Category Archives: Main courses

Convertible roast leg of lamb

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NOTE: you need to start the day before you want to serve it.

The meat becomes very tender when marinaded and cooked this way.

If there are leftovers, blend the marinade and juices assembled in the pan, dice the meat and add , to make a lamb curry. When reheated the meat becomes even more tender.

A 3-3.5 kg leg of lamb (in Berlin easiest found in Turkish supermarkets or butchers).

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 heaped tblsp coriander seeds

1 heaped tsp black pepper corns

Seeds from 6 cardamom pods

3 cinnamon sticks (Ceylon or Sri Lanka – NOT cassia)

3 dl yoghurt

8-10 garlic cloves

8-10 cm fresh ginger

150 g ground almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

Chili – any way, shape or form, whatever you have in the house, and to taste

2 tsp salt


The day before you want to serve the dish, cut deep slashes in the meat on all sides.

Grind the spices. Blitz the ginger and garlic in a small food processor with a bit of water.

Mix all ingredients together and rub all over the meat and into every cut and cranny. Put in a solid plastic bag suitable for storing food, or a snugly fitting bowl and cover. Refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 180 Celcius. Place lamb in a deep baking tray. Add about 1.5 dl water to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 2.5 to 3 hours.

Pumpkin curry with black-eyed beans and coconut milk

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1 kg pumpkin or butternut sqash, cut into large chunks

Olive oil to drizzle

1 tblsp garam masala

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tblsp olive oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 green chilis, slit lengthways

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

500 g (after soaking and cooking) black-eyed beans

150 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk


Place pumpkin pieces in a bowl, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garam masala, salt and pepper. Mix to coat evenly and arrange in an oven-proof plate in a single layer. Roast at 180 degrees until the pumpkin is soft and tender.

Heat olive oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the chilies and the onion and cook till the onion is soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the beans, mix well, and add the tomatoes. Cook for another couple of minutes.

Now add the turmeric, a good pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp salt and the coconut milk. Heat gently and add the pumpkin. Cover and heat through, checing for salt and chili.




My first “First Friday ……” chicken curry

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For one kilo of chicken thigh meat (without skin and bones – METRO has it)

3 tblsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 (real) cinnamon sticks

2 large onions, peeled and chopped

6 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated

6 cloves garlic, crushed

Chili to taste, for example 1 tsp chili powder, or 2 fresh chilies

1 tsp salt

200 g tinned tomatoes or tomato passata

2 tblsp tomato concentrate

1,5 tsp ground cumin

A half tsp ground turmeric

3 tblsp full-fat yoghurt

1 tsp garam masala


Heat the oil and fry cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks shortly. Then add the onions and cook on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Blend the ginger, garlic, chilies and salt with just enough water to make a coarse paste.

Add the paste to the onions and simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomato and cook for a few minutes to a thick paste, stirring occasionally.

Then add the tomato concentrate and the rest of the spices. Simmer.

Whisk the yoghurt and incorporate it, once tblsp at a time. Cook through and let all the flavours meld.

Add the chicken and simmer for arund 30 minutes. Before serving, add the garam masala and heat through.

“White” lamb curry

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Spice blend for 1 kilo of lamb cubes:

2 tblsp fennel seeds

Seeds from 1 tblsp green cardamom pods

1 tsp cloves

1 (real) cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

Dry roast all of the above for a minute or two until lightly toasted. Then grind to a powder.

Mix the powder well with the lamb and 4 cm grated ginger, five cloves garlic finely crushed, and 100 g full-fat yoghurt. Marinate for at least half an hour.

Blend 100 g cashew nuts to a paste with 1 tblsp boiling water.

Heat 100 g ghee over medium heat and soften (do not brown) one medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped. Add the meat with all the marinade and enough water to almost cover the meat.

Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Add a heaped tsp salt and 1 tsp ground seeds from green cardamom pods.

Add the cashew nut paste and 50 ml double cream. Add water if needed. Heat through before serving.

