This is the king of Indian curries. It really is superb. The flavours are complex, intense and very rich. It takes a while to cook, but stick with it to the bitter end. It’s even better the next day if you don’t manage to eat the entire pan in one sitting. Incidentally, you’ll be tasting this for HOURS!
4 dried chilli peppers
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons corriander seeds
8-12 curry leaves
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
4 cardomom pods
2 teaspoons salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspooons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (with 3 tablespoons of water) or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 onions (thinly sliced)
4 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil
1 kg lamb (in medium chunks)
1 400g can coconut milk
Coat the lamb with salt, turmeric and garam masala and set aside
Toast the cumin, corriander, chilli peppers together in a small pan until aromatic (1-2 minutes)
To create a curry paste – In a pestle & mortar or spice mill add the curry leaves to the toasted ingredients and grind to a medium fine powder.
In a seperate bowl combine the powder with garlic and ginger and 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
Toast the fennel seeds until aromatic and set aside.
In a large lidded pan fry the onions in the ghee/oil gently until they turn golden brown. Add the curry paste and stir in for 30 seconds. Add the lamb (increase the heat) and stir for about 3 minutes. If the lamb sticks turn down the heat.
Add 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of warm water. Bring to the boil and cook vigourously for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the remaining coconut milk and 1 cup of warm water. Bring back to the boil, add the toasted fennel seeds, the cardomom pods and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat and gently simmer with the lid partially on for 1 1/2 hours until the lamb is falling apart. If the sauce looks too thin then remove the lid during the last 20 minutes. Before serving, add the tamarind/lemon juice and sugar. Taste for saltiness and add if neccessary.
Lots of basmati rice or chapati/roti/naan whichever suits your fancy.