I am an Air Force Brat! And proud of it! From the time I was 3 ’til I was 18 we never lived in one place longer than 6 – 10 months at a time. We did stay in one house for two years and it felt very odd. Wonderful, but odd!

During all that time we lived most of my childhood somewhere in Germany or England. And during that time we traveled everywhere we could: Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Scotland. And everywhere we went we tried new foods. Many of them completely new to us. The bread and Sausages of German. Bangers and Mash. Treacle Tart. I even remember trying tongue (once ONLY!!) and my Dad had Steak Tartar. We’ve had eels, seaweed, squid in it’s own juice (BLACK!), lamb, goat. Nothing escaped us! I was just a child for most of it but I do recall numerous delicious, and not so delicious, dishes. It wasn’t until I was grown, married, retired (and learning to actually cook) that I thought back to those days and wanted to replicate some of those meals. Usually Indian. Because I remember visiting Veraswami’s in London several times. I know they have changed since the 1950s but many of their menu items are still the same. Like



    2 1 inch cubes fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    8 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 1/2 cups) water
    10 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 lb lamb cut into 1 inch cubes
    10 cardamom pods
    2 bay leaves
    6 cloves
    10 peppercorns
    1 cinnamon stick
    2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    4 teaspoons bright red paprika mixed with 1/4-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    6 tablespoons plain yogurt
    1/4 teaspoon garam masala
    Freshly ground black pepper

Put the ginger, garlic, and 4 tablespoons water into the container of an electric blender. Blend well until you have a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat cubes in several batches and set to one side. Put the cardamom pods, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon into the same hot oil. Stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on color This just takes a few
Add in the onions then stir and fry for about 5 minutes or until the onions turn a medium-brown color. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Then add the coriander, cumin, paprika-cayenne mix, and salt. Stir and fry for another 30 seconds. Add the fried meat cubes and juices. Stir for 30 seconds.
Add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt. Stir and fry for about 30 seconds or until the yogurt is well blended. Add the remaining yogurt a tablespoon at a time as before. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add 275 ml (1’/4 cups) water if you are cooking lamb and 425 ml (2 cups) water if you are cooking beef. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, scraping in all browned spices on the sides and bottom of the pot. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour for lamb and 2 hours for beef, or until the meat is
tender. (It could be baked, covered, in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for the
same length of time or until tender.)
Every 10 minutes or so, give the meat a good stir. When the meat is tender, take off the lid, turn the heat up to medium, and boil away some of the liquid. You should end up with tender meat in a thick, reddish brown sauce.
Spoon off the fat.
Sprinkle garam masala and black pepper over the meat before you serve and mix them in.

I served this over Basmati rice.

I am sure it isn’t as good as Veraswamy’s but as far as memories go, it brought back quite a few. I had a chance to go back in 2000 but you know what they say about best laid plans. One day. Until then I will dream of the little bowls of delicate licorice tidbits, the fragile crystal glasses (one of which I broke), the colorful regalia worn by the doorman and the wait staff.

I am pretty sure this recipe is from Madjur Jaffrey, but I’m not sure.

Let’s Lunch is a Twitter Based group. Please check out other Let’s Lunchers’ dishes from their travels below. And if you’d like to join Let’s Lunch, go to Twitter and post a message with the hashtag #Letslunch

Betty-Ann‘s Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler Cocktail at Asian in America

Linda‘s Hawaiian Island Panzanella (Bread Salad) with Sea Asparagus at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Moroccan B’Stillas at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Cheryl’s Sardinian Seadas at Cheryl Lu Lien Tan

Annabelle’s Creamy Jalapeno Dip at Glass of Fancy


Until the end of March, I heart Cooking Clubs is cooking along with Donna Hay. And each month there is a POTLUCK theme where we can make anything we want from DOnna’s gazillion recipes or from any other Chef who has been in the lineup.

When we were cooking with Madjur Jaffrey I didn’t get the chance to make all the dishes of hers I wanted so I am doing my POTLUCKS with her recipes.


    Aloo gosht

aka: delhi-style lamb cooked with potatoes.

Two things you need to know. I am the only one in the household who likes Indian cuisine and the only one who likes Lamb. So the only time I get to make either is when Hubs is gone. Like he was over the weekend. And as much as I miss him being here – I do love Indian food!!!!

    7 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
    1/2-1 fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped
    5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    1 kg (2 1/4 Ib) boned lamb from the shoulder, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes {I used a

      lamb steak}

    3 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (canned tomatoes may be


    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1/4 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons salt
    450 g (l lb) medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut in half
    845 ml (3 2/3 cups) water

Put the oil in a large, heavy pot and set over high heat. When hot, put in the onions, green chili, and garlic. Stir and fry until the onions have browned slightly. Put in the meat and stir it vigorously for about 5 minutes. Now put in the tomatoes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Continue to stir and cook on high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the oil seems to separate from it. Add the potatoes and the water. Cover, leaving the lid just very slightly ajar, and cook on medium-low heat for about 1 hour 10 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Recipe from Indian Cooking page 73

This was super simple and simply delicious. I used only 1/2 of the needed lamb and potatoes but I made the full recipe of sauce. Over some Basmati rice – sooo good. The next time I would cut the potatoes into smaller pieces only because they were a little big and took longer to cook.


What did the others do for POTLUCK? Check them out at IHCC POTLUCK!

And if you want to join in – each week’s themes are posted on the right hand side of the blog. No pressure. Any Donna Hay recipe from her many books or her website and leave a link. That’s it.

Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies. I grow them every year and if I am lucky I actually harvest enough to cook with. Last year was a bust, this year, hopefuly, will be better. I have about 5 different kinds planted. Fingers crossed. And one of the reasons I am hoping I get a bountiful harvest is so I can make this again….


This was probably the easiest Moussaka I have ever made. Mostly because it did not include a Bechemel Sauce like others I have made. The meat sauce, which called for ground lamb {and I used beef because one doesn’t find ground lamb here}, was a tasty onion-y, cinnamon-y, garlic-y, tomato-y combination. I made about 1/3 of the recipe which fit nicely into a 7′ by 7′ casserole. I used one eggplant, 1/2 of the other ingredients, except the cheese – I used all of the Parm and Mozzerella Donna called for. It made a perfect 3 servings.


You can find Donna’s recipe on page 110of modern classics: Book 1.

Check out the Moussaka from

About a year ago I downloaded a book to my Kindle, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. It is a story of how the British and Indian cultures separated, clashed, and eventually synergized to give us tremendous varieties of dishes that it would be impossible to even contemplate how many there are. By the time the people of the East India Company returned home to Britain they had developed their own idea of what curry is. Today there are so so many concoctions called Curry Powder. Some of them are good, some of them aren’t so good. Because of that, Donna has us making our own mix for this week’s Wednesday’s with Donna Hay….


Indian Lamb Curry.

Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardomam seeds (not the pods) cooked until they pop and then ground to powder. Fresh and delicious with tons of flavor. Add to that mix, as the lamb is cooking, some chili powder, garlic, and onion and you have a really tasty curry.

While I used only about half the amount of lamb (since just cooking for me) I made the full amount of sauce – always a good idea – and served it with some Basmati rice.

The recipe is on page 100 of Donna’s modern classics: book 1. This was Gaye’s pick this week and it was on my short list. Great pick, Gaye.

Gaye’s Curry

Kayte’s Curry

Chaya’s Curry

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