We’re well and truly in the midst of winter and like most I tend to gravitate toward hearty, comforting eats that are rich in flavour.
Over the years I’ve been to fortunate to travel to some of the world’s most celebrated food meccas.
India is one of those places. I love the boldness of their dishes. Complex, rich flavours, balanced with simple sides.
I had just been on a few hikes in Nepal just prior to touching down in India and I was in need of some really good tucker. While trekking about, I was recommended this cooking school which showcased a variety of dishes from across the country and I vividly remember gravitating toward this divine Goan fish curry. Interestingly, throughout my time in Indian I tended to order Palak Paneer and Malai Kofta – they’re two dishes that I absolutely love although I don’t tend to cook a lot.
Now I am fairly weak when it comes to Asian curries and although Goan cuisine tends be quite intense – I prefer my curries mild. So never be intimidated by traditional methods – be comfortable with your palate. Tone down the heat or pare back the intensity – it’s absolutely OK to do so.
Back in Australia I have been experimenting with a lot of the dishes I’ve learnt to cook abroad and over the years I’ve unashamedly modified them to suit my palate.
This dish for me is just a beautiful and easy way to slow cook a lamb shoulder – celebrating the flavours of India’s south. I’ve been told that Goan food is considered incomplete without fish although I think this particular paste I make goes wonderfully with lamb!
- 1.5kg lamb shoulder
- 1 x 400g can of lentils (we used beluga)
- 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
- 1¼ cup coconut chips
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ medium/small brown onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ inch cube fresh ginger
- 3 tsp fresh diced red chilli
- Rice (of your choosing) or potato mash
- Garnish with fresh coriander and greek yoghurt.
- To make the base for your curry, combine all ingredients for the Goan curry paste in a blender until (relatively) smooth.
- Add a dash of oil to a large pot and heat over a medium flame, using either your stove top or barbecue. Once hot, empty the entire contents of your Goan curry paste into the pot and heat until fragrant.
- Add the can of tomatoes and lentils to the pot and gently combine
- Place lamb shoulder into the pot, cover with lid, drop temperature to a low heat and cook for 6 hours.
- Every hour gently rotate the lamb shoulder, baste in sauce and ensure the sauce is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once cooked, remove lid and gently pull meat away from the bone. It should be moist, tender and simply fall away from the bone.
- At this point I like to increase to a medium heat, keep lid off and simply allow some of the liquid to evaporate, thickening the curry slightly.
- Taste and season to your liking. You may wish to add more chilli along the way if you prefer a little heat in your curry!
- Serve with potato mash or rice. We used a beautiful black rice today and garnished with natural greek yoghurt and chopped coriander.
- *Note: If you're not up to making your own curry paste from scratch, there's plenty of high quality, pre made, lovely Goan curry pastes out there which can be used!