South African Indian Dish

I have no time to try out new recipes so I am sticking to my old time favorites, at least until we move. Nothing beats the comfort of familiar homecooked food when stress levels are high. So if you need some comfort food why not try this Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney, a typically South African Indian version of meatballs.

The tomato sauce or chutney for this sauce is made from tomatoes with a few simple spices and can be used as a base for many other dishes too. You will see from the recipe that the kebabs are spicy so you don’t need an overly spiced chutney. Feel free to reduce to the amount of chilli and chilli powder according to your preference.

Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney is also a great make ahead dish. It freezes well so you can cook a big batch and freeze them for those lazy days or if you need a meal in a hurry.In our home we usually serve this lamb dish with Roti or naan bread, you always have to have that bread to dunk into the tomato chutney.

The lamb kebabs can be shallow fried or cooked in the oven but be sure not to overcook them. It just needs a few minutes of cooking on each side, they need to be tender and succulent.My food processor is one of my most loved gadgets in the kitchen, makes life really easy. I used mine to blend the ingredients for the kebabs, I didn’t make mine into a fine paste. I prefer my onion and herbs a little chunky but you can make yours into a smooth paste, especially if you don’t really like tasting the onion

Please do try my recipe and I would love to hear your comments.

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Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney
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Lamb Kebabs
Chutney
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Lamb Kebabs
Chutney
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Instructions
  1. To make the lamb kebabs add one onion, 2 green chillies, ginger/garlic paste, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, salt, mint and coriander leaves to a food processor and process until it resembles a rough paste or smooth if your prefer
  2. Chop up the spring onion and add to this mixture. Add mince and egg and mix it well
  3. Divide the mixture into equal sized balls and side aside
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry the lamb kebabs and set aside. Be careful not to overcook them.
  5. For the Chutney Heat 2 tablespoons oil and add the onion, chilli and curry leaf
  6. Saute the onion until it's translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute
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Flavourful One-Pot Indian Dish

I guess the next few weeks you will hear my moans about home renovations. I didn’t fully understand the stress that truly goes with it until now. Despite all my running around and making sure we have a smooth transition into our new home I still have to find the time to cook. Curries are truly a life-saver during stressful times, it’s a one-pot dish and can be made ahead. It’s why I thought this Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh with a crunchy carrot salad will work well with my busy schedule.

Living with my neighbours so close by I am sure they must get that aroma of curry at 10am in the morning. They are either cursing me for making them breath in the lingering curry smell or just because they can’t have some. At least I don’t cook a curry everyday or every morning so neighbours please bare with me until the craziness is over. I love sharing though so if my neighbours do stop by, I really don’t mind sharing my Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh.

Indians are great at sharing, nobody leaves our home without eating something or taking a doggy bag home. It’s a trait I have from my parents and I love it. I do hope my kids can still carry that love of sharing in their adult lives. Although my 10year is quite adamant he will not share his food with anybody…….let’s hope that changes.

Rogan Josh uses similar spices to what we use in our Durban Lamb Curry, it is cooked a little differently but both are equally delicious. https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/durban-lamb-curry/

This recipe makes an aromatic dish with succulent lamb as it’s simmered on a low heat for a long time, this also helps develop the depth of flavour. I know lamb has enough fat content but I did trim off all the excess fat from the leg of lamb pieces that I used. I used ghee and a bit of fresh cream for that added richness. It was mainly for the kids, my 10 year old will probably have it for every meal until the pot is empty, he loves any lamb curry that much, so I did splurge a little. I have noticed that the chefs at authentic Indian Restaurants use loads of onion in their dishes so for this one I added a lot more than I usually do.

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Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh
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Instructions
  1. Roast the cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, elachie, star aniseed, cloves until fragrant. Remove from heat, cool and grind into a fine powder
  2. Heat the butter ghee and saute onion and curry leaf.
  3. Once onion is translucent add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute
  4. Add the cubes of lamb and mix in the ground spices. Add the masala and chilli powder. Mix it all well and saute for a minute or two.
  5. Add the tomato paste and yogurt. Season with salt. Add a pinch of sugar if the tomato paste is too acidic. If you feel the lamb is drying up too quickly you can add about a 1/4 cup of water or slightly more if required.
  6. Turn the heat down to a low settiing and allow curry to simmer for at least 40 minutes. The lamb should be tender and succulent. Add the garam masala
  7. Add fresh cream if you wish and serve hot
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I know, you must think I’m crazy, making lamb stew in summer. My 10-year-old has been nagging me to make him Lamb Stew for a few weeks now. I’ve brushed off his request but today the weather was slightly cooler, a little overcast and looked as if it was going to rain. So I thought it was my chance to get that Lamb Stew out-of-the-way, I hope he won’t ask again until Winter arrives.

