Please welcome our guest,
Hannah is the author of the popular Vicky Hill Mysteries,
set in England.
And now she has a new series! Yeah!
The first in the series is Murder at Honeychurch Hall.
See her giveaway below!
See her giveaway below!
Take it away, Hannah.
Daryl, thank you for inviting me to contribute to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. I was particularly excited because I’ve been longing to share my “upper-class” curry that would be a sure-fire favorite among those above stairs at Honeychurch Hall.
Set in Agatha Christie’s beloved Devon, “Murder at Honeychurch Hall” focuses on former TV celebrity Kat Stanford who has retired from her TV show “Fakes & Treasures” to open her own antique shop with her newly-widowed mother, Iris. But Iris has her own ideas. Alarmed to discover that her mother has rashly bought a dilapidated carriage house on the grounds of a country estate several hundred miles from London, Kat sets off to make Iris see sense.
Although this is no Downton Abbey and times have changed, a line still exists between those upstairs, and those below. It would seem that every single resident at Honeychurch Hall harbors some kind of secret—especially Iris who, we learn, has been secretly writing steamy bodice rippers under the pseudonym of Krystalle Storm.
When the nanny goes missing and a body is discovered on the grounds, suspicion falls on the newcomers … and that is all I am tempted to tell you at this time.
However, what I can tell you is that the fictional Lady Lavinia Honeychurch would have shamelessly stolen the real-life Lady Daventry’s curry recipe (just as I have) were she to cook for the occasional weekend shooting party so enjoyed by her husband and his aristocratic friends.
Personally, I have never understood the reasoning behind shooting game as a sport but perhaps that’s because had I been born in a different era, I would be down in the kitchen scrubbing the vegetables.
So … without further ado … here we go. Expect hands-on time of no more than thirty to forty minutes. The key is to prep the ingredients ahead since, apart from browning the meat, each cooking step takes less than five minutes. Another tip—do use fresh ginger root. It makes all the difference.
Lady Daventry’s Curry (courtesy of Country Life Magazine) can also be re-heated the following day and/or frozen.
Lady Daventry’s Curry
Serves 4-6 (double quantities for entertaining)
Cooking time: Lamb 1 ½ hrs/Beef 2 ½ hrs
Note: You will need a flameproof stovetop dish that can go into the oven.
Ginger and Garlic Paste:
1 in cube of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons of water
6 tabs of olive oil
2 lbs of lamb shoulder or braising steak cubed
*If using lamb, remove the excess fat
2 bay leaves
8 Whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
12 whole green cardamom pods
6in stick of cinnamon (again don’t be tempted to use ground cinnamon!)
1 tsp of ground coriander seeds
2 tsp of ground cumin seeds
4 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of hot chili powder
1 tsp of salt
2 medium onions peeled and finely chopped
5 oz plain yoghurt (I use 2% Greek plain but any plain is fine)
Ground black pepper
½ tsp of Garam Masala
Blend the ginger and garlic in a food processor with the 3 tabs of water until pureed.
Heat oil in ovenproof flame top dish (I use a clay tagine) and fry the meat, setting it aside when lightly brown.
Add the whole spices to the hot oil and stir for just a few seconds.
Add the onions and fry for five minutes until they soften and turn light brown.
Add the paste and stir for a further 30 seconds.
Add the ground spices and salt for … another 30 seconds.
Add the browned meat and juices and combine thoroughly.
Gradually add the yoghurt one spoonful at a time. When it has all been added, cook for above five minutes more.
Add water: Lamb needs ½ pt, beef ¾ pt.
Stir again and bring to the boil
Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven at 160 C or 325 F.
Lamb needs about 1 ½ hrs and beef 2 ½ hrs
Check half way through and add a little water if it looks as if it is drying out.
At the end, the sauce should be nice and thick.
Finally, stir in the garam masala and serve.
*You might want to remove the cardamom pods before serving – I don’t mind them, but some people do.
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