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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MAIN COURSES LAMB
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Lamb Kebabs
Chutney
MAIN COURSES LAMB
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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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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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MAIN COURSES LAMB

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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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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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Cuisine Italian
MAIN COURSES LAMB
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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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