Friends’ Favorite Foods: Simon’s Lamb Balti
When I got the idea for my FFF series, I knew I had to include Simon, my little sister’s boyfriend. Great dude of course (I mean, he’d have to be to date my sister), but mostly I picked him because he’s British so I had a pretty good feeling he was going to choose a dish I would be thrilled to shovel into my own mouth.
I was so right. He went for lamb balti – a Pakistani and Indian dish that is exceedingly popular in the UK. I am doubly excited for this one as I stumbled upon a Balti spice blend on my first trip to the magical world of Penzey’s Spices recently and it smells absolutely incredible. (I have since been back several times and have bought almost everything.) #notspon
Apparently the name Balti refers to the type of pan the dish is cooked in, and unfortunately I do not own that type of wok, but I do have a really lovely stainless sauté pan from All-Clad that was perfect for this.
If you can’t get your hands on a Whole30-compliant Balti spice blend, garam masala should be a perfectly acceptable base substitute as they have a lot of shared ingredients. If you are working with garam masala, you will also need plenty of garlic, some turmeric and ginger, and a little mustard powder. All that said, Penzey’s do have an online store and free shipping at $30.00. I am in no way sponsored by them, but I happily would be. Treat yo’self to some fresh new essentials and buy this blend.
Please note: I am not the right person / this is not the right blog if you are looking for a super authentic dish. The purpose here is to recreate dishes we love in Whole30-compliant ways, I am not trying to take over or recreate someone else’s culture or cuisine.
Large stainless sauté pan or Balti-style wok
Spatula or other heat-safe cooking spoon
2 lbs lamb shoulder or stew meat, cubed
4-5 tbsp Penzey’s Balti spice blend
2 tsp ginger juice
1 head garlic
1 large onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1-1.5lbs creamer potatoes
2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
1 tbsp salt
Pre-heat your pan. Slice onions into quarter moons and finely chop garlic. Once your pan is hot enough (there’s an art to this with stainless steel), add your oil of choice and let it warm up for about one minute. Add onions, garlic, and ginger juice. Sauté for about 5 min, then add the first tablespoon of your balti spice. Stir well to incorporate.
Add the full can of tomatoes and the liquid, along with another tablespoon of balti spice. Mix well.
Stirring frequently, continue to cook this curry “base” for 5-7 minutes while prepping potatoes and meat.
Slice potatoes into quarters, or smaller if they are very large potatoes, and add them to the pan along with 1 tbsp balti spice. Mix well.
Then add the lamb and another tablespoon of balti spice. Stir to combine.
Continue cooking on medium heat for a few minutes until all the ingredients are well incorporated with one another. Bring to a low boil.
Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and let cook for one hour. Check on it once or twice to stir. After one hour, taste and adjust seasoning as needed – it’s quite a lot of product all together and sometimes it still needs some more of the balti spice.
Remove lid and allow to reduce on low heat for another 10-15 minutes. The dish is done when both the potatoes and the meat are tender.
Serve immediately, as is or with cauliflower rice. Also holds nicely in the fridge for 2-3 days if you are using this for meal prep or just want it to last for a few days!