03 May 2010

EJ's southeast asian saag-a

It's Friday night, I'm in Auckland, staying with my good friend Bates (Emma Bates, for those 007 fans out there).  We had an exciting evening of entertainment planned, had in fact spent a good portion of the afternoon in preperation for the event.  What were we going to be doing?  Clubbing?  Seeing something from the comedy festival?  No.  Much cooler - we were cooking.  Well, Emma was cooking (she's a culinary arts student, so I deferred to her greater authority), while I observed.  So here it is - Emma Bates' first blog cameo.   

We'd intended to make saag gosht, as we both agree it's possibly the best of the indian curries (well, of those we've tried).  However, somewhere along the way EJ did a bit of continent-hopping, so our curry ended being more southeast asian.  However, with saag gosht as the starting point, saag Bates was born. 

In prepartion for our cooking class evening we took a trip to a butchery, not too far from Emma's house - Westmere Butchery - if you live in Auckland I would really recommend going there - the guys in there were so helpful (letting us know when we were about to buy the wrong cut of meat for a curry) and the lamb we bought was tender and had heaps of flavour. 

2 chillis
4 garlic cloves
2 cm piece fresh ginger
1 onion
1 shallot
fresh coriander
zest and juice of lime, or lemon
1 eggplant (salted, to sweat)
650 g lamb, diced
sesame oil
fish sauce
2 tbsp green curry paste
400 ml coconut milk
tin bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
2cm piece palm sugar
2 good handfuls spinach
dash cream
rice and roti, to serve
  1. Whizz together all chillis, garlic, ginger, onion, shallot, coriander, lime zest with 1 tbsp water, into a nice paste.  Set aside. 
  2. Brown diced lamb in hot pan with sesame oil and a good dash of fish sauce.  Remove lamb, set aside. 
  3. Add homemade paste to pan with another dash of fish sauce.  Stir around for a minute or so.  Add green curry paste, stir.  Add coconut milk and bamboo, return lamb to pan, stir through.  Crumble block of palm sugar into curry, add eggplant, lower heat and simmer.
  4. Blitz spinach with a dash of cream in food processor, add to simmering curry, with juice of lime. 
  5. Let this simmer away until you're ready for it.  Serve with rice and roti
It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but a lot are ones that are likely in the cupboard already, or that can be bought and then kept in cupboard (bamboo, fish sauce, palm sugar etc) as they won't go bad, at least, not in a hurry.  Also feel free to substitute ingredients - if you haven't eggplant, use zucchini or mushrooms.  No lamb?  Use beef, chicken, lots of root vegetables.  Spinach is really the only non-negotiable here.  Have a play, see what you like.  It was soooooo worth it - really amazingly tasty curry.  Well done, EJ, top class creation here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds tasty little lady!! x (guess who...)