Not the way I usually spend Mothers day but when your middle daughter decides its time to stretch her wings there's no stopping her!! This is why when I should have been enjoying breakfast in bed, I was hurtling down the M5 towards Birmingham International Airport.
I'd had ham and eggs for breakfast before I left and I make no secret about my phobia of airports so had a coffee and nothing more while I was there. Dad and girls on the other hand tucked into Burger King milkshakes and chocolate!!
Lunch didn't happen - tummy too nervous!
Kolhapuri Mutton (Madhur Jaffery's)
2lb/900g boned lamb from the shoulder, cut into 1½ in/4cm cubes
For the marinade
4 tbs/60ml plain yoghurt
2 tsp/10ml very finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp/5ml finely crushed garlic
¼ tsp turmeric
For the sauce
½ tsp/2.5ml vegetable oil
2-4 dried, hot, red chillies
1½ in/4cm cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
10 whole cardamom pods
2 tbs/30ml whole coriander seeds
10oz/350g, 3 medium sized onions, peeled
6 tbs/90ml vegetable oil
2 tsp/10ml finely crushed garlic
1 tsp/5ml very finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3 small tomatoes, very finely chopped
1¼ tsp/6ml salt
Put the meat in a bowl. Add all the marinating seasonings and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight if you prefer.
Lightly grease a small cast-iron frying pan with the ½ tsp/2.5ml of vegetable oil and heat it over a medium-low flame. When it is hot, put in the dried hot red chillies and the cinnamon stick. Stir these around until the red chillies darken. Remove the spices and put them in a plate. Put the cloves, cardamom pods and coriander seeds into the same frying pan. Stir and roast the seeds until they darken a few shades. You will be able to smell the roasted coriander seeds. Put these spices into the same place as the chillies and cinnamon.
Put all the roasted spices from the plate into the container of a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder. Grind as finely as possible.
Cut all the onions in half, lengthwise. Now slice half of these sections crosswise into very fine half rings. Chop up the other half as finely as you can.
When the meat has finished marinating, heat the 6 tbs/90 ml/½ cup of oil in a wide, heavy pan over a medium-high flame. When hot, put in just the sliced onions. Stir and fry them until they are reddish-brown in colour.
Now put in the very finely chopped onions and stir them for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Put in the 2 tsp/10 ml of garlic and 1 tsp/5 ml of ginger. Stir for a few seconds. Put in the ground spices from the coffee grinder and stir once. Now add 4 fl oz/125 ml/½ cup of water. Continue to stir and cook on a medium-low flame, stirring as you do so for 3-4 minutes. You will begin to see the oil as it separates from the spice mixture.
Now put in the marinated meat. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Stir and fry the meat with the spice paste for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt. Continue to stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Now add about 8 fl oz/250 ml/1 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
Just before serving, you can spoon the fat off the top if you so desire.
I finished the evening listening to my new CD's (thanks girls) and swigging a double Vodka and Tonic in celebration of Mothers Day and the news that said daughter had arrived safely. She was having fun but was having phone problems, so a quick phone call to Orange and a PUK code obtained and all was sorted! (good ole Mam!)
First text message read: People nice, food good but loads of it. I think I ate a whole barnyard!!!
Straight to the important stuff... the food... a chip of the old block dont' ya think?