Nanny’s Lamb Curry

11 Jan

Good evening everybody, and of course welcome to 2013, and ‘Happy New Year’ to you all!
I think this is instalment 5 in our culinary adventure, and for me this is the best one yet for a number of reasons. Not only because of the quality of the dish, but also because it marks a first, in that this recipe isn’t actually mine. Those of you who have followed the blog, and the ‘On the Pans’ pages, will know that what really makes it worthwhile is the interaction. Receiving a comment always raises a smile, and brings that ‘warm glow’ which keeps us going. I always hoped that I could get others involved in this by suggesting dishes to cook, or even offering up dishes of their own. This is one such dish!

Surely this is the 'Holy Grail' of Indian and Far Eastern Cookery...

Surely this is the ‘Holy Grail’ of Indian and Far Eastern Cookery…

This one comes courtesy of one of my newest ‘Twitterchums’ @LondonMousie, or more precisely from her Nan. I recently  put out some feelers to see if anyone had any favourite recipes they wanted to share, and, having trawled back through my tweets, as you do when you’re new to the world of Twitter, she spotted the request, and in a flash, she came up with this. This book is like a Holy Grail of Indian cookery, passed from Great Grandmother, to Nanny, to Mum, and finally to daughter. I really can’t help but think that if a ‘Celebrity Chef’ got hold of this book that there would be a TV series made in a flash !!!Well it’s all very well me telling you what I think about the book, but the whole idea of having a guest blogger is to let them tell you what it means to them. So, @LondonMousie, it’s over to you!

“Ever since I can remember, I would be in the kitchen helping Nanny cook. One of my earliest memories was helping her make chapatis when I was very small, helping mix them and shape them. Some of you may wonder how my Nanny got so many fabulous recipes from India and the Far East…

It really doesn't get any more authentic than this...

It really doesn’t get any more authentic than this…

I come from quite a large army background. Both my maternal grandparents come from army families and was in fact how they both met.
After my Grandparents married, my Grandad who was fairly high up in the British Army, moved them both to India. My Mother was born in Hong Kong and my Auntie was born in Singapore. My Grandad served with the Gurkhas and was very highly respected, he was one of the only officers ever to be given a very special honour at the religious festival of Dashain.
My grandparents were loved and cared for by all the communities they lived amongst and as such Nan picked up many traditional recipes throughout her years abroad. She kept a note of these in a recipe book given to her by my Great Grandmother.
Sadly my Nan passed away some years ago but the book was left in her will to my Mother. Sadly my Mum, who used to be a chef such was the influence of Nan’s cooking, is now disabled and no longer cooks. I have inherited the cook book early. It is filthy, covered in oils and spices, but has a special feeling about it; it has travelled all the way round the world and has produced many a wonderful dish that has bought happiness to so many. From dinner parties Nan threw whilst abroad to family dinners back in the UK.
I will always treasure it and hope to pass it on to my children one day.
I hope you enjoy the curry and it lives up to your expectations!!”Floydsdad on the Pans Nanny's Lamb curry
So now we know a little bit about the background to the antique cookbook and the dish, let’s get down to some serious cooking! A quick spin around the ingredients, which are surprisingly simple. Well as it’s a Lamb curry best we start with some Lamb! In this case 1.5kg of Leg Steaks, which I cut roughly into around one inch cubes. There’s also a really big onion, again roughly chopped, and a pint of coconut milk, (which wasn’t as per Nan’s recipe, I just couldnt find the block, although I’m sure it’s readily available).

Grind all these together in a heavy Pestle and Mortar...

Grind all these together in a heavy Pestle and Mortar…

First things first, you need to get your trusty heavy based large frying pan out, and start to gently fry the onions so the soften and go slightly opaque. Whilst thats happening, you can turn to preparing the spices ready for the ‘masala’. This is the heart of the dish, so don’t mess around here, if you’ve got jars of spice in the cupboard gathering dust, bin them and get some new ones. So the platter of spices for this dish are as follows. From the top (clockwise) we have 1tbsp of Corriander Seeds, 1tsp Ground Cumin(Jeera), 1tsp Turmeric, 1.5tsp Black Peppercorns, 1tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1tsp Paprika, 1.5tsp Fennel Seeds, 1tsp Chilli Powder, a 1.5 inch piece of Ginger Root, peeled and chopped and 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped. Take a heavy Pestle and Mortar, and grind all these together to release the oils and aromas.

Prepare for a blast to the sesnes...!

