Curry a la ‘F’; salad – 13 December 2011

I finished off the lamb curry I started on Sunday, and we had that after carrying home and setting up the Christmas tree!

The curry is from my Scottish friend F, who sent me both the recipe and a bottle of Patak’s Madras curry paste after I raved about the curry while visiting her and her family. It’s a family staple now, though we make it only about once a year – maybe twice. This one we shared with R, and I also sent home one more serving with him. After dinner I froze a one-serving batch (for lunch for me) and a two-serving batch (for D and me) and that was it.

The curry starts with two onions, chopped and cooked till “dark brown”. I never have quite the patience to get to dark, but they got a bit brown. Chopped/minced garlic is added near the end. I used about 9 or 10 cloves, but they were not large. 3 lb of lamb are cut into large chunks (I think slightly smaller – bite size – would be better b/c they would be more integrated with the sauce that way). This time I salted the chunks with probably 3/4 tsp of salt just before I added them (and more oil) to the frying pan, after removing the onions and garlic. This worked well, and eliminated the later salt step. The lamb is browned, and then a half jar of curry paste is added and cooked for a couple minutes. I used Patak’s Madras curry labeled “Hot”, with a purple label. It was delicious. Then 1 1/2 pints of water, a can of coconut milk and 6 green cardamom pods are added, and of course the browned onions, and the curry is cooked for 3 hours.

‘F’s instructions say if possible to cook 2 hours, refrigerate overnight, remove the oil that has risen to the top (a lot) and cook another hour the second day. I started the curry on Sunday intending to have it Monday, but our plans to get our tree then were thwarted by the absence of trees at the Bowl. So we put off curry-part-two for a day. I cooked this intentionally in a stovetop-friendly pan – a Revere “Dutch oven” with stainless instead of those black handles – and gave it a boost to boiling on the top of the stove before putting it back into a 325 degree oven. 20 minutes or so before taking it out for good, I added Roma tomato wedges from 6 large Romas. I think more would be fine. I added the remains of a bunch of cilantro, chopped, after the oven time was over. I served the curry over basmati rice, and D bought some Garlic Naan from Shakti (round, rainbow label fading from pink to green) when he shopped at the Bowl in the morning. I tucked the Naan into the same oven on a biscuit pan for 5 minutes or so to warm it up. It wasn’t great – cooked quickly and was a bit on the dry side – though previous notes said the Curry Naan from the same company was good with this curry.

I suggested we have some of the Two-Mile Wines Founder’s Rock (just says “red wine”), and it was an amazingly good match for dinner.

And the tree is perfectly gorgeous!

{Written the 14th, finalized and pix added the 20th}

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