A tasty lamb stew needs spices. The use of coconut milk is what makes this lamb stew different from how I usually cook my meat. I typically cook lamb with lots of spices and recently decided to get more ideas from other cultures. Although many of the Caribbean islands cook with coconut milk, it is not widely used in Haitian cooking. We do have a rice dish and a cornmeal dish cooked in coconut milk.
I may sound like a broken record, but I cannot say it enough. Lamb must be cleaned, and washed with vinegar, lemon or lime and cooked with an acidic agent to remove the raw odor. Just remember that, and you will be fine cooking lamb more often.
My Spicy Coconut Lamb Stew is made with two main ingredients, Garam Marsala and Pikliz. India meets Haiti! Why not, right! If there is an abundance of spices in the world, why not try them all. What can go wrong?
The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with many recipes across India according to regional and personal taste,and none is considered more authentic than others. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together.
A typical Indian version of garam masala contains:
- black and white peppercorns
- Cinnamon or cassia bark
- nutmeg and mace
- black and green cardamom pods
- Bay leaf
Some recipes call for spices to be blended with herbs, while others for the spices to be ground with water, vinegar, coconut milk, or other liquids, to make a paste. In some recipes nuts, onion, or garlic may be added. Some recipes also call for small quantities of star anise, asafoetida, stone flower or Dagadphool and Kababchini (Cubeb). The flavors may be carefully blended to achieve a balanced effect, or a single taste may be emphasized. A masala may be toasted before use to release its flavors and aromas. (Wikipedia, 2015)
For the stew, I added my typical Haitian Pikliz to bring out the flavors of the garam masala more. It is a hit every time. And with the coconut milk, it seems that those three ingredients were made for one another. The rest is history. Try my Spicy Coconut Lamb Stew today and don’t forget to drop me a note.