Although I have smoked a few meats in my time (nothing like the smokemeister, Dr. Biggles of course) I have previously restricted myself to the ‘white’ meats – in other words chicken, turkey and pork. But a few days ago we had an impromptu gathering around the grill and pool and I had made two different lamb dishes, both from an unusual half shoulder half leg cut. One was marinated in yoghurt and ginger and cilantro and lemon and cumin and garlic and other spicy things. This came out very delicious but surprisingly mild. It was grilled in more or less the traditional way and was first off the grill. The other piece was cooked in the smoker because that is all the room that was left. It was cooked for much longer (the period of the party – about three and a half hours) and over lower heat with deliberate smoke from applewood and bay tree branches. This one was marinated in red wine, garlic, rosemary, pepper, olive oil and bay leaves. And it came out smokey and delicious. Next time we do it even slower for six to eight hours. It was the hands-down winner and even better we had leftovers since people had already eaten all the Indian marinated lamb.

So two days later I made a curry with some of the lamb and eggplant and tomatoes and cardamom and coriander and ginger and garlic and onions and garam masala and yellow squash and zucchini and a little curry powder. It was smoky and stunningly full of flavor – one of my best curries yet. Served with basmati pilau with cumin seeds and with roasted pumpkin seeds and yoghurt on the side. Plus fresh green beans. I thought I had made too much. I was wrong.