You should have seen that face light up when he got home from school. It makes it all worth it if my kids are happy. It’s also a good way to get them to eat their veggies, what’s more nutritious than a wholesome stew loaded with veggies.

If I had more time in the day I would make some freshly baked bread rolls to go with the stew. Nothing beats dunking some fresh bread into all that delicious sauce. I don’t have time so they will have to settle for store-bought bread rolls. I have a cousin who makes a super delicious lamb potjie and my kids think it’s the best thing ever. A potjie in the week will obviously not be a wise decision so I normally turn it into a stew. She did give me the recipe but I didn’t make it exactly like her potjie,  however, it still tastes absolutely yummy. You can’t beat the comfort you get from a good home-cooked stew.

I added carrots, baby marrows and potatoes to my stew but you can use any veggies of your choice. Please be careful when adding veggies to the stew, as some cook quicker than others.  It’s also best to let your stew simmer on low heat until you get melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Please do try it, if you want to wait until Winter that’s okay too.

 


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Easy Lamb Stew

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Instructions
  1. Heat oil on medium heat. Mix the flour into the lamb cubes and season with a little salt and some pepper. Brown meat and set aside

  2. In the same pot add onion, bay leaf and thyme, rosemary and chilli. Add a few drops more oil if required. Once onion is translucent add the garlic and sauté for a minute

  3. Add the chilli powder and fry for a minute. Add the lamb back to the pot and mix well.

  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until the sauce is nearly dry. Mix the stock cube in one cup of warm water and add to the lamb

  5. Cook for about 15 minutes until lamb is half-cooked. Add the carrots and potatoes. Simmer on low heat until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Add another half cup of water if required

  6. Add the baby marrows and cook until they are tender


Recipe Notes

If you the tomatoes are too acidic you can add a pinch of sugar to your stew


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Mince Curry with Potatoes was often cooked by my mum when I still lived at home, all of my mums lamb dishes were out of this world, delicious. My kids always rave about her cooking and insist that I cook lamb dishes exactly like “Ma”.

Most South African curries are cooked in a similar way to this Mince Curry with Potatoes, my Durban Lamb Curry is one of them. Although most curries are cooked the same way it’s always about getting the balance of spices right to make an amazing curry. I sometimes mix my own masala but I find a store bought one is so much more convenient, especially if you don’t have all the spices to go into making your own masala. . I must also admit living in Johannesburg is not the same as Durban where you have a spice shop around every corner and sometimes it is a challenge when you run out of spices. However, even store bought masala can ruin your curry if it’s not a great tasting masala. Over the years I’ve tried many different brands and although I try and stick to the one’s I love, I’ve had my fair share of disappointments with this too. So you will find that you may need to change your brand from time to time, I wish store bought masala recipes could be consistent but trust me they never are.

I try and stick to a medium strength masala as I find the extremely hot ones really does ruin the flavours in a curry, I love hot but not so hot that all you can taste is chilli. It’s not that difficult to make your own masala but it is time consuming as I do love roasting and grinding my own fresh spices. I will soon post a recipe for my very own masala.  I use Kashmiri Chilli Powder more for the bright colour it adds to my curries, it’s a South African thing, your curry has to look the right colour.  Anything but a bright red colour is unacceptable by South African Indian standards.

This Mince Curry with Potatoes is spicy, with just the right amount of heat, and mouthwatering. My favourite way to eat it is with fresh, crusty bread and sambals. You can also have an Indian version of a sloppy joe using this cooked mince.

