Here is a dark lamb curry, cooked in a Kashmiri style. Yesmien has a kettle of hot water ready as she cooks it, and keeps adding small splashes to her spices and seasonings as they brown. This prevents them from burning and helps her to create a wonderfully burnished sauce. Again, as the lamb pieces contain bones, get your butcher to chop them for you.
As accompaniments, serve a dal, such as a red lentil and chana dal and any vegetable dish, such as potato and spinach curry. Serve with rice or flatbreads.
- 6 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- 2 medium onions, halved and finely sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, finely grated or crushed
- 2 cassia leaves or bay leaves
- 2 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 5 cm (2 inch) cassia bark or cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2.5 cm (1 inch) peeled, finely grated root ginger
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 hot green chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp shop-bought basaar mix or other Kashmiri spice mix
- 1½ tsp salt
- 75 g (2¾ oz) coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped
- 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) bone-in lamb from the shoulder, leg or both, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
- 1 tsp garam masala
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.
Pour the oil into a large pan, about 25 cm in diameter, and set it over a medium-high heat. Tip in the onions. Stir and fry for 15 minutes, until brown. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more. Splash in a tbsp of hot water and stir it in. Let it disappear. Stir in the cassia leaves, cardamom pods, cassia bark and cumin seeds. Add the ginger and stir and fry for 30 seconds, then tip in the tomatoes. Mix in 3 tbsp of hot water, cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the chilli and combine, then add the basaar mix and salt, with a tbsp of hot water. Stir and fry for 5 minutes. As you do so, the oil will begin to separate from the paste.
Now add half the coriander and mix well for 1 minute. Drop the meat into the pan and brown well all over for 10 minutes. Pour in 750 ml of hot water, cover and simmer over a low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the garam masala, mix well, replace the lid and keep cooking gently for 10 minutes. Fold in the remaining coriander before serving.