Bring exotic flavor to the spring table with a vibrant lamb curry redolent of the spices of India
Around Easter, my thoughts turn to cooking lamb. Because I love the warmth and earthiness of a curry, I asked Raj Vaidya, head sommelier at Daniel, for an Indian version made with lamb. Raj went straight to the source— his mother, after whom this recipe is named. Rekha Vaidya has been making a chicken version of this dish for years. Because she never wrote down the recipe, Raj’s sister once watched as she prepared it, jotting the instructions on paper to preserve them.
Despite its many spices and aromatics, including lemony amchoor powder made from dried mango, this curry is not overly hot or spicy. The spinach and cilantro give the dish a vibrant green color, making it a wonderful herald of spring. And if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, Lamb Rekha only gets better the next day. What you lose in color from reheating, you gain in intensified flavor.
What to Drink
The lamb curry is a family recipe provided by sommelier Raj Vaidya of Daniel, who recommends pairing the dish with an earthy Cornas wine from the Rhône Valley, such as Auguste Clape’s Cornas Renaissance 2009 ($74). “Gamey and rich, the Syrah grapes play off the lamb, and the herbaceous and smoky notes marry well with the spices in the curry,” says Vaidya. Another good option is J. L. Chave Sélection Saint-Joseph “Offerus,” Rhône 2007 ($29), a softer and more aromatic Syrah.