There is some debate surrounding the exact origins of this onion-based curry. Some credit the dish to Mullah Do Piaza, purportedly one of Moghul Emperor Akbar’s courtiers in the 16th century, whom, according to folk stories, created the dish. Piaza also means 'onion' in Hindi, while do means 'two'. This most likely alludes to the way in which onions are prepared in two different ways and added to the curry at two different times. One thing’s for sure: it certainly doubles the flavour!
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cm-piece ginger, finely grated
3 long green chillies, seeded, chopped
3 large brown onions, 1 chopped, 2 thinly sliced
60 g (¼ cup) ghee (clarified butter) (see Note)
800 g boneless goat leg meat, cut into 2 cm pieces
4 cardamom pods, bruised
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon quill
70 g (¼ cup) natural yoghurt
coriander leaves, warmed chapati and steamed rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink 2010 JL Wolf Villa Wolf Pinot Gris, Germany ($20).
Toast cumin and coriander seeds, chilli powder and turmeric in a small frying pan over low heat for 1 minute or until fragrant. Process with garlic, ginger, chillies and chopped onion in a food processor to a coarse paste.
Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook goat, in batches, stirring, for 2 minutes or until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Return pan to high heat, then add 1 tbsp ghee, spice paste, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, then cook for 4 minutes or until mixture is dry. Gradually stir in yoghurt until combined, return goat to pan with 500ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 1½ hours or until goat is tender and cooking liquid is reduced by half.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir into goat curry and season with salt. Scatter with coriander leaves and serve with chapati and rice.
Ghee, from supermarkets, can be heated to higher temperatures than most other fats and oils without burning.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 7, pg63.
Photography by John Laurie.