What is it? Main course
Percentage of orders 16%
The inspiration for this dish comes from two of the most popular British loves: pie and curry.
Very few things beat something spicy on a cold, wet afternoon or evening. This dish is both relaxed and has the comfort food quality of a pie complete with all the exoticism that a curry has to offer.
It is one of those dishes that by its sheer nature defies any trends and seasonality. It has been on the menu since day one at Cinnamon Soho and has proved very popular among our guests. It looks like it will remain on the menu for quite some time to come.
The lamb is from the Lake District's farmers' co-operative in Cumbria. We use mince as well as bone shoulders to make this dish. The spices, in true Cinnamon style, are imported directly from India.
This dish is a good example of globalisation; to me it celebrates the best of both worlds - the journey of curry and the welcome it has had in its new homeland, Britain.
Vivek Singh, chef-proprietor, Cinnamon Soho, London
(Makes six portions)
200g potato, peeled and diced
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 whole red chillies
1tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
2tbs chopped garlic
3 onions, chopped
1 ½ tbs ginger paste
700g lamb leg, diced
2tsp chilli powder
2tsp coriander powder
2tsp cumin powder
2tbs tomato paste
500g lamb mince
100g sweet potato, peeled & diced finely
100g celeriac, peeled & diced finely
100g turnip, peeled & diced finely
10g coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to season
For the spice mix
2 star anise
1tsp fennel seeds
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
Grind the entire spice roast into a powder. Cut the peeled potato into quarters and place in boiling water with the turmeric powder and salt. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the water, mash the potatoes and add the butter, cheddar cheese and cumin seeds. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and add the whole red chilli, cumin, cloves, bay leaves, green cardamom, black cardamom and garlic. When the garlic turns golden, add the chopped onion and salt. Cook well for several minutes.
When the onion is soft, add the ginger paste, diced lamb leg and sauté. When the lamb is half cooked add the chilli, coriander and cumin powders. Stir well for another five minutes then add the tomato paste, lamb mince, yogurt and remaining vegetables. Slowly stir in the spice mix and cook well. Check the seasoning and add some coriander leaves.
Divide the meat in six pie dishes, add the potato mix on top and place in the oven at 200°C for 5 minutes. Serve with a green salad.
With this dish, we need a wine that has enough stuffing to cope with an onslaught of spices and fresh herbs, as these are elements geared up to deliver a knockout blow to many wines.
A fleshy Côtes du Roussillon or Languedoc red should feel at home with this dish, although an even safer bet would be a quality Zinfandel, such as Green and Red from Napa Valley, California - a wine to sail across the sweeter elements in the root vegetables.
I'd be happy to drink a super hoppy US-style pale ale too, charged with zesty citrus notes and bitter grapefruit character.
Zeren Wilson is a food writer and wine consultant who runs restaurant review site www.bittenandwritten.com