Kashmiri-Style Rich Lamb Curry

A warming Kashmiri style lamb curry recipe with a really deep and burnished flavour. The welcoming dish is best served with dal or an Indian vegetable side.

Introduction

Original recipe by Yesmien Bagh Ali, Skipton, Yorkshire.

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, and any vegetable dish, such as Potato and Spinach Curry (see page 120 of Curry Nation for the recipe). Serve with rice or flatbreads.

Serves 4

Ingredients

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
5cm (2in) cassia bark or cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
2.5cm (1in) 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 Kashmiri spice mix (ideally Yesmien’s Basaar Mix, see page 216)
75g (2¾oz) coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped
750g (1lb 10oz) bone-in lamb from the shoulder, leg or both, cut into 2.5 centimetre (1 inch) chunks
1 tsp garam masala

Instructions

Pour the oil into a large pan, about 25 centimetres (10 inches) 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 one minute more. Splash in a tablespoon 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 tablespoons of hot water, cover and cook for four minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the chilli and combine, then add the basaar mix and salt, with a tablespoon of hot water. Stir and fry for five minutes. As you do so, the oil will begin to separate from the paste.

Now add half the coriander and mix well for one minute. Drop the meat into the pan and brown well all over for 10 minutes. Pour in 750ml (1½ pints) of hot water, cover and simmer over a low heat for one 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.

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