Atul Kochhar is one of the world’s top Indian Chefs and Restauranteurs. He was the first chef in the UK to be awarded a Michelin Star for Indian cuisine at Tamarind. He sailed world famous Benares restaurant into Michelin star status and is currently the Executive Chef of Indian fine-dining restaurant, Kanishka, based in Mayfair, London. He is bringing a whole new style of Indian cooking to the city, introducing the flavours of the region of North East India’s ‘Seven Sister States’.
As an International and UK nationwide TV personality, he has been featured on popular programs such as Million Dollar Menu and Saturday Kitchen and now he has teamed up with Parson’s Nose.
Madras Lamb Curry
Old habits die hard. Having grown up eating Madras curries for most of my life, I find it almost impossible to think of going out for a Chenni curry, so I’m sticking with the traditional name here.
As I blended the spice paste in this recipe the aroma was so evocative of my formative years in south India as a young chef. Wherever I went, whether it was to visit with family or friends, I experienced all these smells. I remember them well. Cooking the spice paste with an extra tablespoon of coconut oil simply adds richness to this otherwise simple and straightforward curry from Tamil Nadu. If you reheat leftovers, you will have to stir in a little water because the coconut will have absorbed all the liquid.
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons Onion Paste (page 218)
4 tablespoons canned chopped tomatoes
15 fresh curry leaves
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
For the spice paste
4cm piece of fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves
4 long thin green chillies
125g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons red chilli powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon white poppy seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
Assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin. You need a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, a large non-stick sauté or frying pan with a lid, and a wok or another sauté or frying pan.
First make the spice paste. Peel and coarsely chop the ginger. Peel the garlic cloves. Remove the stalks from the green chillies, if necessary. Put the ginger, garlic, chillies, coconut, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, chilli powder, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, peppercorns and water into the food processor, and blitz, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a thick paste forms. Set aside.
Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces, trimming and discarding any fat.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil over a medium-high heat in the sauté pan. Add the cinnamon stick and stir around to flavour the oil, then add the onion paste and stir it into the oil for 30 seconds. Add the lamb, increase the heat to high and stir until browned on all sides. Lower the heat and leave to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, while you cook the spice paste. Watch carefully so the lamb doesn’t catch and burn.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil over a medium-high heat in the wok. Add the spice paste and stir for 2 minutes to incorporate the oil and cook all the spices. Stir in the tomatoes and continue simmering for another minute, stirring constantly. Season with salt.
Add the paste mixture to the lamb and stir until all the ingredients are blended. Stir in the 250ml of water. Cover the pan and leave the mixture to gently bubble for 5–8 minutes until the lamb is tender. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary.
Meanwhile, lightly chop the curry leaves and chop enough coriander leaves to make about 2 tablespoons.
Just before serving, stir the curry and coriander leaves into the curry, reserving a few of the coriander leaves to sprinkle over the top.
Parson's Nose has an amazing collection of lamb cuts available online, make sure you remember to check them out if you're thinking of putting together this tasty recipe!
If you loved this recipe as much as we do, why not enter our Indian Summer competition for the chance to win 1 of 4 signed copies of Atul's book "Curries of the World". Enter below or head to our competition page to find out more!
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When was Atul Kochhar awarded his first Michelin Star?
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