Prepare for a blast to the sesnes…!

By now, your onions will have softened, so transfer them to a warm dish, and wash out and dry the pan. Next step is to dry fry the spices carefully so as not to burn them. Your kitchen will fill with a wonderfully warm spicy aroma which will give you a hint of the delights to come. I’m a huge fan of Rick Stein, and recall him describing the aroma of the Indian markets and street food stalls, and can only imagine that this is something very similar.

Take your time with this bit, don't burn those spices...!

Take your time with this bit, don’t burn those spices…!

Add just a splash of water to the pan to create a thickish paste, and then throw in the Lamb to coat in the spices and take on a little colour. Don’t rush this bit, you need to give the Lamb time to colour up, but you don’t want the spices to burn as they will taste bitter, (I added a few drops of water as I went along here just to keep it moist). You might find 1.5kg of Lamb is quite a lot, so if needs be, take half the spice masala out of the pan and fry the Lamb in two seperate batches.

Bring things up to a gentle simmer, don't let that curry boil...!

Bring things up to a gentle simmer, don’t let that curry boil…!

Ok, here’s the important bit now. It’s time to add the onions back to the pan, give it all a good stir, and then add 1 pint of Coconut Milk and gently stir it all together until the colour is evenly distributed, and the spices are nicely amalgamated into the sauce. The one tip from ‘Nanny’ here is “..the curry must never boil, or the coconut will split”, so I made sure that I gently brought things up to the simmer, before adding a bay leaf, and then leaving the pan for the lamb to cook slowly for a good 3 hours.

It's truly delicious, you simply have to try it..

It’s truly delicious, you simply have to try it..

And there you have it my friends, ‘Nanny’s Lamb Curry’, courtesy of @LondonMousie, and I can honestly say it was utterly delicious. I served it up with some rice, and a stack of Chapatis, (I was going to be ambitious and cook my own Parathas, but I don’t mind telling you they were a complete disaster!). So I urge you to give this a go, please, and as ever, let me know what you think. Click on the stars at the top of the page, and if you can, pen a few lines in the box below. It’s not that often you get an insight into such a traditional recipe, handed down from generation to generation, so you’d be mad not to try it!

So until the next time… Happy Cooking !

Laters peeps… FD :@)


12 Responses to “Nanny’s Lamb Curry”

  1. Joe Amerasinghe January 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    OK, printed it out to cook tomorrow. Floyd, sh*g is yours.

    • Floyd Kay (Snr) January 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks Joe, I have absolutely no Idea why my dog should get involved, but hey, if it means you’ll try the dish then I’m happy.
      (Come to think of it, Floyd seems to have a mischievous grin on his stupid looking face!)

  2. londonmousie January 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on The London Mouse's cookbook.

    • Floyd Kay (Snr) January 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      If you want more superb dishes like this one, then follow The London Mouse’s Cookbook…. You’ll love it.
      Thanks for the recipe Mousie !

  3. Countryidyll January 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    I have found you via Blow your own Blog Horn on Mummy’s Little Monkey. This sounds a great recipe and I was surprised to see that I have all the (dried) ingredients in my store cupboard. I love lamb, and I love coconut so will definately try this recipe. Will let you know how I get on! Thanks.

    • Floyd Kay (Snr) January 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Hi !
      Thanks for dropping by. I really hope you enjoy making this, it’s packed full of flavour. Do let me know how it goes, and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s so nice to get them.
      Take a look at too, her cookbook looks awesome!

  4. Pinkoddy January 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    How lovely that you now have the cookbook. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us.
    Visiting from Blow your own bloghorn.

    • Floyd Kay (Snr) January 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      Not a problem .. The recipe came from The London Mouse’s Cookbook … Which is well worth a look, as hopefully there’ll be many more over the coming months. And BlogHorn has been great tonight !

  5. plus2point4 January 12, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Over from Blow Your Blog Horn.We don’t eat meat as it’s too expensive so I’ll give this a go with different vegetables.Thanks for sharing London Mouse’s nan’s recipe.

    • Floyd Kay (Snr) January 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      And thanks for leaving a comment! That’s a great idea! Let me know how it goes with the veggie version…happy cooking !

  6. @calmville January 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Made this last week. Slow cooked. The lamb was melt-in-the-mouth delicious & the combination of spices was perfect. Great curry & makes enough for 8!

    • Floyd Kay (Snr) January 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Kind words indeed Sir!
      At the bad of the day, you did all the cooking ! Glad it went down well !

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