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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Lamb korma


Korma curry came about during the Mughul Empire in India. It's usually a mild curry, although some versions include Kashmiri chilli to add a little heat, which we've done here. Our version starts with chaunk, a mixture of onions, ginger and spices slowly cooked in ghee, and we finish the dish with a paste made with almonds, coconut flesh and poppy seeds to flavour and thicken the gravy. We've used lamb neck here for its full flavour and served it with lacha, a raw onion salad, for a nice clean lift to the dish.

You'll need

100 ml ghee 1.6 kg lamb neck, cut into 7cm pieces onions, finely chopped 80 gm ginger, coarsely chopped 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 piece cassia bark 1½ tbsp garam masala 1 tbsp ground ginger 1 tbsp each coriander and cumin seeds, coarsely ground 2-3 tsp ground Kashmiri chilli, or to taste (see note) 1 tsp ground turmeric 200 gm plain yoghurt, plus extra to serve To serve: diced cucumber To serve: curry leaves (optional)   Nut paste 60 gm blanched almonds 50 gm finely grated coconut flesh 3 tsp white poppy seeds   Pilau 2 tbsp ghee 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced 6 fresh curry leaves 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 cardamom pods, bruised 1 piece cassia bark Large pinch of saffron threads 400 gm basmati rice, rinsed 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock   Onion lacha 1 Spanish onion, diced Juice of 1 lime 3-4 small green chillies, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a large wide saucepan over high heat. Season lamb neck well, then add to pan in batches and brown all over (5-7 minutes). Transfer to a plate.
  • 02
  • Process onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat remaining ghee in the pan over medium heat, add onion mixture and cassia, and stir until very tender and starting to caramelise (20-25 minutes). Increase heat to high, add spices and stir continuously until fragrant (3-4 minutes). Return lamb to pan, stir to coat and add 1 litre water, season to taste and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer half-covered with a lid, stirring occasionally, until lamb is very tender and sauce is reduced to just cover meat (2-2¼ hours; add a splash of water if necessary during cooking). Remove lamb and set aside loosely covered with foil to keep warm.
  • 03
  • For nut paste, meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C and roast almonds on an oven tray until toasted and golden (10-12 minutes). Cool briefly, then pound with a mortar and pestle with coconut flesh and poppy seeds until smooth, adding 2-3 tbsp of oil from the lamb sauce one at a time to help form a paste. Add to lamb with yoghurt, season well to taste and stir occasionally over a very low heat until sauce is thickened (20-30 minutes).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for pilau, heat ghee in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallots and stir until fragrant and golden (about 5 minutes), then add curry leaves, garlic and spices, and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add rice and stir until well combined (1 minute), add chicken stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then cover with a lid, transfer to oven and bake until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (15-20 minutes).
  • 05
  • For onion lacha, toss onion, lime juice, chillies and a large pinch each of salt and ground white pepper in a bowl and set aside for flavours to develop (2 minutes).
  • 06
  • Scatter korma with extra curry leaves and serve with pilau, onion lacha and yoghurt topped with cucumber and ground black pepper to taste.

Note Ground Kashmiri chilli are available from Indian grocers and online from herbies.com.au.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Full-bodied traditional Aussie shiraz cabernet blend.

Featured in

Jul 2015

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