 

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Mince Curry with Potatoes
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a flat pot on medium heat and add cinnamon, bay leaf, star aniseed and black cardamom.
  2. Once it becomes fragrant add curry leaf and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.
  3. Add ginger/garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add chilli powder, masala, turmeric, fennel, garam masala and cook until it forms a paste, about 2 minutes. Add a few drops of water to prevent scorching.
  4. Add mince meat and potatoes and mix well. Season with salt. Turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes
  5. Add grated tomatoes and allow it to simmer until potatoes are soft. During the cooking time you can add a 1/4 cup of water or a little more if you feel the curry is drying out. I don’t usually require too much water.
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I’m not feeling very well today and I’m totally exhausted. Last night I had to attend my 9 year old’s school concert, all by myself, hubby was away and it’s something I haven’t done in quite a while.  There was a time in my life when I had to do things alone but I’ve forgotten about those lonely, single days. It did make me think of all the single mums and dads out there though and the fact that they probably attend all school functions on their own. I am lucky that I’ve had a second chance with an amazing husband and father who never misses a school meeting or function. Alone or not, the  kids put up one amazing show, happy, confident kids who seemed to have had so much fun. It was so heartwarming to see the bond shared amongst teachers and kids at my son’s new school. I wish more schools could have such warm, loving teachers and a great principal, every time I see her pass a kid at school, she acknowledges them by their name. Something I’ve never seen at any other school my kids have been to. I suppose it makes a difference when it’s a school with a small number of kids but I also think it’s the level of care as a human being, if you care enough you will take a personal interest in the kids at your school. Just my thoughts. I love it when people show care because I love caring for other people and I love being cared for by people. I have a few, select friends and I know these friends truly care about me and likewise I genuinely care about them.  In saying that, I’ve always wanted to be accepted by the world and loved by everyone but I have come to the realization that I am not everybody’s cup of tea, some people just drink coffee. So I’ve given up trying to make new friends or forcing myself onto people who don’t genuinely care for me and I’m in a much happier place. Now that I’ve got that little bit off my chest…onto cooking!

My energy levels wouldn’t permit me to slave over a stove today. I wanted to literally just dump everything into a pot and let it do its thing.  With this dish,I did exactly that (well ok, not exactly but close enough) and it turned  out amazing…well according to my little boy it was “very yummy”.

There’s nothing more comforting than a cheesy, pasta dish. How do people actually live without carbs, I don’t think I ever will. I don’t eat a lot of pasta but when I do make a vegetarian or a chicken one I devour it.

I didn’t use any oil in this pasta dish as the lamb has enough fat but if you are using any other mince you can add a little oil. I love the way the pasta shells gets filled up with the meaty sauce, what can be more comforting than that.

 

 

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One pot pasta dish with garlic, oreganum, and rosemary
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Cuisine Italian
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Instructions
  1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium to high heat and brown the mince. Add a tablespoon of cornflour and cook for a minute.
  2. Add the onion, fry until translucent and then add the garlic. Allow it to saute for a minute and add the bay leaf
  3. Add the chilli powder, oreganum, rosemary. Mix well and add the tomato paste. Cook for a minute.
  4. Mix the stock cube in 3 cups of warm water and add to the mince. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the uncooked pasta, cover and cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on the pasta you use. Season with salt and pepper. Please note that the stock cube will already have salt so you may not need too much salt. I also added 3 cups of water but you may need more or less. The pasta shells I used took a while to cook so I needed more water, if you are using smaller pasta that may cook fairly quick you may not require all of the water, so start with 2 cups and add more as you go along. Once the pasta is cooked, add cheese and leave it on the heat for a few minutes until cheese melts.
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Often,in my home, I cook what the kids love or what hubby loves, rarely do I bother to cook what I love. Isn’t that what you do for the people you love? My 17 year old loves spaghetti more than my 9 year old but I try and cook at least one of their favourites in the week. I remember when I ate lamb, the days I cooked anything with lamb I was in heaven. I miss it sometimes but it’s been almost 7 months since I’ve stopped eating red meat, I think I’ve done pretty well. Giving up your favourite food isn’t easy but when it’s your health over your favourite food then I will do it over. I can still remember the taste of all my favourite lamb dishes and if it had a tomato based sauce all the more reason to love it and this dish is exactly one to love. My kids love Italian food, you would swear they must have been Italian in their past lives as they love it more than they love Indian food, crazy but true.

I think I’ve done a great job and getting this dish to taste great, would have to get an Italian’s critic to know that for sure I guess. But if it was all eaten then I would say it was good. This makes quite a lot of sauce so you can freeze some,if it’s too much for one meal, or you can freeze them in individual containers, perfect for the days when you don’t have time to cook. I used lamb mince as do not eat beef or pork but feel free to use whatever mince you prefer.

