If you're locked into lamb, chicken and, at your most exotic, a king prawn curry, you're missing out on a world of potential. In fact, the distinctive flavours in seafood make the perfect accompaniment to a rich, spicy sauce. This one, from Strip Bar & Steak in Barbican, makes use of lobster, with a signature Goan spice mix that you can make once and use for months. See the recipe below.
For the spice mix:
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 200g red chillies (deseeded and roughly chopped)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 bulb garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp light Muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 100g root ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 100ml red wine vinegar
For the curry:
- 500g lobster meat or one live lobster
- Coconut milk
- Double cream
For the garnish
- Desiccated coconut (baked until golden brown)
- Black poppy seeds (toasted in a warm pan)
- Coriander leaves
- You can find lobster meat or cooked whole lobsters in a lot of supermarkets these days, but if you're lucky enough to find live lobsters, cook them in a court bouillon. Bring it to the boil and cook the lobster for 6-7 minutes per 500g. When it's cooked, plunge it in iced water to stop it cooking further.
- Grind all the dry spices to a powder.
- Transfer to a blender and blitz in the rest of the ingredients to form a paste.
- Add touch of oil to pan and add the spice mix (1 tbsp to taste per person, or a little more if you like it hotter).
- Add some oil and the coconut milk, and warm the cooked lobster meat through. Finish with a touch of double cream.
- Garnish with some toasted desiccated coconut and toasted black poppy seeds, and top with some sprigs of coriander leaves. Serve with some lime wedges and fragrant basmati rice.