This is a festive dish, served at braaivleis, or outdoor cookouts, in the south of Africa. I normally cook the dish with lamb, as specified in the recipe, but I suspect that the dish is very old and might well have been used with monkey or some other good meat. In any case, try it with lamb, mutton, or kid goat. The recipe called for sticking the meat on skewers (sometimes with lamb fat between the pieces) but I usually cook it with pieces larger than are normally used on kabobs. If you use chunks, you can always put them into a hinged basket, as I do.
3 pounds lamb
4 medium onions, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves or fresh lemon leaves
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
Split the garlic clove, then rub it over the lamb. Cut the lamb into pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the meat in a glass or nonmetallic bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onions until they are golden.
Stir in the coriander, cumin, and hot curry powder. (To make hot curry powder, add 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to ordinary curry powder.) Simmer for 3 minutes, then add the brown sugar, lemon juice, and apricot jam. Turn up the heat, stir in 1/2 cup water, and bring to a quick boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. After it boils, remove the sauce from the heat and let stand. When it is cool, pour the sauce over the meat, sticking in the bay or lemon leaves. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or longer.
When you are ready to cook, build a good fire and let it burn down until you have hot coals. Put the meat into a hinged basket or thread it onto skewers, then cook it for 15 minutes or longer, depending on how thick the chunks are. While the meat is cooking, remove the leaves from the sauce. Put the sauce into a cast-iron skillet and bring to a bubble. Slowly stir in the flour, using a wooden spoon, until the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat and pour it into a serving dish. Keep it warm until the meat is ready.
The measures in this recipe will serve 6 hungry people, maybe 8, depending on what else you've got to eat. Traditionally, this dish is served with rice that has been colored yellow with turmeric or saffron.
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Recipe Reprinted by permission.
On The Grill
This page created September 1999