heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and drain out the liquid through the ‘eye’ holes (reserving to use in place of coconut cream if possible). Use a hammer to crack the coconut, or simply drop it on a paper towel on a hard floor. Prise the coconut out of the shell (I used a clean flat head screwdriver to do this), then use a sharp knife to cut off any remaining brown skin. Grate one cup of the fresh coconut.Mix the grated coconut with the coriander, lemon juice, coconut cream (or reserved coconut water), ginger and chilli then season to taste with sea salt. Makes 1 ¼ cups

To serve:

2 cups chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 ¼ cups natural or coconut yoghurt
1/3 cup tamarind chutney
1 cup coriander leaves
6 Indian flat breads

Mix the chopped tomatoes with the cumin seeds, olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt. Swirl the tamarind chutney through the natural yoghurt and heat the flatbreads to serve. Serves 6-8

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