I really can’t believe that it’s almost Easter already, it seems only a few weeks ago that I was sharing my Christmas recipes. Doesn’t time fly? This year, to celebrate Easter I decided to try a different menu rather than a traditional roast lamb. This is in part because I don’t have a fully working kitchen at the moment – there’s no electric so only my gas oven hob is working – the other reason is I promised the family that I’d make a curry, from scratch, once a week all year! That part isn’t a chore at all because I love making a huge curry that everyone can help themselves to and a special Easter lamb version was the perfect choice for family curry night.
We have been so lucky with the weather lately and eaten out on the veranda quite a few times already this year. We chose a warm evening and served dinner just as the sun was going down. I’ve been really looking forward to showing off my new tableware from Amara* I don’t mind admitting that I was beyond happy when I opened the box with all the goodies inside. I think that means I’m a proper grown-up now because having gorgeous tableware is far more exciting for me than new clothes!
The Sugarblush tableware range from Amara is exquisite in design, yet completely practical and suitable for everyday use. The collection is patterned with a hand painted tiling design, and crafted from terracotta. Rather than being glazed the bottoms of the plates and bowl are orange terracotta which makes the design feel much more authentic. I love the mix of green, yellow, blue and orange and that the patterns are different. It’s a matching set that isn’t really matching, which happens to be my favourite thing. The terracotta marble effect vases are equally stunning, I filled them with ranunculus flowers from the garden and they finished the table off beautifully.
On to the food…
We like our curries hot here in the Treasure household and Lamb Rogan Josh is no exception, it’s super spicy and packed full of flavour. If you don’t like your curries too hot, just reduce the amount of fresh chilli by half and leave out the dried chillis. Making a curry completely from scratch is fairly labour intensive by the time you’ve roasted the spices, ground them and marinated your meat but the results are so, so worth it and it’s so much more rewarding than using paste and a jar of sauce.
Ingredients Easter Lamb Rogan Josh
- 5 cm piece of ginger
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
- 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt and extra to serve
- 1 kg lamb shoulder
- 3 red onions
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- I 400g tin of plum tomatoes
- 2 red peppers
- 4 fresh red chillies
- ½ a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 small dried red chillies
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- desiccated coconut flakes to serve
- groundnut oil
- basmati rice
- pomegranate seeds
- sliced banana
- coconut shavings
- sliced chilli
- Lemon wedges
- mango chutney
- fresh coriander
Although the large bowl you can see pictured is technically a salad bowl, it makes an excellent serving bowl and is a lovely way of encouraging everyone to gather around the table and help themselves to a meal. I just adore the large oval platter, I think it’s my favourite piece, simply because it’s so versatile and great for entertaining it will come in so useful for plating up sandwiches or snacks.
- Peel and finely grate the ginger and garlic, place in a large bowl with the turmeric, peppercorns and yoghurt, and mix together.
- Cut the lamb into chunks, toss into the bowl and coat, cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook, you can either preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3 and finish in there or cook on the hob at a low heat. This would also work well in a slow cooker.
- Peel and halve the onions, deseed and chop the peppers, then finely slice the 3 chillies (deseed if you like) and the coriander stalks (reserving the leaves) until fine. Finely slice the remaining chilli and set aside for later.
- Crush the cardamom pods placing only the inner seeds in a large pan on a medium heat.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon, cumin and coriander seeds, and dried chillies. Toast until golden and smelling amazing, then tip into a pestle and mortar and grind up with the paprika.
- Using the same pan, heat a splash of groundnut oil on a medium heat. Add the ground spices for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the onions, peppers and chilli. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Roughly chop the fresh tomatoes and add to the pan with the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, and 1 tin’s worth of water.
- Add the marinated lamb and a good pinch of sea salt, stir well and bring to the boil.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 2 hours, or cook on the hob until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Have a taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Add a splash or two of water, if it’s too thick.
- Serve with fluffy basmati rice mixed with a few pomegranate seeds, sliced banana, coconut shavings, the remaining sliced chilli and mango chutney.
Now as this was a special occasion and we had the whole family over, I wanted to make an Easter cake to finish the meal but I was a bit limited thanks to the no working oven situation. I opted for a super easy no-bake cheesecake that is so simple and quick to put together with a mini egg Easter twist, always guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
No bake mini egg Cheesecake
(You can find the original recipe at Jane’s Patisserie)
- 300g Digestives
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
- 500g full-fat cream cheese
- 100g icing sugar
- 300ml double/heavy cream
- 1tsp vanilla bean extract
- 240g mini eggs, chopped/crushed
- Mini Eggs
- 50g Chocolate, melted
- Turn the digestives into fine crumbs by whizzing up in a food processor or bashing up with a rolling pin. Melt the butter and combine.
- Press the digestive mix into a loose bottomed 20cm tin, don’t press too hard or your base will set solid and you won’t be able to cut it easily once it’s done (years of making cheesecake has taught me to press gently with fingertips and smooth off the base with the bottom of a glass). Pop it in the fridge while you make the filling.
- To make the filling use an electric whisk to mix the cream cheese and icing sugar until it’s smooth (a few seconds) then add in the double cream really slowly and whisk on a low setting until it thickens (a few minutes) take care not to over-whisk or your mixture will curdle. If it does start to turn just add in a little more cream and you should be able to rescue it! Fold in the vanilla extract and mini eggs.
- Spread on to the biscuit base, cover and leave to set for 6 hours in the fridge.
- Once set decorate your cheesecake with the leftover mini eggs and some melted chocolate drizzled over the top.
My husband said that it was the best cheesecake he’s ever eaten and I’ve made so many over the years. I really hope you enjoy these recipes, send me a picture on Twitter if you make them!
Do check out the Sugarblush tableware range at Amara it really is beautiful and perfect for spring get-togethers.
*The above items from Amara were complimentary in exchange for a feature.