Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mellow Coconut Lamb Curry

Prep Time: 20 minutes  can be organized much earlier in the day or even the day before
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed (I do mine in my coffee/spice grinder)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 -1 tsp masala (Bal suggests turmeric, I used her ginger masala)
8-10 fresh curry leaves
salt & pepper to taste
1lb/450g stewing lamb cut into 1-2" pieces
1 large eggplant, diced fine
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 can (14oz/400g) fire roasted, diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 hot green chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional, but the dish, while flavorful, is very mild in the heat department)

1. Organize and measure all your ingredients and line them up near the stove.  The initial cooking is quick, so you don't want to burn anything during the process.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.   When the oil is hot add the garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds, Masala, curry leaves salt and pepper and cook for another 20 seconds.    Stir in the lamb, making sure it's well coated with all the spices.  Cook for 5 minutes.  

3. Add the finely diced eggplant, toss and cook for another 5 minutes or until the eggplant softens.   Add the coconut, toss and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  

4.  Stir in the tomatoes, onions, vegetable broth and reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer until the lamb is cooked through and tender (about 20-25 minutes).  Taste for seasoning... this was when I added the chopped green chili and continued to cook for another 5 minutes or so without the cover. 

Serve with rice or couscous.  This time I steamed the couscous with turmeric and 2 smashed cardamom pods which gave it a gorgeous sunny colour and a delightful perfume, . 

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