I don't need much in the way of persuasion to eat lamb curry. I'm a big fan of lamb at the best of times and especially in curry form. Meltingly tender meat in a super intense sauce - sign me up. This Rajasthani Lamb & Sweetcorn Curry is an unusual Indian curry from The North of the country.
A sweet alternative
There isn't a great deal of sweetcorn eaten in India, so to see it in this dish, front and centre is very special indeed. As we all know, sweetcorn is sweet, and this characteristic works wonders to enhance and counteract the savoury and spicy sauce with the rich red meat.
The balance of this dish is the reason I love it so much few curries can balance all sensations at once so expertly as this dish. It's one of my favourites for sure. It's on the regular curry rotation in our household and I'm always a little thrilled to see one of my freezer labels spell out "lamb/sweetcorn" when I'm on the hunt for a quick lunch or dinner. I'm even more thrilled when it spells out "lamb/sweetcorn x 2" or "lamb/sweetcorn + rice" - you get the picture...
A complex but not difficult Indian Curry Recipe
While the Lamb & Sweetcorn Curry has a fair few ingredients, by Indian standards it's not that many and when you break down the recipe, it's a very simple dish to put together. As with many lamb, beef or mutton curry dishes the cooking time is long - this ensures that the meat is not only tender, but that the sauce has time to develop in its complexity. Skipping this stage or trying to speed up the process will not produce good results, so it's essential to give the curry time to cook.
Serving Suggestions, substitutes and and other Indian Curries
I love to serve this dish with either basmati rice or Indian breads. The rich sauce works well with breads especially, but rice is just perfect too. You can substitute the lamb for beef, goat, mutton or pork - all work well. You could also make a chicken version, but it won't taste as intense, as you'll have to reduce the cooking time - that's not to say it won't be delicious though!
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a moderate heat. Gently fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Place in a food processor with the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the yoghurt and blend into a smooth paste place in a bowl and set aside.
Add the corn kernels to the food processor and pulse into a rough paste, set aside.
Heat the ghee in a large pan until hot, then add the cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cardamom and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the lamb and onion puree and fry for 5 minutes before adding the chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Cook for a further 10 minutes until it is bubbling energetically. Pour in about 600ml of warm water and the remaining yoghurt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low then cover partially and simmer gently for 1½ hours until the lamb is just tender. Add the corn and chopped chillies and bring back to a simmer. Cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, check for seasoning then squeeze in the lime and stir in the fresh coriander just before serving. Serve with lots of fluffy basmati rice.
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