Blossom on the trees, fresh green leaves making an appearance, pinks, purples, gorgeous yellows, warmer weather, longer days, lighter days ….
Well, that’s the theory. I’m still in hibernation – hesitant to switch off the heating, peering out my windows through the toxic smog which has descended upon London, jackets, scarves and gloves still at the ready and still craving warm, hearty food.
And let me tell you these curried lamb shanks are just what the doctor ordered. Slow cooked lamb in a spicy tomato based sauce until the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. Served over a bowl of rice with a generous helping of naan bread on the side to mop up all that lovely sauce.
Way back in September I can remember wondering what I would do with all my time now that both kids are at school. Two months in, and I can honestly say that I have not had one day where I’ve had nothing to do. In fact I seem to have less time to do ‘my’ things like blogging. On Monday I decided I would spruce up the guest bathroom by giving it a quick lick of paint. It is now Thursday and my small job has turned into a complete over haul with me painting the walls, the woodwork, removing the old tiles and putting up new ones, varnishing the floor and fitting all new accessories. I do love the whole process of DIY but everything else gets put on the back burner including cooking and housework. This is where my freezer becomes my best friend. First thing in the morning I can take out a precooked meal and half an hour before hubby is due home it is in the pot getting heated up. A perfectly good home cooked meal on the table in less than half an hour and I’ve managed to spend the day decorating the house.
One of my standby meals for the freezer is this Durban Lamb Curry. It is just a good, no nonsense spicy curry which originates from South Africa and in particular the area of Natal which is where I was born many years ago. I have toned down the spices ever so slightly so that my hubby can eat it and even my five year old daughter enjoys ‘that spicy meat stuff’. A real family favourite in our house.
Well that’s enough sitting around, coffee break over, it’s back to the painting….
I’ve spoken before about my love for hot, spicy food and this lamb kofta curry is one of my favourite midweek curries.
The kofta mixture is very versatile – make small meatballs, shallow fry them in oil and serve with chutney or a yoghurt dip as an appetiser, mould them on to skewers and char-grill and serve as a starter or cook them in this curry sauce for a more substantial meal.
I always make this quantity and then freeze any surplus meatballs and sauce separately, ready for a quick homemade meal when I don’t feel like going to too much trouble.
When served with the curry sauce, they are quite spicy but it is easy enough to tone down the chilli if you prefer.
It is cold, it is miserable and it is grey, grey, grey.
What do you do on a day like this? Well, in my house the boys decided to go for an 8km run around a cold, stark lake. Madness in my mind. I, on the other hand head for the kitchen. I decided to make this simple, homely casserole from one of my favourite South African recipe books by Lynn Bedford Hall. The boys came back from their run to the smell of this lamb stew cooking away in the oven and I had to threaten them with everything under the sun just to keep them from sneaking a piece of lamb before dinner time.
My favourite way to eat this stew is with a dollop of mashed potato to soak up all the lovely gravy but we are trying to watch the calories so plain boiled potatoes it had to be.