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Lamb and Eggplant Curry

Comfort food at its best.  This dish makes great use of the humble eggplant, infusing them with some classic Middle Eastern flavours and Aromas.  

LAMB AND EGGPLANT CURRY

INGREDIENTS

2 heaped tsp chickpea flour

600 ml water

300 g plain yoghurt

150 ml vegetable oil

2 eggplants, diced

2 heaped tsp cumin seeds

2 heaped tsp fennel seeds

2 heaped tsp fenugreek seeds

2 tbsp. mustard seeds

2 onions, sliced lengthways

5 cloves garlic, sliced

3 long red chilli, sliced on the diagonal

8 cm piece of ginger, julienned

1 heaped tsp cumin

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 ½ tsp chilli powder

3 tsp sea salt flakes

900 g lamb shoulder, diced

1 cup canned tomatoes

12 curry leaves

METHOD

1.      In a large bowl whisk together the chickpea flour and water.  Add the yoghurt, whisk until smooth and set aside. 

2.      Heat 120 ml oil in a large, wide based saucepan over medium heat and lightly brown the eggplant pieces.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Add remaining oil, then toss in the cumin, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds and cook for 1 ½ minutes.  Add the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the ground spices and salt and cook for 1 minute.  Add the lamb and stir over medium heat for two minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered for 10 minutes.

3.      Stir in the chopped tomatoes, eggplant and the yoghurt mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the curry leaves (if using), then reduce the heat to low and cook, half covered for 55 minutes or until the heat is tender.  Add a little water during the cooking if the meat becomes a little dry.

4.      Serve with steamed rice and if desired a simple fresh tomato chutney.