This lamb curry is out of this world. Wow. I thought my butter chicken was awesome the other week, but this dish is special. However, I have successfully burned my tongue twice since digging in. You can’t fully enjoy food with a burnt tongue, or when it’s too hot. You end up gobbling it down and not really enjoying it at all. It simply becomes sustenance.
Amazing food should be like an awe-inspiring, brilliant album. Or amazing sex. You should want to talk about it, make it for all your friends and family, spread it around (whoa, ok, maybe not the sex part), and proclaim undying love for it. Food that is nourishing, not just filling, should do just that.
Marinating overnight helps flavours mingle and settle in. You know, get to know each other:
“HEY GINGER! Haven’t seen you in a while!”
“What are you talking about, garlic? We were hanging out with butter chicken last week!”
And so forth.
I love spaghetti squash. In fact, I knew not of its existence until a few years ago. It is a more than ‘good-enough’ substitution for actual spaghetti. It is slightly sweet, crunchy and satisfying. Ridiculously easy to prepare, as well.
This curry is full of coconut oil, and coconut milk. I even snuck in some butter. It’s a party going on in there, folks! An intensely flavourful, creamy, luscious party. You know you want to jump in.
Food has better parties than me!
Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash
Meat and Marinade
1kg stewing lamb chunks (about 2.2 lbs)
1 sweet onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 coconut milk
3 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 tbsp finely grated ginger (I keep mine in the freezer)
1.5 tsp cumin
10 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 can coconut milk
1 large spaghetti squash, about 4 lbs in size
2 teaspoons turmeric
Red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
Combine the “Meat and Marinade” ingredients and marinate 24 hours, if not more. I think mine chilled in the fridge for about 26 hours.
Remove from fridge. Preheat a large pot, and add 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the pot. Brown this curried mix of lamb and onions in batches. You will need extra coconut oil for each batch. Oh no, more coconut oil. How horrid!
Once you’ve browned all your lamb off, set it aside. Empty 1 can of your favourite coconut milk into the pot, and add 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed, and one whole cinnamon stick. Let this simmer on medium high for about 4 minutes. Add your lamb in. Season generously with sea salt, as we did not put any into the marinade.
Stir. Cover. Add your 2 tablespoons butter. Turn the heat down to low for about an hour. Stir frequently, as coconut milk tends to stick to the bottom of your pot and burn. We do not want burnt coconut milk. No way.
Stab your spaghetti squash multiple times all over with a fork or sharp knife. Sorry squash, but your time has come!
Are you done venting your days frustrations? Place the wounded squash into your microwave*, and cook it on high for about 20 minutes. Mine was done at around 18 minutes. Your microwave will vary. If you hear steam escaping after about 15 minutes, take it out carefully with a set of tongs. Place it into a large bowl, and slice it open. Be careful with this step, as you may end up with a face full of steam, and a nice burning sensation that you did not ask for! Using a spoon, scrap out the seeds. Throw this away. Using the same spoon, continue to scrape out the innards of the squash, until all you have left is an empty shell. Discard.
(*I’m not crazy about using the microwave for anything. You can certainly cook the squash in the oven, cut lengthwise, face down in a baking dish with about 2 inches of water. Oven at 375 for about 45 minutes, or until a fork pierces through easily.)
After an hour, remove the lid, and crank the heat back up to medium high. We want to reduce the sauce to make it nice and thick, and make the flavours more intense. Stir frequently again. After about 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Add your cilantro at the very end.
In a large frying pan, add your 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil to a hot pan. Add in your spaghetti squash and leave it to slightly brown. Toss like a professional. C’mon, you can do it! Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, and about 1 teaspoon black pepper. Season lightly with sea salt. Turmeric will turn the already beautiful, golden squash even more golden. It will add smokiness, depth and a hint of sweetness. Ah, turmeric. You sexy bitch you. The black pepper will make the important anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric more bio-available. These two adore each other!
Serve this up, allow it to cool slightly, as it will be tantalizingly hot. And monumentally delicious. Savour each bite of tender, spicy lamb and aromatic squash.
This is what good food should do for you!