Hector’s Lamb Curry for Eight

The Day Before

Hector has been permitted to Host a Barrel of Löwenbräu (Buttenheim, Bayern) Bock. This necessitates a Home-Cooked Curry-Heute. KRK (Woodlands Rd., Glasgow) was the Source of the Ingredients. Only 2Kg of Mutton between Eight? Given our current rate of intake, Four of Eight could be disappointed. The Friends of Hector should not worry, the Staple Interesting Vegetable – Potato –  is to be included along with a mass of Leaves, some Fresh, some Tinned.  Potato, Hector has not been forgiven since the Potato Debacle of 2011 when two Bags of Israeli Salad Potatoes refused to cook.

The Lamb was cut into smaller pieces, not as small as a Bradford Curry, but way smaller than is the Glasgow Norm. Home Ground Garam Masala was then mixed through and the Meat placed in the Oven for an hour to cook in the Spice and its own Juices.

This gave the time to Machine-Cut two ridiculously large Onions and Grate the Ginger. This and a healthy portion of Garlic (from a jar) were added to the Karahi and cooked to form the basis of the Masala. The objective was once again to make as Thick a Masala as I could manage, whilst ensure there was plenty of it.

Cumin Seeds, Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds, Black and Green Cardamom and a piece of Cinnamon Bark were stirred in after some thirty minutes. The adding of the two Powdered Spices was held off as long as I could stand. A heaped Desert-Spoon of Turmeric and Chilli Powder were then added along with a similar quantity of Salt. More Salt will be added later to taste – and well before Serving.

Avoiding the creation of a Red Curry, only one Tin of Tomatoes and a Squish of Tomato Purée was added.  Some Natural Yoghurt found its way in too.  What are the odds that a Spoon of Lime Pickle will find its way in before Serving.

How Many Leaves?

A Tin of Puréed Spinach was then stirred in. Fortunately the sheer bulk of the Onion-mix could take this. I hope no damage had has been done. The Fresh Coriander and Fresh Methi will be added in the hour before Serving along with the Potato.

The Lamb had given up much liquid and looked Very Dry as it was added to the Masala. The challenge now is to avoid sticking to the Aluminium Karahi – it shouldn’t but it does.

After another hour the Mutton was Tender-ish, the joy of the Small Cut.  The Masala had a Kick, but the Flavours have yet to emerge.

An overnight, and more Leaves will bring the Flavours out, and more Salt required.

Today is The Day

 Something strange happened at 07.00, the Landline Rang…on a Saturday… so Hector was now an involuntary member of the Wide-Awake Club.

The Curry had plenty of time to meet its fellow ingredients overnight in the Fridge. It perhaps looked too healthy, minimal Vegetable Oil had been used to pulp the Onions. To bring the Curry back to life I started a new Mini-Masala with some Oil, Cumin Seeds and a small freshly cut Onion. Things were looking better. The whole Mass Curry was heated in the oven for a half hour to ensure even cooking. The Lamb felt on the edge of ready the night before, this should bring it to Tender. Meanwhile the Potatoes were carefully chopped into suitably small pieces and Boiled – not taking any chances. Boiled Rice was prepared in three batches in the microwave.

The Fresh Methi Leaves, Dried Methi (soaked) and an entire bunch of Fresh Coriander were chopped. The Mass Curry from the oven was split into two pots on the stove. The Leaves were added with chopped Green Chillies added to the pot on the right, important everyone remembers this, Hector in particular. After some fifteen minutes the heat was turned off. That should do, I didn’t taste it – the Palate had to be in perfect condition for the Main Event.

The Core-Eight

Robin was first to arrive, we suffered the Football. Jonathan and Howard were next. The numbers today were kept to a minimum, the Barrel is only 20l, it is to be savoured. The Barrel was tapped @14.15, later than planned but we were only Four of Eight as Dr. Stan entered – as if his sixth sense had been working overtime. Löwenbräu Bock (Buttenheim, Bayern) – Herr Modschiedler  gave Hector a Bottle on his last visit in 2011. Dr. Stan and Jonathan had it at Source last year. Jonathan had driven the Barrel back from Bayern. This Bock retains the tradition of Dry and Hoppy, and unlike some of the Bamberg Breweries, has not gone Sweet to cater for the Masses.  Hector will not set foot in The Fatherland until July of this year. Something needs to be done about this.

By the time Craig, Yvonne and Dr. Rick rolled in, the Final Whistle had just blown, time to get the Party going.

Jonathan insisted on sitting in the Kitchen alone to watch some Chaps fight over a strange shaped ball. Hector had suitable entertainment lined up for the majority – Iron Sky – a Documentary set in 2018.

 There was Curry-Heute

Dr. Rick had flown in from Geneva yesterday. Looking for sub-atomic particles at CERN one day, and studying the Hector Curry the next. Jonathan was tasked with tasting the Minimal Masala to ensure the Salt level was appropriate. He was happy. Time to serve, oneself.  Yvonne went straight for the Baby Pot then changed her mind and went for the Man’s Pot.  The Split of the Mass Curry was calculated to perfection.

 Very N***

There was a conspiracy. There is a banned word, an adjective which does not appear in this Blog. Difficult as it is to find new ways of describing what makes a Good Curry, The Chaps today were not playing ball. Texture-wise, this Curry was exactly how I had planned it. It was definitely Thick and Dry. Now getting the Flavours exactly how I want them remains a Mystery. I know the Answer contains Methi, but there is more. Maybe I should have added more Oil. I have made better, but when one goes above the 1kg of Meat, it becomes more difficult to judge the proportions of Spice and Herbs. The Lamb was just on Tender, I avoided it turning to Pulp.

The Potatoes are well cooked! These are Lovely Potatoes! These are the best Potatoes, ever served in a Curry!

In the end The Chaps made the usual Positive Noises. That everyone, bar Robin, went back for a second portion says enough. Robin should ask for a Pensioners Discount these days. Robin took what was left home, he got on to his Donkey and headed back to Beit Lechem. It could feed him for days, the Curry…

The Aftermath

An Episode, no The Episode of The Big Bang Theory, where Amy Farrah Fowler is Very Naughty. Dr. Rick claims what was to be his next days lecture notes have appeared in an episode.

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1 Response to Hector’s Lamb Curry for Eight

  1. Dr Ed Carolan says:

    I’ve found that the stems of coriander, methi, parsley and spinach (greens) all contain more taste than the leaves. If you de-stem the leaves and place them in iced water it will revive the leaves, and you can chop the stems when you are doing the garlic/ginger/ chilli paste. It makes a big difference and utilizes a wasted item.
    I’ve also found that if you add your strongest chillis(minus seeds and membranes) at the Frying stage it lessen the heat but retains a lot of taste. Some Punjabis use cassia (both leaf and bark)instead of and alongside cinnamon.
    Good luck with the cooking. That one looked like a cracker.

    Hector replies:

    Welcome Ed to the World of Curry-Heute.
    You are the first to state that using Methi stems is OK, I have been warned off this, but then the ratio of stems to leaves is unfavourable, so I shall I have to try.
    I have bee using Cassia but find it less effective than Cinnamon.
    I can make a Curry look like any Curry set before me.
    Whatever they do in Bradford to achieve the overall taste remains a mystery.

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