There are days when calories don’t matter. And when I talk about this aromatic and meaty curry I ain’t kidding. The warming flavors of ginger and garlic, along with the bold infusion of cardamoms, bay leaf, cloves and sharp cinnamon, this curry is an all-time favourite.
This recipe comes from my dear friend who I can’t thank enough to pass this down to me. Please don’t rush with this dish- it needs patience. Don’t use short cuts. By the end of this HUGE task, I assure that you’ll be licking your bowls.
- Bone-less lamb pieces <cut into 1 to 1½” cubes> and lamb shanks cut about 2″ long: 1 kg
- ½ cup Ghee <clarified butter>
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1½ cup chopped onions
- 4 cloves of garlic <peeled and crushed>
- 1” ginger <peeled>
- 1 cinnamon stick <broken>
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 black cardamoms <crack open the pods>
- 3-4 cloves
- 3-4 black peppercorns
- 1½ cup curd
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 2 teaspoon Degi Mirch <paprika>
- 4 drops of edible red food color <or 2 teaspoons ratan jot>
- 1 teaspoon ground Lal Mirch <cayenne pepper>
- 1 teaspoon Meat Masala
- Salt according to taste
- 2 cups of water
- Blitz the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor to make a paste. Keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee. Add the lamb and fry till all sides are seared and the meat is brown. Remember NOT to overcrowd the pan. Remove lamb and set aside.
- In the same pan <with the ghee and meaty juices>, put the cumin seeds, sauté till brown.
- Add the onion-garlic-ginger paste and fry till the moisture is gone. It will turn from greenish- brown and to light brown.
- Once the color is changed, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorn. Fry for about 2 minutes.
- Put the fried lamb pieces <one-by-one> back into the pan. Turn the heat down.
- In a clean bowl, mix corn flour and yogurt to make a thick paste. Into the paste put the food color. Stir well. Spoon-by spoon add this mixture slowly into the meat. DON’T do this at high flame, the curd might curdle. Cook till the yogurt is well blended into the curry.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except water. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup of water. Simmer covered on low heat.
- Repeat this step till all the water is used up.
That’s it. The whole recipe does take 3-4 hours. But it is so worth it.
You are left with the most juicy, tender lamb in a thick, earthy, tasty curry. Sprinkle some fresh coriander on top and enjoy it with rice or some paranthas.