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Coconut Lamb Stew

Coconut Lamb Stew
Preparation time:
2 1/2 hours
Cooking time:
1 hour
Serves:
4

This hearty coconut lamb stew is what I like to call a nutrient-dense dish, great fuel post-workout. The key is to give this stew enough cooking time for the meat to get nice and tender and for all the flavours to develop together. I've enjoyed this stew many times with simple cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, quinoa and also with regular basmati rice.

  • Ingredients

    For the cashew paste:
    • 1 cup, raw roasted cashew nuts
    For the onion-coconut paste:
    • 1 small red onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon green chilli, chopped
    • 50g grated coconut
    • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee or coconut oil, if avoiding dairy
    • 1 sprig of curry leaves
    • 4 green cardamom pods
    • 1.25cm cinnamon stick
    • 4 cloves
    • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
    For the stew:
    • 600g lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
    • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
    • Sea salt
    • 300ml thick coconut milk
    • 200ml water
    • 2 tablespoon cashew nut paste
    • Coconut shavings and fried curry leaves to garnish
  • Method

    • Wash the diced lamb, drain in a colander and keep aside till we make the pastes and are ready to prepare the stew.
    For the cashew paste:
    • To make the cashew paste, we have to start with the raw, roasted cashews that have been soaked for at least 2 hours in warm water. Drain the cashews, wash them under cold water and transfer them to the Kenwood food processor. Adding little of the soaking water, grind to a fine paste. If the mixture is grainy, add some more water and keep grinding till you get a smooth and creamy consistency.
    • Cashew paste is a very versatile ingredient, just a teaspoon of this lends a velvety, rich and creamy texture to the dish. It stores well in your refrigerator for a good 2 weeks or so, in an airtight container and for a good 6 months and longer in the freezer.
    For the onion-coconut paste:
    • Now we prepare the onion-coconut paste. In the Kenwood blender, add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chilli and grated coconut. To this add about 80-100ml water and blitz to form a smooth paste.
    • With both the pastes ready, we can start with the preparation of the lamb stew. Heat a tablespoon of butter or ghee or coconut oil if avoiding dairy, in a casserole pot or a large saucepan.
    • Add the curry leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorns stir before adding the diced lamb. Add the other remaining tablespoon of butter/ghee/ coconut oil. Stir for a good 4-5 minutes on high heat until the lamb gets lightly browned. The whole spices would have released their flavours by this time, evident with the heady aromas.
    For the stew:
    • Now add the onion-coconut paste along with the tomato paste, stir continuously and add sea salt. Add the coconut milk, water, stir and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for a good 40-45 minutes, covered with a lid. Stir a couple of times to avoid the lamb sticking to the bottom of the pot.
    • Check to see if the lamb is cooked; it should be tender and offer no resistance.
      Now add the cashew nut paste; this will thicken the sauce. Check for seasoning and you can stir in additional tablespoon of ghee or butter or coconut oil at this point. It is totally optional.
    • Remove from the heat. Garnish with coconut shavings and fried curry leaves.

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