Saturday, 6 July 2013

Vivek Singh's roast saddle of lamb with root vegetables and pickling sauce: a recipe for Curry for Change

Vivek Singh is the brains and creative talent behind Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho. Him Indoors and I went to Cinnamon Club for our third Indian Wedding Anniversary and can vouch for it being one of the best Indian restaurants around, having had a truly memorable and superb meal. Vivek trained as a chef in India, schooled in traditional Indian cooking, and has achieved not only the foundation and running of three highly respected restaurants, but has also written three best selling cook books. 

I was invited to an Indian cooking Masterclass at his Cinnamon Kitchen restaurant by the small (yet powerful and effective) charity Find Your Feet to launch their Curry For Change fundraising initiative. I learned three dishes from masters of Indian food Vivek Singh, Dhruv Baker and Anjum Anand. I wrote about the whole experience here: 
However, one Curryholic was not satisfied with just a writeup, and asked for the recipes themselves. The nice people at Find Your Feet were only too happy to agree that I could share them with my readers. So this is my second post of three, the first being Dhruv Baker's Malaba Prawn curry which you can find here:

Vivek Singh's intent was bringing the marinating and roasting techniques of tandoor (wood fired clay oven) cooking to the home. The real thing gets as hot as 400 degrees C, and glows red when truly hot, so much more powerful than a domestic oven! 

Vivek used a good quality saddle of lamb and advised us to use the best quality meat we could get for this dish. If good meat is used, then it will not need too much spice and can be marinaded for only a brief amount of time. After cooking, the meat should be rested for as long as it has been cooked. The vegetables in red curry sauce (or 'pickling sauce') originated in Rajasthan in Western India. We were advised that the vegetables used in the dish could be varied and flexible and to use whatever is in season. 

Vivek's saddle of lamb with 'Aachar' (pickled) vegetables tasted spectacular. My sole regret was only having a small plate to nibble! The spicing was detectable yet subtle, allowing the flavour of the lamb to sing. The aachari vegetables retained some crunch and had a great kick to them. I would say that this dish would be a perfect alternative to the regular Sunday roast. Equally, this could be a great main course for a Curry For Change dinner party to raise money for Find Your Feet!

Vivek Singh’s roast saddle of lamb with root vegetables and pickling sauce

Serves 4

1 saddle of lamb trimmed and cleaned. Approx. 800g in weight (reserve the trimmings)

For the marinade
First marinade
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon corn or vegetable oil

Second marinade
2 tbsp Greek Yoghurt
1tsp ground garam masala
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1tsp sugar
½ tsp salt

For the sauce
3 tablespoons oil, preferably mustard oil
1 teaspoon panch phoran ( available to buy ready at good Asian stores) (pickling spice mix) (1 part mustard seeds, 1 part black onion seeds, 1 part cumin seeds, ½ part fenugreek seeds, 2 parts fennel seeds) 
1 white onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
4 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoon cornmeal
1cup lamb stock or water
4 green chillies slit lengthways 
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon jaggery or molasses sugar
1 tablespoon chopped green coriander

For the root vegetables
500g/1lb young root vegetables (carrots, turnips, radishes, fennel bulbs)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup white wine vinegar

1. Rub the first marinade over the lamb and set aside for 30 minutes. Mix together the ingredients for second marinade in a bowl separately and keep aside.
2. In the meanwhile, prepare the root vegetables. Heat oil in a heavy based pan and add the whole spices until they crackle and pop. Next add the trimmed and cleaned root vegetables and sear over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add salt, sugar and vinegar and mix together, transfer to a pre-heated baking tray and roast for 6-8 minutes in a hot oven at 200 Deg C 
3. To make the sauce, mix together the yoghurt, cornmeal and stock to a smooth paste and pass through a strainer to get rid of any lumps. Next, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add all of the seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the onions and sautĂ© for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Add the turmeric, stir for 30 seconds then whisk in the yoghurt and cornmeal mix and stir for another 2-3 minutes, taking care that the yoghurt does not split. Add the stock, green chillies, and salt, and simmer for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and gets a glaze. Add the molasses and chopped coriander and mix well. Remove and keep warm while you cook the lamb saddle. 
4. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan, add the meat and sear over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer to an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/ Gas Mark 6 and smear the lamb with the second marinade over the top, and roast for 6-8 minutes, if you like your meat pink. Cook for an additional few minutes if you like it cooked medium to well done. Remove from the oven and leave the meat to rest for 6-8 minutes. 
5. Divide the sauce between 4 serving plates and place the lamb on top.  You may serve the meat sliced or as steaks depending upon what you prefer. Place the root vegetables and around the lamb and serve hot.

I would like to thank Find Your Feet for allowing me to share Vivek Singh's recipe with you.

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