- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (3-inch)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala (See Below)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups finely chopped plum tomato (about 1/2 pound) (or 1 can petite diced tomatoes including juice)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, cooked
- Garam Masala (makes 1/4 cup):
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 12 cardamom pods
- 8 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick (2-inch), broken into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- spice grinder
Lamb curry is a classic dish from northern India and the most popular of all curries. You can vary by substituting other ingredients in place of the lamb and adjusting the cooking time. For example, use an equal quantity of beef or veal, a 3-pound skinned and cut chicken, 1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined shrimp, or 1 1/4 pounds mixed vegetables, such as cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots.
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add lamb, and cook for 5 minutes on all sides or until browned. Remove lamb from pan.
2. Heat the oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (onion through cinnamon); cook for 4 minutes or until onion is browned. Stir in coriander and next 6 ingredients (coriander through garlic); cook 1 minute. Add lamb, tomato, water, and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1-1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve over rice; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup lamb mixture and 1 cup rice).
This homemade spice mixture is much darker and more flavorful than commercial varieties. Toasting the spices is a crucial step that gives the masala a deep, roasted flavor. Cardamom pods are available at Middle Eastern and Indian markets.
1. Place the first 6 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook until spices smoke, becoming fragrant and turning dark, shaking pan constantly (about 5 minutes). Stir in nutmeg. Remove from heat; cool completely. Place spice mixture in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1/4 cup.