It’s the third installment of Monthly Mystery Munchies with myself and Ann at Grubbs n Critters. This month I chose lemons/limes, thyme and coriander as our ingredients. I really enjoyed playing around with these ingredients and pairing them with others. The recipe that won is lamb, saag (spinach) and aloo (potato) curry. I never say ‘no’ to curry and lamb is the ideal meat for this. Naturally I added potatoes because in my mind, curry without potatoes is like… summer without blue skies, mojitos without mint (I just recoiled), Bono without his sunglasses – unexpected, disappointing and unnatural.
Ann made spiced chicken with saffron, thyme and lemon gravy. Okay, lemon gravy? I’m all in. Saffron? What a treat! Check it out, it’s droolicious. She added other interesting and complimentary ingredients and you can see this is a winner.
I too added a plethora of other ingredients – veggies, spices and herbs, and finally got the balance right. What one needs to keep in mind when using so many ingredients is that balance is key – especially with spices. They shouldn’t be overpowering because that can ruin the dish in one easy step. They should all work well together to create the ideal blend. From fragrant coriander (cilantro) to succulent lamb to the bite of the chillies, this comes together beautifully! This meal contains many superfoods and superspices (yep, that’s a thing), so not only is it delicious, tasty and fragrant but ridiculously healthy too! Here we go:
1kg lamb knuckles, cut into bite-sized chunks
4 leeks, chopped
2 green chillies, sliced (I always keep the seeds in)
4 garlic cloves, crushed and sliced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
5 cardamom pods, crushed and chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
500g baby tomatoes, halved (or 1 tin chopped tomatoes)
250g spinach, chopped
1kg potatoes, halved
250g spinach, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh coriander (cilantro) for garnish
Salt to taste
In a large pan, heat up the olive oil and fry the lamb on medium low until browned. You might have to do this in batches. Fry for ± 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Set aside.
Fry the leeks in olive oil for 5 minutes.
Add chillies, garlic, ginger and cardamom and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, spinach, thyme and remaining spices and simmer for 5 minutes.
If you have the time, let the curry stand for a few hours. Garnish with coriander, however much you like (we like a lot!). Curry is always better when it stands for a while so this is the perfect dish to cook the day before.