Discover Secrets of Indian home food

Recipe:

Lamb & Carrot Curry

 

Growing up I always ate meat on the bone or ‘hadi’ as this is where all of the flavour lies. The cut of meat was often a leg of lamb cut into small pieces at the butchers using a band saw. The pieces I’d fight for were the hadi that included the bone marrow – which I would suck out with glee! A gastronome’s delight I assure you. We’d also have lamb chop curry too, and sometimes mum would make this as a ‘tharri’ or soup, with potatoes in it.

As my own family are not keen on meat on the bone I use lamb neck fillet as an alternative – it’s just as delicious as meat on the bone and worth paying a little more for a better cut.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg lamb neck fillet
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • x2 cubes minced garlic (1 and a half tsp per frozen cube)
  • x2 cubes minced ginger (1 and a half tsp per frozen cube)
  • 2 tsp minced chillies (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp whole cumin
  • x2 black cardamom pods
  • x5 whole peppercorns
  • x3 cloves
  • 2 inch piece cassia bark
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • Pinch of Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 and a half tsp turmeric
  • 1 and a half tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp maldon salt
  • x3 ladels of tinned tomatoes (blitz with stick blender for smoother sauce)
  • 2 tbs greek yoghurt
  • x5 small-medium carrots
  • chopped coriander – stalk and leaves (1 pinch of stalks, 2 pinches leaves or to taste)
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 0.5- 1 cup of water for the ‘gravy’ or sauce
Prep Time:
5-10 minutes
Cooking Time:
35-40 minutes
Serves:
4
Cook’s Tip:

A cut on the bone that might excite meat lovers is lamb shank, definitely works as a celebration dish - coming to a dinner party or supper club near you let’s hope! Also do remove any whole spices before serving, so your diners don’t inadvertently bite into these – don’t expect that would be overly pleasant!

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with freshly cooked chapattis (or rice if you prefer), or the flatbreads will go really nicely with this, along with a side salad kissed with lemon juice and sea salt, and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Method

1. Clean the meat under cold water. Now cut into bite sized pieces, the meat should be marbled with fat which will melt during cooking, don’t remove. Set aside.

2. Let’s make the ‘tarka’. Take a medium-large lidded sauce pan, fry the chopped onion, cassia bark, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns in some vegetable oil. Cook on a moderate heat until the onions become translucent and soft.

3. Next add the garlic, ginger and minced chillies (remember you can add more chillies later if needs be). Allow to cook out.

4. Now add the garam masala and turmeric. If the pan is too dry add a splash of water so the spices don’t stick to the pan and burn. Allow the spices to cook out, then add in the chopped coriander stalks.

5. Then put in the tomatoes. Increase hob heat, and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. When you can see oil on the surface of the spiced tomato mixture/the oil has taken on the tomato colour, that means it’s cooked and ready to taste. Check your seasoning here. If it needs more chillies add now. I season with salt at the end of the cooking for meat dishes, to ensure it does not toughen the meat.

6. Place in the lamb and mix together coating all the pieces. Also mix in the yoghurt and a splash of water. Beware of adding too much water as the meat will shrink and also release water during cooking. (If you do add too much water you can correct at the end by simmering for an additional time, pan uncovered, and reduce the sauce).

7. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and allow lamb to cook for 10-15 minutes.

8. Now add in the chopped carrots, a pinch or 2 of methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and mix, re cover with a lid, and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until cooked and you are happy with a soft and giving texture! Appliances will vary, and check halfway in case you need to add a touch more water.

9. Finally add your salt, season to taste, and scatter with a flurry of chopped coriander leaves.