Bombay Lamb & Cardamom Curry

I’m a fan of cardamom – not so much when you bite into a whole pod, bur I do love the fragrant aroma and taste. This recipe dispenses with the unpleasantry of biting into any by grinding all 35 of them into a powder. You’d think the taste would be overpowering, but it’s not. While the key flavour most definitely is cardamom, the other flavours really do sing out. It’s a very unusual yet amazing curry – it’s a homestyle dish that’s incredibly easy to make. Set to become one of ‘must-serve’ curries…

35 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
600g lamb (2cm cubes)
3 garlic cloves (grated)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kashmir chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
100ml natural yoghurt
2 large tomatoes (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt

In a pestle & mortar or in a spice grinder, grind the cardamom into a fine powder. Mix together with 3 tablespoons water and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate/low heat – when hot, add the cardamom paste and pepper and fry gently for 3 minutes. Add the meat, cumin, coriander, chilli poweder, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat to low and fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes, yoghurt and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 10 minutes then add 600ml water and bring to a boil again. Simmer gently, covered for 45 minutes then remove the lid and cook for 25 further minutes to reduce the sauce. Check for seasoning just before serving.

Serve with plenty of basmati rice to soak up the delicious sauce.

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