Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's 'Step-By-Step Cooking: Over 150 Dishes from India and the Far East Including Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia' and found at splendidtable.com.
- 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat (stewing beef can also be used) or 2 lbs other lamb for stew trimmed fat
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 cloves
- 1 -2 whole dried hot red chili pepper (optional)
- 12 black peppercorns
- 6 whole cardamom pods
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 inch cube fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons blanched almonds
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mace
- 2 medium onions
- 3 tablespoons yogurt
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled
- Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes and dry well with paper towels.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan. When hot, add the cloves, red peppers, peppercorns, and whole cardamom pods. Stir for a few seconds until the cardamom pods puff up and darken.
- Now brown the meat in the pan, 7 or 8 pieces at a time, turning to color them on all sides. Transfer the meat to a large flameproof casserole with a slotted spoon, leaving the spices in the frying pan. Brown all the meat in this way, then cover the casserole and set aside.
- Peel and coarsely chop the garlic and ginger; set aside. Roughly chop the almonds.
- Heat a small cast-iron frying pan. Add the cumin, coriander, coconut, and almonds and dry-roast over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the spices turn a coffee color. Transfer the roasted spices and nuts to a blender. Add the chopped garlic and ginger.
- With a slotted spoon, lift out the fried spices from the frying pan and add these to the blender too. Add the turmeric, nutmeg, mace, and 8 tablespoons water. Blend to a smooth, thick paste.
- Peel and mince or finely chop the onions. Heat the oil remaining in the frying pan (in which the lamb was fried). Add the onions and fry over a high heat, stirring and scraping up the juices, for about 5 minutes or until they are tinged brown.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the paste from the blender. Stir and fry for another 5 minutes, gradually adding the yogurt a tablespoon at a time.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1-1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Put the meat into this sauce and season with salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover, lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a warm serving dish, and serve with rice.