The end of December is here and that means it’s time for my Around the World in 12 Dishes post. Every month, a group of bloggers (and anyone else who wants to participate!) make food from a specified country. This month we’re visiting Jamaica! I’ve never been here, but it’s really high on our travel wish list. After taking a Caribbean cruise last year, we fell in love with this part of the world.
The hardest part of participating in our monthly food travels is finding ingredients. Morocco has a lot of really great spices and produce but it’s hard to find any international ingredients. If you can find them, they’re usually priced very high. I wanted to make something with plantains because we all love them, but the only way to get plantains is to find a connection with the West African migrant community here and they’re more than $1 for each plantain. They must hand carry them here. Just as a point of reference, I can buy 1 kilogram of bananas for less than $0.50. So the plaintain idea went out the window.
Next we discovered that Jamaican food has an Indian (from India) influence. I knew we’d struck gold. We LOVE Indian food and I can get almost everything needed to make most things. I decided to make a curry. But of course there’s no curry leaves here. I managed to find a recipe that didn’t require them (I therefore don’t know if this can officially be called curry!) I bet you know how this goes, I couldn’t find some of those ingredients either, so I substituted with Mama Deacon Jamaican Jerk seasoning. Before we left the US, Yollande the owner of Afro Fusion Cuisine sent me a bottle of this spice mix. I’ve used it a few times to season chicken but this was my first time really incorporating it into a recipe. Let me just say, this spice mix is really good. I found a lot of spices in the US were not fresh and really had little flavor. No, this one is awesome!
I loosely based my recipe for Lamb Curry and Roti off of these recipes.
I can’t say how the original should have tasted because I’ve never had it but my recipe got big thumbs up. M helped me mix the roti dough and cook it, while K was happy to dig in to fresh bread and lamb (his favorite food). M ate plenty of bread but he doesn’t like lamb so no comments from him.
- 1/2 kg lamb pieces
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (or curry seasoning)
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more adjust for heat)
- 1 tsp cumin
- handful of chopped cilantro
- Wash and trim fat from lamb pieces.
- Peel and chop onion and garlic into small pieces.
- In a pressure cooker add vegetable oil, onions, and garlic and simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Mix in seasoning, ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
- Add just enough water to stop the spices from burning.
- Add the lamb pieces and enough water to cover the meat completely.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and allow to cook on low to medium heat for 45 minutes.
- Release the steam valve and remove the lid. If the lamb is tender and falling off the bone it's ready.
- If you have excess water, return to the heat with the lid of the pressure cooker removed and boil down the liquid.
- Your final dish should have a thick sauce, almost like a gravy remaining.
- Serve with rice and beans and roti - top lamb with fresh chopped cilantro.
- **You can also make this in a slow cooker, add all of the ingredients at one time, add 1 1/2 cups water and cook on low 6-8 hours. Transfer liquid to a pan and boil down to a thick gravy.
Check out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up:
Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey,Crafty Moms Share,Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Kid World Citizen, Maroc Mama, Mermaids’ Makings, The Educators’ Spin On It
If you try a dish from Jamaica, we’d love to hear about it! And don’t forget to download this month’s placemat and passport! You can also link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs: