Food is magical.
I mean purely magical.
Not only does food nourish our bodies and keep us thriving, it also has the transformative ability to unite families, friends and strangers across the globe.
Think about it: when was the last time you dipped some vegetables into a Middle Eastern hummus, slurped up a classic Italian stew or sweated out some delicious dahl from India?
Globalisation has given us the opportunity to open our eyes, and stomachs, to a whole new world of cultures through our palates. Our tables are constantly filled with foods that are inspired by flavours of the Middle East, Asia, India and beyond, through spices and special cultural recipes.
Unfortunately, some might say that the rise of globalisation has also shifted the way that we cook. Many people find the kitchen to be a stressful place; some even despise cooking, preferring to fork out money for convenient takeaway meals on the regular.
We’re able to pick-up Japanese, Thai and Indian food from every street corner these days. While this is okay on occasion, it’s important to remember that the money that you spend sends a message; you’re not only paying for the food, you’re paying for a business. Where you choose to spend your money is a direct and daily vote for the kind of world you want to live in.
These days, many restaurants and takeaway businesses make their money by minimising expenditure to increase their profit margin. In other words, they buy cheap, low-quality ingredients, make them taste good by coating them in additive-laden sauces and seasonings, then sell each dish at a price that allows their staff, rent and bills to be paid, with some extra on top for the business owners. I totally get it and I'm not dissing food outlets, but when we think about the planet, there are more sustainable ways to feed ourselves.
Personally, I’d rather spend my money on good-quality, ethically-produced ingredients that are sourced from local producers and markets. Sure, it’s a little more kitchen work, but it's good to enjoy a meal that’s better on my wallet, better for the planet, and better for my body and family. Today I'm sharing a classic dinner recipe from my book Supercharge Your Life that I hope you will fall in love with. Its a traditional Lamb Mulligatawny recipe with a few healthy twists.
Living a supercharged life is living from the heart, in line with your value system and food culture. However, for many of us, food has been transformed from something we were once in tune with and connected to – something we loved and respected – into more of a commodity for fuel. How wonderful that the simple everyday act of choosing food can be full of such purpose and significance! When you live a life with this kind of intent, the result is a heart filled with passion and joy, and a happier and healthier, more connected community.
The good news is that there are ways to embrace and love other cultures without throwing in the chopsticks for good. We can implement changes in our lives in one of my favourite places: the kitchen. The heart of the home is in the kitchen and this is where true nourishment begins; this is where the magic happens!
The kitchen is where your food culture is established, where you decide on and store the kinds of ingredients you wish to share with your loved ones. You can either have a pantry full of pre-packaged foods, or a wondrous landscape of individual, fresh, organic, seasonal ingredients waiting to be combined into fulfilling, wholesome meals.
Instead of ignoring globalisation and the enmeshment of cultures, let’s acknowledge and embrace it. By accepting each flavour for what it is and where it originates, we can slowly learn to accept and embrace other cultures. I told you food was magical!
The Lamb Mulligatawny recipe I'm sharing today, is the perfect example of a culmination of delicious cultures and flavours in one dish. The classic Mulligatawny is a British soup with South Indian origins and is loved around the world and now I’ve got it ready for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Lamb is one of my favourite meats to cook. It goes with a combination of different flavours including apricots, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, lemon and garlic, onion, peas and mint, pine nuts, rosemary, sweet potato, yoghurt and thyme. Speaking of thyme, it’s a key player in this recipe.
Thyme, a member of the mint family, is an evergreen hardy herb with small but plentiful flowers. It has a piny and peppery taste with bitter, slightly lemony and minty notes. Grow thyme in well-drained soil and plant it in late spring in an area that provides full sun. Thyme grows well indoors too, but ensure it has access to sunlight. Harvest regularly – just pick sprigs off and use them when needed. It gives a delicious boost of flavour to pork, chicken and fish. I also add it to my oven-roasted sweet potatoes, and to casseroles, stuffing, tomato sauces, slow-cooking, soups and baking.
This perfectly traditional and comfortingly classic Lamb Mulligatawny recipe is vibrant and delicious and a good example of a simple recipe that allows you and your family to enjoy a burst of different and authentic flavours. Whatever your food culture may be, be inspired to take a journey in your kitchen with international flavours and delicacies - I promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking for more Supercharged recipes to bring to your next Saturday night dinner party or weeknight affair, be sure to check out my latest recipe book, Supercharge Your Life.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced 1 × 2 cm
- (3/4 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) lamb, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) diced
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) stock or filtered water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice of 1 grated lemon
- few thyme sprigs
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Yoghurt of choice, to serve
- Coriander (cilantro) or fresh curry leaves (optional), to serve
Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, carrot, celery, ginger
and garlic for 4–5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the spices and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add the lamb and cook until brown.
Stir in the stock and bring to the boil, then add the bay leaf, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Add the lemon zest and juice and the thyme, then simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Season to taste. To serve, swirl in some yoghurt and garnish with coriander.
You could bulk up the dish by adding some cooked brown rice, basmati, buckwheat or quinoa.