Fish does not have to be boring if you cook it with spices, fennel and yoghurt

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600 g fish in large chunks

Blend one half tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp ground mustard seeds, 2 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1 tsp ground cumin, chili to taste, a knob of chopped fresh ginger, 3 large cloves garlic and a dl of water to a paste.

Heat 5 tblsp olive oil and fry a (real) cinnamon stick, five green cardamom pods and three cloves for a minute, then add two medium onions, halved and finely sliced, and simmer for about ten minutes, till the onions start to turn light brown.

Add the spice mixure and sauté, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes, adding more water if necessary.

Whip 2 dl full-fat yoghurt and add to the spice mixture and stir well.

Then add two fennel bulbs, trimmed and finely sliced. Cook till the fennel starts to soften.

Carefully fold in the fish and cook for a minute or more, depending on the fish and size of the pieces.

Ground lamb and chickpeas in spicy cashewnut sauce

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lambchickpeasMany years ago, I won third prize in Politiken’s meatsauce competion (ten bottles of very nice redwine) for sending in this recipe :-).

Before and after that, it has been an old faithful dug out from time to time since then, and I last served it at my third house-warming party in early December 2016 (following a late-afternoon glass or two of glögg, some of my own interpretation of panforte, home-made marshmallows, and some goodies from Leysieffer in Friedrichstraße).

This time, I needed halal meat (2 kilos) which I had ordered in advance from the very friendly (and very reasonable-priced) Fleischerei Kasap, Kottbusser Straße 7.

I served it accompanied by aubergine in a tomato and ginger sauce, and white and brown rice.


4 tblsp olive oil

375 g onion, finely chopped

2 tsp or more garlic, finely chopped

1 tblsp fresh ginger, chopped

2 tsp cumin, roasted and ground

2 tsp coriander, roasted and ground

1 tsp turmeric

Chili in some form or other, to taste

2 bayleaves

1 kilo ground lamb

500 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped

3 tblsp cashew nut butter

500 g dried chickpeas, soaked and boiled (keep approx. 1,5 dl of the water)

Brown the onions slowly, stirring regularly, till they start to caramellise (takes about 20 minutes)

Add garlic and ginger and fry, stirring, for another couple of minutes.

Turn up the heat a bit, and add the spices, fry for about a minute, mixing well.

Add the meat and stir till it is no longer red.

Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, tomatoes, cashew nut butter, chickpeas and water.

Turn heat down and simmer 45-60 minutes till the dish has thickened. Stir from time to time and add more water if needed.

Against food waste: Butternut squash, sweet potato and eggplant casserole

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Last week I shopped absentmindedly and bought too many vegetables, so I had to invent this dish if I was not to join the statistics about food waste.


Trim and cube (do not peel) a butternut squash (it could also have been a medium-sized pumpkin) and four sweet potatoes.

In a large pot, heat some oil and sizzle crushed and peeled cloves from a whole head of garlic with a large knob of chopped ginger, some chopped chilies (to taste), and two tablespoons garam marsala (preferably your own blend). Stir.

Brown the butternut squash and sweet potato cubes on a separate pan and add to the pot, stir well, add a couple of ladles of stock and let simmer for ten minutes while you trim, cube and brown an eggplant which is then added to the pot with a heaped teaspoon of turmeric. Stir well again, and simmer for another ten minutes while you trim, wash and slice a savoy cabbage. Add this to the , stir, seasoning with salt and black pepper.

In the freezer I had chickpeas and black lentils already soaked and boiled. They went in too and the whole thing simmered while I wrote this down, and I was about to finish it off with a dash of fish sauce and freshly squeezed lemon juice. At the time of writing I don’t really know what it tastes like.

Roast leg of lamb with gorgonzola

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Click to enlarge

1 large leg of lamb about 2,5 kilo

5 cloves garlic, peeled

Sprigs of rosemary and thyme

3 dl dry white wine

125 g gorgonzola

1,5 dl creme fraiche

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