A profusion of diverse threads are wondrously woven into cultural tapestries. When we say, local is lekker, we’re transported back to nostalgic foods that remind us of our childhood. For me, hot African summers with Sunday’s braaivleis smoke come to mind. We also understand that ‘dipping an Ouma’ is figurative, a habitual pleasure of early morning coffee-soaked rusks. And, that no fete is replete without curry & rice topped with spoonfuls of Mrs Ball’s chutney. This distinctive combination of savoury and sweet is as much a part of our local cuisine as milk tart.
As a nation of flavour seeking eaters, South Africa embraces a melting pot of exciting cuisines. It’s no surprise then that Indian food is so popular. With its bold use of spices and heat levels ranging from mild to hell hot, it’s hard to beat a good curry. Influenced primarily by regionality, Indian food explores a broad spectrum of flavours.
Today I’m partnering with South African food brand, Peppadew, who recently introduced a range of #AwesomeAtchars to the local market. I’m always excited to experiment with new ingredients, so when Peppadew invited me to develop a recipe using their exclusive atchars, I gladly jumped on board. For this succulent lamb curry, I’m using their Mango atchar to boost the flavours.
A word on atchars – Recent health food studies show that naturally fermented foods aid digestion and promote good-gut health. All the more reason then to include this age old form of preserved foods in our everyday diets. Traditionally made with either fruit or a medley of vegetables, atchar is rich in lactic acid. With four Peppadew Atchar variants to choose from including a Mango option, we’re headed for a mouthwatering sweet and savoury combination. Here’s how we’re going to do it.
The secret to a good curry is making the curry paste from scratch. Using a combination of Mild and Hot Peppadew Mango Atchar, toasted spices, caramelised onions, ginger, garlic and fresh mangoes cheeks, this is a paste to bottle! Being a firm believer in the art of slow cooking, we’re going to allow the oven to do the work. Hours of gentle heat renders a spoonable meat. Indian food lends itself to extravagant feasting with a host of tasty morsels to serve alongside. I’m serving mine with warm puffy naan breads and a refreshing carrot and masala cashew nut salad. It’s a lively contrast to the rich lamb and testament to the success of incorporating new ingredients into spectacularly good food.
Lamb curry with mango atchar
Dry spices (enough for 1 quantity curry)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (depending on heat preference)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 quantity dry spice
- 2 tablespoons Peppadew Mild Mango Atchar with Piquanté Peppers
- 2 tablespoons Peppadew Hot Mango Atchar with Piquanté Peppers
- flesh of 1 medium-sized mango (about 1 1/4 cup), fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1.2 kg free-range lamb cubes
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 400g tin whole plum tomatoes, mulched
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 cup weak beef stock
- 200ml water
- 1 tablespoon fruit chutney
- salt and pepper, to taste
- To make the dry spice, toast the cumin, coriander and fennel in a pan on medium heat until fragrant. Add the garam masala, turmeric and chilli flakes, giving it a quick stir through before setting aside to cool.
- For the paste, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and sauté the onion until softened. Stir the garlic and ginger in cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the dry spices, both Peppadew Mango Atchars with Piquanté Peppers and the fresh mango pieces to the onions. Now add the sugar and water and simmer for several minutes. Transfer the paste to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Heat the remaining oil in a heavy based oven-proof saucepan. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in batches, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Sauté the the onion in the remaining pan oils. Add the lamb back to the pan and combine with the caramelised onions. Add the whole quantity curry paste and the remaining ingredients, except the chutney. Cover with a lid and cook in a 180º C preheated oven for about 3 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened.
- Adjust seasoning if necessary and stir through the chutney. Serve with carrot and cashew nut salad, steamed rice, naan bread and cucumber raita.
This post was sponsored by Peppadew. Recipes and opinions are my authentically that of Bibbyskitchen
Another favourite South African curry – This Cape Malay chicken curry with roast bananas