As a bit of a follow up from my night at Benares, I’ve created 2 Atul Kochhar inspired dishes, now tried and tested by moi for you to give em a go. So starting with the starter of Kentish Mutton, marinaded and served as a salad with roasted fennel and crispy croutons. I used Lamb instead of Mutton because I find it a lot easier to get hold of. The licoricey taste to fennel really compliments lamb, and I doubled up this flavour by using a little fennel seed and pernod in the marinade which worked superbly!
For the croutons:
1 slice bread, cut into about 15mm cubes
½ tsp cumin seeds
Sunflower oil for frying
Heat a frying pan with oil, and fry the croutons along with the cumin seeds for a few minutes on a low heat, turning them in the pan so they crisp up on all sides.
For the marinade:
1 tbsp mango chutney
2 cloves garlic finely chopped garlic
1 tsp finely chopped green chilli peppers
1 tsp ground fennel seed (it’s better if you get the whole seeds, dry toast them to get the aroma oils out, then grind with a pestle and mortar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp mustard
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp gram flour
2 tbsp Pernod or Ricard
pinch of grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
To make the marinade combine all the above ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
For the tamarind vinaigrette:
4 tbsp fresh tamarind extract (made by soaking dried tamarind pulp in water and passing through a sieve)
1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
½ tbsp each finely chopped red and green pepper
5 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
salt, to taste
Make this tamarind vinaigrette by thoroughly mixing all the ingredients together, either whisk in a bowl or I sometimes shake in an old jam jar.
1 large leg lamb steak (200g), thinly sliced
1 medium sized fennel bulb, roughly chopped
100g of prepared salad leaves
1 sprig of fresh mint, stalk removed
1 sprig of fresh coriander, stalk removed
Start by preparing the croutons, marinade and tamarind vinaigrette as above.
Add the lamb to the bowl of marinade and allow the marinade to fully coat the lamb. Cover and leave in a cool environment for about 3 hours (min 1 if you’re in a rush) but you can leave it overnight in the fridge if you want a really good flavour. I sliced the lamb before marinating so the flavour could really penetrate.
Spread the fennel on a baking sheet with a little oil, and roast in a preheated oven (180oC) for about 20 minutes, or until soft and tender. Turn off the oven and leave it in there to keep warm whilst you cook the lamb.
Fry the lamb in a little oil on a hot heat for about 10 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking.
Combine the salad leaves, roasted fennel, lamb and croutons for the ultimate tasty lamb salad!