Today is the 4th day of the Festival of Diwali and is known as New Year day or Bestavarsh. The Fourth day is called Padwa or Varsha Pratipada that marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this Padwa day. The day after the Lakshmi Puja, most families celebrate the New Year by dressing in new clothes, wearing jewellery and visiting family members and business colleagues to give them sweets, dry fruits and gifts.
Diwali brings the end of the financial year for Hindu’s and it’s a time when it’s considered best to start new businesses or ventures. Personally, I know that for me the financial year end means Auditors and extra work and no sooner have I finished one year then the next one seems to creep up and grab me from behind. What a nice way to end your fiscal year. Perhaps my boss could spoil me with some gifts ….. nudge nudge hint hint!!!
I was going to post a Malaysian Beef Rendang curry recipe – but seeing as Hindu’s see cows as sacred animals I don’t think it would be appropriate. I shall share the Rogan Josh – which was also a part of this meal – instead with a “ready in 1 minute” spicy fruit platter. If you are from Durban or if you have ever visited Durban’s beautiful Golden Mile in summer, you will be familiar with the Pineapple Sellers. Pineapples as sweet as caramel – decorative swirls of deep yellow juicy flesh – dusted with a crimson shower of “special spices and sugar” perfume the summer air. My mouth turns into a mini Victoria Falls – just thinking about it. Who can resist a chunk of cool spicy pineapple on a stick ……? I see images of happy children running around my head with red juice
trickling down little arms – off little elbows into the sand. Whole swarms of flies and bees rushing after them in the hope of a tiny taste ….Summer on a stick people Summer on a stick!
Rogan means fat and josh means heat – what a combination. These days though – leaner meat is used as the world fights the good fight against that demon enemy – cholesterol. A hallmark of this dish is it’s bright red colour which comes from the use of Kashmiri chillies which are deep red in colour yet mild.
1kg of lamb knuckles or stewing lamb or lamb chops
3 onions chopped
6 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
1 cup of full fat yoghurt
1/4 cup of ghee or oil
2 black cardamom
4 green cardamoms
2 bay leaves
2tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin l powder
1 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp salt
410g tin of peeled tomatoes
3Tsp Garam Masala
silvered, toasted almonds
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Heat the oil or butter in a heavy pot
Add your onion and brown
Add the chilli powder, ginger, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cloves, turmeric and fry until all of the spices have released all their wonderful flavour and aromas.
Now add the yoghurt and continue to fry for a minute.
Add your tomatoes, meat and salt and bring to the boil.
Reduce and cook covered for on a gentle simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Uncover and reduce the sauce right down to a nice thick consistency – stir in the garam masala test for salt and transfer to your serving dish – garnish with silvered almonds and fresh coriander.
As is the case with any stew type dish – the longer that you cook on a low heat the more tender it becomes. These lamb knuckles just love to wallow in the sauce for a good few hours – I find that curries are a bit like pasta sauces – they definitely benefit from being made in advance. If you can possibly manage a day – you will be rewarded for your forethought and efforts with a curry that is rich in colour, flavour, heady spicy aromas and loads of love of course.
When I have a curry night – I always serve Basmati rice and roti with an array of pickles – all readily available from your local Indian Spice Shops. Pickled limes, baby brinjals and mangoes are my favourite – but you can get everything from okra to carrots pickled as well – go wild.
Now for something a little extra that is juicy and palate cleansing – and it’s as easy as peeling a pineapple.
Peel 1 pineapple and serve with a side dish of Pineapple Spice.
Now nothing could be easier than that!
As always Buon Appetito