Wednesday 23 September 2015

A Lamb Chop Curry for Eid-al-Adha.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

An early Eid-al-Adha Mubarak to you all.

I was discussing Eid-al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) with my nieces last week and one of them said she didn't really get it. Eid-al-Fitr is the celebration after fasting the entire month of Ramadan but what about Eid-al-Adha? I knew exactly what she meant.

After fasting throughout Ramadan, the Eid celebration is most welcome. But for Eid-al-Adha, we need to dig a little deeper. Of course, we all know the story behind this Eid. How Allah told Prophet Ibrahim (as) to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail (as). Prophet Ibrahim (as) decided to do it and his son agreed with him because he knew it was a command from Allah. This is related in Surah As-Saffat, Verse 102:
{And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."}
This is the part of the story my nieces love. The part where little Ismail (as) doesn't complain - he simply accepts Allah's decision.
Of course, when Prophet Ibrahim (as) goes out with his son ready to sacrifice him Shaytaan tries his best to get him to change his mind. Ibrahim (as) pelts him with pebbles - an action that the pilgrims will replicate tomorrow on the Jamaraat bridge. 
As for the sacrifice, Allah replaces his son with a ram. He had passed the test.
This Eid, I hope to think a little bit more about that sacrifice and about Ibrahim's (as) willingness to follow the command of Allah - no questions asked. I also hope to remember how I should not love anything or anyone more than Allah. Isn't it interesting how Allah asked him to sacrifice his only beloved son? 
And, finally, I hope one day to have patience as shown to us by Prophet Ibrahim (as). Not just patience but a beautiful trust in Allah too. He trusted Allah and knew that whatever Allah had asked him to do, there would be goodness in it. And, look now. How all these thousands of years later, we are still remembering his sacrifice and we are sacrificing our own animals in Qurbani for the sake of Allah.

When it comes to our Eid Qurbani, we usually go down the lamb option. This recipe for my Mother's lamb chop curry is perfect for a busy Eid morning. Serve it with soft naanquick pilau rice or simply, as we did, with chips. It's a one-pot wonder where everything is simply thrown in and left to simmer away gently whilst you get on with the Eid prayers, answering the many cries of Eid Mubarak and this year, I hope, remembering the sacrifice of a man and his son all those thousands of years ago and intending to do your best to learn from his story, Insha Allah.
Eid Mubarak to you all. I pray that Allah takes us all for Hajj one day, and that He invites us again and again to the cities of Makkah and Madinah - ameen.

Lamb Curry, previously: lamb spinach currycauliflower lamb currylamb curryRajasthani lamb currylamb and turnip curry.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Vegetable Oil
2. Lamb Chops
3. Onions
4. Plain Yoghurt
5. Tinned Tomatoes

6. Ginger Paste
7. Garlic Paste

8. Salt
9. Ground Turmeric
10. Ground Coriander
11. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
12. Ground Cumin
13. Garam Masala
14. Green Chillies
15. Fresh Coriander

Bismillah, let's begin!

Take a deep pan and place it over a medium heat. Pour in 1/4 cup (about 60ml) Vegetable Oil. Let it heat up.

Then, it's on to the meat.

You'll need 975 grams (2 pounds and 2 ounces) Lamb Chops.

When the oil is hot, add in the lamb.

Give it a quick stir.

Next, take 2 large Onions.

Give them a peel.

Dice them up.

Throw in the diced onion.

Stir in the onions.

Next, garlic paste and ginger paste.

In goes 1/2 tablespoon Ginger Paste and 1/2 tablespoon Garlic Paste.

Stir in the pastes.

Next, the spices!

Measure out:
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
3 teaspoons Ground Coriander
Guys, feel free to adjust the salt and red chilli to your liking.

In go the spices and salt.

Next, tinned plum tomatoes.

We'll only need 1/2 tin (200 grams) Tinned Plum Tomatoes.

Stir in the tomatoes.
Another things guys, this is one of those recipes that you can prep all the ingredients beforehand and add them in. Or you can do as I did and leave the pan on a medium heat and add in the ingredients, bit by bit, as you prepare them and as the photos show.

There's no water in this curry. Instead we'll use plain yoghurt.

Take 145ml Plain Yoghurt.

Give the yoghurt a beat with a fork.

Pour in the beaten yoghurt.

Once the yoghurt is in ..

... stir it in.

And, that's it. The main curry is done. All we have to do now is simmer.

Bring the curry to a boil. Then, turn the heat to the lowest and cover with a lid. Simmer for 1 hour or until the lamb chops are tender.

Once the curry has simmered away, uncover and give it a stir. Turn the heat back to medium.

Dry out any excess moisture, if you want.

All we have to do now is add the finishing touches. And honestly, these additions make the curry.

First, a large handful Fresh Coriander, chopped.

Next, 1 teaspoon Garam Masala.

And finally, my favourite. Take 4 Green Chillies, sliced. You can use the thin ones if you want but try to use these thicker ones - they'll add such a good flavour.

In go the sliced chillies.

A final stir and we're done.

All you have to do now is grab a bowl and figure out what you want with your curry. You could make soft naan breada quick pilau rice or my personal favourite, chips!

Full Written Recipe:

Lamb Chop Curry.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 6 people.

¼ cup (about 60ml) Vegetable Oil
975 grams (2 pounds and 2 ounces) Lamb Chops
2 large Onions, peeled and diced
½ tablespoon Ginger Paste
½ tablespoon Garlic Paste
2 teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Powder
¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
3 teaspoons Ground Coriander
½ tin (200 grams) Plum Tomatoes
145ml Plain Yoghurt, beaten
Large handful Fresh Coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
4 Thick Green Chillies, sliced


Take a deep pan with high sides. Place over a medium heat and once hot, add the vegetable oil.

 When the oil is hot, add in the lamb chops.
Then, add in the onions, ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, ground turmeric, crushed red chilli flakes, ground cumin and ground coriander. Stir together.

Next, in goes the plum tomatoes and the beaten yoghurt. Give everything a stir and bring to the boil. Then, turn the heat to the lowest and leave the curry to simmer for 1 hour or until the lamb chops are tender.

Uncover and dry out any excess moisture, if you want. Stir in the garam masala, green chillies and fresh coriander.

Serve with naan, rice or chips. Enjoy!

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas, please, and enjoy your lamb curry,


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