Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quick Lamb Curry for Two

While perusing the meat department at the market yesterday I spotted boneless lamb for stew. I decided that it would be perfect for a quick lamb curry. Since there’s only K and me, the .75 lb. portion was perfect. Normally when I make lamb curry I use bone in meat, however for this “quick” version the boneless lamb worked really well. The recipe here is my own creation resulting from making it many times and tweaking it each time. K says this version of lamb curry tastes very similar to the kind you would get at Indian restaurants. So for anyone out there who likes Indian takeout, you can make your own takeout lamb curry…try it!!!

You’ll need a pressure cooker for this recipe.

.75 lb cubed lamb for stew
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon chili powder ( I used extra hot)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon toasted ground cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons yogurt
¼ teaspoon canola oil
½ green chili sliced lengthwise

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 green cardamom pods bruised
~ 1 inch piece of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 generous pinch of mustard seeds
½ large onion sliced thin
1 teaspoon ginger minced finely
3 cloves garlic minced finely
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and then marinate the lamb pieces in the refrigerator for anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours. The longer the marinating time, the more time you allow for the yogurt to tenderize the lamb.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottom pot or directly in the pressure cooker. Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sputter add the cardamom pods, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Let toast for a few seconds, and be careful not to let it burn. Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt, and continue to fry until the onions begin to look translucent. Add the minced ginger and garlic and continue to fry until the tips of the onion slices begin to turn golden brown. Add the marinated lamb into the pot and mix into the onion mixture. Mix these around for about a minute to let the spices brown a bit. Add the 1/4 cup water then put the pressure cooker lid on and continue to cook the lamb according to your pressure cooker directions. When the lamb is cooked and you’ve opened the pressure cooker lid the lamb pieces should be fork tender and they should be swimming in a thin brown curry. For the final step put the curry back on a low to medium flame and add a table spoon of tomato paste. Continue to mix and simmer the curry until the sauce reaches the consistency you like. I like a thicker sauce that coats rice or is easy to be scooped up with Indian breads. Don't forget to taste and add more salt if you feel it needs it. Add some chopped coriander leaves and heat through for a few seconds and the curry is done.

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