When one has lived in South Africa (the Southern Hemisphere) and moves to the States, the seasons are switched around. So, we are now in June and it is HOT outside, especially if one lives in Phoenix! Our friends and family back home are in the throes of Winter – ideal weather for hot soups, stews (bredies) and baked puddings. The Springbok Club of Phoenix has an event each year in June to celebrate Fathers’ Day. As it is too hot to be out in the midday sun and the evenings don’t cool down, anyway, this gathering is indoors with a traditional South African menu. Dishes served are bobotie with yellow rice, curried chicken and curried lamb with white rice, sides of chutney, tomato sambal, sliced banana salad and shredded coconut (unsweetened, which is not as commonly available as the sweetened variety, here). For dessert there is milk tart, ice cream and koeksisters. Quite a feast!
This recipe could serve 25 people, depending on appetites and the other courses. It is a mild, flavorsome curry which can be made into a hotter curry by using hot or extra-hot curry powder instead of the mild. The lamb can be replaced with beef, pork or even chicken.
- cooking oil
- 6-7 lbs deboned leg of lamb, cubed
- 5-6 medium onions, wedged
- 3½ tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons salt
- black pepper
- ⅓ cup apricot jam
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 cups hot water
- 2-3 large potatoes, diced
- ¾ pound baby carrots
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven, brown the meat and onion in about three batches and remove from the saucepan. Add a little oil between batches, if necessary.
- Add the curry powder, turmeric and cumin to the saucepan and stir over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper, jam and vinegar. Mix and stir in the water. Bring to the boil and return the meat and onion to the pot.
- Cover and simmer, or place in the oven at 300°F, for about 1½ hours until the meat is just tender.
- Add the potato and carrots and return to the stovetop or oven for a further 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
- Adjust sauciness by adding hot water if necessary, and check the flavoring.
- Serve on rice with chutney, sliced banana, shredded coconut (unsweetened) and sambals (see pages 103-104 of South African Cooking in the USA).