There was some rather good lamb in the supermarket today, so it had to be Curry.
- 400g lamb leg, trimmed and chopped into cubes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp minced chilli from the jar (wasn’t quite enough for my tastes)
- 50mL Greek yoghurt (and another 50mL for later)
- a 450g tin of chopped tomatoes
- a large onion
- a fistful of coriander leaves
- and a supporting cast of cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, and cloves
I do it like this:
- Put the cubed lamb in a bowl with the chilli, crushed garlic, a grind of pepper and salt, and the yoghurt. Mix well, and let this sit for at least an hour, or maybe an afternoon. If you’re doing it overnight, maybe in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion into wedges – no need to get fancy – and gently fry it in a large pan, with a couple of tablespoons of oil, six cloves, and half a cinnamon stick, broken into two.
Around about twenty minutes ought to do the trick, which is just enough time to have a beer.
- In a mortar and pestle, grind up about a teaspoon of cumin seeds, and the seeds from six cardamom pods until vaguely powdery. Yes, you can get fancy and use some kind of mechanical grinder, but the effort you spend cleaning that bit of machinery afterwards will put your labours with the mortar and pestle to shame.
- Back at the pan, fish out the cloves and cinnamon – doesn’t matter if a few bits get left behind – and then turn the heat up high. Add the cumin and cardamom, and stir madly for about half a minute.
- Just before the spices start to burn, add the lamb. (You may want to have your extractor fan going at this juncture, or have a window open.) Keep stirring furiously, for about a minute, until the lamb is cooked on the outside.
- Turn the heat right down, and hurl in the tomatoes.
If you hurl them in with the unnecessary esprit and élan with which I hurled them tonight, you will get tomato on your jeans. Consider this possibility.
- Now, just let the whole thing simmer, very gently, for about an hour.
- Five minutes before the end, stir in the rest of the yoghurt, and the coriander leaves.
- Serve with basmati rice. You could reserve some of the coriander, plus a lemon wedge or two, for a garnish, if you’re that way inclined.