This is a great one pot dish for those chilly Autumnal nights (which I’m sure are on their way) that needs little more than a portion of rice or perhaps some naan bread to go with it. Mutton is an underrated meat in my opinion. It has a stronger flavour than lamb and responds well to slow cooking. It can be difficult to source so your best bet is to head to a good farm shop. I got the mutton for this recipe from Townings Farm in Chailey who will be having a pumpkin festival later this month.
Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients. This is actually a very quick and easy dish to prepare then let the oven do the rest!
Serves 4 – 6
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 – 4 large cloves garlic, (about 1 dsp when peeled and crushed)
- 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, (about 1 dsp when peeled and grated)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- ½ – 2 tsp cayenne pepper (according to taste)
- 400ml coconut milk and 400ml water
- 100g red lentils
- 750g mutton or lamb diced, e.g. shoulder
- 400g pumpkin (peeled & deseeded weight), cut into 2cm chunks
- 6 cardamom pods
- 5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 200g fresh spinach leaves, roughly shredded if large
- Preheat the oven to 140℃.
- Heat the oil in a flame proof, lidded casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry until golden then add the garlic, ginger and ground spices. Continue to cook for a minute or two until aromatic.
- Pour in the coconut milk and water followed by the lentils, mutton, pumpkin and whole spices. Stir well then bring to the boil. Cover then transfer to the oven and cook for 90 minutes.
- Remove from the oven then stir in the spinach leaves. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes before serving with boiled rice or naan.