This is a deliciously fiery curry from the north of India. In a wonderful rich and vibrant sauce, the tender lamb just melted in my mouth and then left it tingling with its chilli afterburn. It’s not ridiculously spiced but does pack a little punch so if you’re a chilliphobe you can tone it down by adding less chilli. But then again, if you’re a chilliphobe – why are you even making a curry? I’ve changed my mind, leave the recipe as it is and you’ll have a wonderful curry – guaranteed.
1kg lamb (large cubes)
3 tablespoons ghee
2 onions (thinly sliced)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated)
6 garlic cloves (grated)
1 teaspoon white poppy seeds (substitute with normal if you can’t find)
4 black cardamom (or 6 green if you can’t find)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plain yoghurt
400g can finely chopped tomatoes
1 bunch fresh coriander (stalks and all – chopped)
Heat the ghee in a large pan over a moderate heat. When melted, add the poppy seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and stir for 30 seconds. Add the onions and fry gently for 4-5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli powder and salt and stif briefly before adding the meat and half the yoghurt. Turn up the heat to high and stir until bubbling. Add the remaining yoghurt and once again stir until bubbling. Let the sauce bubble vigorously for a few minutes until you see the oil separate from the sauce. Tip in the tomatoes then fill the tin with water twice and pour into the pan. Let this come to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 2 hours. Remove the lid after 1 1/2 hours to reduce the sauce. Remove from the heat, stir in the fresh coriander, check for seasoning and serve.
I served mine with roti breads but it will obviously work with rice too.