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Spaghetti Bolognese
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Cuisine Italian
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Instructions
  1. Heat a large saucepan on low heat and add olive oil
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and the thyme leaves. Fry for about 10 minutes until it softens.
  3. Increase the temperature to medium-high heat and add the mince, stirring until it browns
  4. Add the tomatoes, dried herbs, bay leaf, tomato puree, chilli powder, stock cube and pepper. Add more salt only if required as the stock may have enough salt. Bring to the boil, reduce and let it simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. You will have a rich, thick sauce
  5. When the sauce is almost cooked , add in your cream. Boil the spaghetti and mix into the sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and basil leaves
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Today I tricked my kids into eating leftovers, they hate leftovers. I am partly to be blamed for that as I always have fresh meals prepared for them, only because I don’t have a full-time job and I love cooking but we all have our days when you really don’t want to cook, even some of us that loooove cooking. Trust me I have those days. Normally if I have leftover food I have to eat it myself or share it with my sweet neighbour but my neighbour’s away and my hubby and I don’t eat lamb so I thought I will make them a pizza, yes an Indian lamb curry pizza with leftover lamb curry. At first they looked at it strangely and said what’s in that pizza? I said lamb but didn’t use the word leftovers, believe it or not that pizza was all gobbled up within half an hour and to my amazement I was told it was the best pizza they’ve eaten. This pizza didn’t take much time to prepare and the pizza base just needed 3 ingredients, it was a soft and pillowy base which they prefer. Although I didn’t taste it I can tell you that it smelled divine!

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Lamb Curry Pizza
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Cuisine Indian
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Cuisine Indian
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. STEP 1 - Sift flour, make a well in the centre and add oil and yogurt. Bring the dough together and knead well. Ensure you have a soft, smooth dough. Add a little more yogurt if required. Brush the dough with some oil and place it in a dish, cover and store it in a warm place for half an hour. Heat oven at 200 deg celcius.
  2. Dust a flat surface with flour, roll dough into a 25cm circle
  3. STEP 2 - Spread the curry gravy/sauce onto the base. Add the lamb, onion, chilli, tomato and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve.
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Authentic South African Recipe

There is a perception that it’s the only those that live in Durban can make the perfect Lamb Curry. I was raised in Durban so I hope that counts. However, my mum who still lives in Durban makes the best “Durban Lamb Curry“.

I try my best not to use too much oil in my cooking and it’s something I take into account when cooking a lamb curry too. However, my 17 year old thinks it’s the reason my Durban Lamb Curry is not authentic enough. I definitely should add more oil and more masala, according to him that’s what takes the Durban Lamb Curry from good to great.

So here I was put to the test to replicate my mum’s Lamb Curry and I think I have done pretty well, This lamb curry turned out perfect with it’s robust flavours and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. I think I have finally passed the test.

South African Indian dishes are a little rustic compared to dishes cooked in India, we do not blend everything into a smooth paste. You would also notice that we refer to the sauce in our curries as the gravy, somewhat confusing for those that don’t understand the South African Indian “lingo”. I think people are more familiar with seeing the gravy placed in a separate vessel on the side of the dish.

Lamb Curry was my absolute favourite dish until I had to quit eating red meat, nothing beats a good Lamb Curry. This recipe can also be used in a “bunny chow”. If you don’t know what that is, let me explain. It is a hollowed-out half or quarter loaf of bread filled with a curry of your choice and I think the Lamb Bunny Chow is one of the most popular bunny chows.

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Durban Style Lamb Curry
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil, add cinnamon stick, black elachie, star aniseed and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds until it is fragrant. Add onion and curry leaf.
  2. Once onion is translucent and slightly brown add the ginger/garlic paste. Saute for a minute.
  3. Add masala, turmeric, soomph and garam masala and fry for a further minute. It will form a nice thick paste. Add a few drops of water if required.
  4. Add the lamb and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, Add tomatoes, season with salt and cover and cook until sauce starts to thicken
  5. Add the potatoes to the meat and allow it to cook for 5 minutes, be careful not to let it burn. Add a cup of water. Here you can add less water if you do not want too much gravy and if you are using very soft cooking potatoes. Sometimes the potatoes cook quite fast and your gravy would not have thickened by then, leaving you with a watery curry. Turn the heat down to a low setting and allow your curry to cook until gravy is thick and potatoes are soft.
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