The new year is a far and distant memory, and all of the good intentions of healthy eating and hitting the gym seem to have faded into the cold winter. 

But all is not lost, if you only keep one resolution this year, make it one for healthy eating and new flavours.

Over the next few months we will introduce you to a world of new tastes and easy and simple cooking to keep you and the family on the right track. 

This month's inspiration comes from the sprawling Indian state of Maharashtra, spanning from the Indian ocean across the west to central India, and the home to the colossus that is Mumbai. 

The food from the region is distinctive yet the Marathas like a mild flavour. 

With that in mind The Kolhapuri Masala, is a dedicated spices dish ideal for those late winter nights, and quick to cook. 

This is a three-step recipe. First, place the lamb (or your choice of meat) in a bowl, add half of the crushed garlic, tamarind concentrate, salt and turmeric, mix well and set aside to let the flavours infuse. 

Then for the Kolhapuri Masala spice blend, Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, add all the spices except for the nutmeg, Dry fry the spices for a couple of minutes, this will warm up the spices and allow them to release their full flavour. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool, before placing them in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and blend to a medium to fine powder. Mix in the nutmeg, if using.

With your spices ready, heat the pan with a little olive oil, sauté the remaining garlic until slightly brown, tip in the Kolhapuri masala and mix well. Add the marinated lamb, let the meat brown all over, stir in the coconut milk, then simmer on a low heat for 15 mins. Then you’re ready for a heartwarming delight, serve hot with rice or a soft naan. 

Kolhapuri Masala Ingredients 
500g Lamb 
2 tsp crushed garlic 
1/4 tsp tamarind concentrate
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
2 tbsp Kolhapuri masala (see below)
125ml coconut milk
For the Kolhapuri Spice Blend:
4-6 dried red chillies
1 tbsp dry coconut or desiccated coconut
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of poppy seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 bay leaf (optional)
7-8 cloves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp chilli powder
a pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Styling: Tracey Clark
Recipe: Manju Malhi
Maharastharian Cuisine