Do you have many friends who travel with their spice box? Well I have one at least, that’s Tim coming to France for a weekend with his spices, his chapatti flour and fresh coriander – just in case, it might not grow that well in our part of the world.
“Cumin seeds, one or two teaspoons?”
While the curry simmers, we talk about…food. The quality of the chapatti flour, the consistency of the sauce, other curries, other meals, a mechoui in Pays Basque next year maybe. We have been doing this for quite a few years, I realize.
“Do you need a hand?”
“no, no, we manage.”
Then it’s the chapatti lesson. The dough is smooth, easy. The tawa is on the fire, the first chapatti starts to rise at the hedge and suddenly inflates like a balloon. Success!
Kam’s Punjabi lamb curry
1 shoulder of lamb, cubed, with bone in
2 tbs cumin seeds
1,5 tsp salt
2 tsp turmeric
6 green cardamom pods
1 tin tomatoes
1 handful dried methi leaves
1 tsp garam massala
1 bunch fresh coriander
7 green chilies
7 cloves garlic
2 cm fresh ginger
Soak the meat in cold water to clean it of any remaining bone splinter and drain it.
Heat a cast iron pot and fry the cumin seeds – without adding oil – for 1 minute. Add the meat and the onions cut into 4. cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes, until the liquid rises and starts boiling. Turn the heat down to moderate and add the salt, turmeric and cracked cardamom pods. Put the lid on. Leave to simmer for 40 minutes.
Prepare the paste: cut the chili, ginger and garlic into small pieces. Grind into a paste using a food processor or a mortar and pestle.
Mix the tomatoes to a smooth consistency.
After 40 minutes, add the pureed tomatoes, the chili paste and the methi leaves to the pot. Put the lid on and leave it to simmer for about 1h30. Add the garam massala and chopped coriander leaves. Serve immediately.
3 cups medium flour
In a large bowl, mix the flour gradually with water until it forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead it for about 10 minutes until you obtain an elastic consistency. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes.
For each chapatti, take a small piece of dough (about 4 cm diameter), flatten it into a small disc in the palm of your hand, then fold the borders over the center to make a small ball. Roll it in your hands to obtain a smooth ball without seams. Flatten it again and leave it to stand, covered with flour.
Using a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a disc (about 10cm diameter). Heat a cast iron skillet over a high heat. Add the chapatti. After 1 minute, when bubbles start to form, turn it over. Using a wooden spoon, press lightly on the corners of the chapatti to help it rise. Then put it directly in contact with the flame, until it puffs up. Put it on a warm plate, spread butter on one side and cover with a clean cloth.
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp oil
Double volume water
Bring water to the boil.
In a pan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds, then the sliced onions and fry for a few minutes until the onions are soft (but not browned). Add the rice and coat it with the cumin and onions. Add the water and salt. Cover and let it simmer over a low heat about 20 minutes, until complete absorption.