Kolkata Lamb Curry

Here’s a curry from the east of India. The recipe claims it is of a growing breed of Burmese influenced curries in Kolkata. I remain unconvinced of its providence due to the appearance of very Indian ingredients. I’m sure there is truth to the claim so if you know this to be true then please let me know. Whatever its origin, it’s very tasty indeed. The rich, creamy sauce is full of flavour and colour – a very nice curry indeed – wherever it’s actually from.

1kg lamb shoulder (3cm cubes)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions (blended into paste)
3cm piece fresh ginger (finely grated)
6 garlic cloves (finely grated)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh green chilli (sliced finely with seeds)
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tomato (seeded & diced)
4 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped)
5-6 spring onions (sliced)

Heat the oil in large pan over a moderate heat until hot. Fry the meat in batches for 3-4 minutes until browned. Set aside. In the same pan briefly fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add the onion paste, cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes. Return the meat and its juices to the pan along with 1/2 cup water and the salt. Bring to a simmer, sprinkle over the fresh chilli then reduce the heat to very low. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and pour in the coconut milk. Stir in the garam masala. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, check for seasoning.

Pour into a serving dish then sprinkle generously with the coriander, tomato and spring onion. Serve with plenty of fluffy basmati rice.

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