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Eat the Seasons - February 2014


Fruit, Nuts & Fungi
Apples, Chestnuts, Pears (late – Concorde, Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Winter Nellis), Rhubarb (forced), Walnuts
Vegetables & Herbs
Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Swede, Turnips.
Meat & Game
Duck, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Venison
Fish & Shellfish
Brill, Clams, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot

Going out of season

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Forced Rhubarb, Goose, Horseradish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Leek, Parsnip, Rhubarb, Swede, Truffle

February: Hmmm do I sit on my hands and try to resist mentioning it is the season of romance? As a wedding caterer I’m afraid it really is too hard to resist! Valentines Day is around the corner and it is on a Friday this year, so I’m sure that lots of you will be going out for dinner to celebrate. However, if you really want to impress your beau, then why not stay in and prepare this month’s seasonal recipe instead?

The almond has long been a symbol of fertility and an aphrodisiac through various ages. Some believe that just the smell can ‘work it’s magic’!! I have never heard a better reason for eating marzipan! However, here is a dish that included almonds and would hopefully make for a very pleasant evening!

Badam Lamb Pasanda
Serves 2 large portions

Ingredients


• 1lb (450g) lamb, cut into 1” cubes (use either leg of lamb, or even better       

   mutton)
• 1 large onion
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 inch (2.5cm) root ginger
• 2-3 tablespoons of plain yoghurt
• ¼ pint (or less) fresh single cream
• 2 tablespoons blanched almonds
• 1 medium strength green chilli
• a handful of fresh coriander
• unsalted butter for frying
• salt
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
• ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon turmeric
• ½ teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
• paprika
• 1 teaspoon garam masala

 

Method:

  1. Give the lamb a good pounding with a steak mallet or the end of a rolling pin, then cut into 1” cubes
  2. Put the meat, about ½ teaspoon of salt, and the chilli powder into a bowl and set aside for about 4 hours

  3. Quarter and finely chop the onions, peel the fresh chilli, ginger and garlic then put in a blender with the yoghurt and blend.
  4. Heat a dry frying pan and roast the coriander and cumin seeds, allow to cool then grind to a fine powder.
Grind the almonds to a powder
  5. Heat the ghee or butter in a heavy bottomed pan and gently fry the onions until soft but not quite browning.
Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and nutmeg turn the heat down and fry for a couple of minutes.

  6. Turn up the heat again, put in the meat and fry until the meat changes colour.

  7. Now add the yoghurt mixture a bit at a time, stirring each bit in.

  8. When all the yoghurt has been added, cook for about 5 minutes then add about ¼ pint (125ml) water and stir.

  9. Turn down the heat really low and simmer for about an hour.
Add the cream, almonds and garam masala, stir in and cook for a further 5 minutes
Pour into a serving dish, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with coriander leaves (or whole almonds if you prefer).

    p.s. This dish can also be made without the almonds and is then called Lamb Pasanda. Clearly it may not have quite the same….ahem….affect. I shall leave you to find out for yourselves.