Mallika is young and pretty. she has a blog in which she discusses her rushed life as the working mother of two small children, with many tips on cooking for her family. To hurry things along, she uses a pressure cooker, which is commonly used throughout India to save time and fuel. If you do not have one, follow this general recipe using a wide, heavy-based pan. Once the meat has browned, add 250 ml of water and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 1¼-2 hours, or until the meat is very tender, adding a little more hot water if it is drying up. Once it is tender, follow the rest of the recipe.
Mallika is originally from Bengal and uses a very Bengali technique to get caramelisation into the sauce: she adds sugar to the oil when she starts cooking.
Marinade and meat
- 500 g (1lb 2oz) lamb neck fillet, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp olive or mustard oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp finely grated or crushed garlic
- 1 tsp peeled, finely grated root ginger
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 4 tomatoes, quartered
- 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.
Marinating time 4 hours or overnight
Combine the meat with all the marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, mix well, cover and leave in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Pour the oil for the sauce into a pressure cooker (or see the recipe introduction) and set it over a medium heat. When it’s hot, add the sugar and stir occasionally for 1 minute as it dissolves. Add the onion and sauté for 30 seconds, then stir in the garlic and ginger. Fry for 10 minutes, or until the onion is browned. Spoon in the chilli powder and mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute, then add the meat and its marinade. Brown the meat well on all sides for 6-7 minutes. The tomatoes and meat will release plenty of juices. Mix, then seal the lid. Heat to full pressure. Reduce the heat to very low and cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to drop by itself.
Open the lid and return the pan to a high heat. Bring to a boil and add the garam masala. Stir for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce, until it is thick and the oil separates, then serve.