When I made this for the first time I hardly ate any of it. I know this may be hard to believe, but I took two bites, put the spoon down and sighed.
"It's almost too much, like a rich dessert," I said to myself in a stupor.
I just stared at the bowl, moaned with pleasure and made plans to make it last for a few days. It was just too much, and too good, to be attempted in just a single meal.
I LOVE LAMB. OK I've said it before and I will say it again. It's one of the cutest of meats, baby lambs are just so soft and fuzzy... and friendly... they will just nuzzle up in your arms and go to sleep... So... Are you going to eat that? 'cause I'll take it if you're not.
Don't be afraid of over-marinating. Marinate for 24 hours, or 48 hours, it'll be worth it I swear. I always hate it when a cookbook says you can marinate things for 4 hours. Sure you can, but there is hardly any point, especially if you are going to marinate in the refrigerator.
For the Marinade
3 medium red onions rough chopped
1 Tb cayenne pepper
1 Tb ground cumin
1/2 Tb tumeric
1/2 cup yogurt
1 Tb garam masala
3 teas salt
2 lbs leg of lamb cut into bite sized pieces
For the Gravy
3 Tb Oil
5 green cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teas cumin seeds
1 Tb ground coriander
4 green chilies
1 medium tomato chopped
2 cups water
1 cup yogurt
4 Tb chopped cilantro to garnish
Combine all the non-meat ingredients for the marinade in a blender or food processor and blend until it's a homogenous paste. Toss the meat in the marinade and mix well. cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least overnight and as much as 2-3 nights. If you only have 4-6 hours, massage the marinade into the meat every 30 minutes and keep it turning.
On the day of cooking, heat the oil in a large pan, add the whole spices (cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cumin seed) allow them to heat and crackle in the oil for a minute. Immediately add the ground coriander and the lamb with marinade and stir-fry on high heat for 5 minutes.
At this point you want to cook all of the juices out of the lamb and the marinade, this should take 20 minutes or so. Do this on medium-low heat. Only simmer, if the pan heats up to a full boil the proteins in the meat will clench up and become rubbery.
Once the meat is mostly dry increase the heat and caramelize the meat. When you see oil separating from the rest of the marinade it's done. This is called Bhunao and it essential to properly flavored Indian food.
Once the meat is browned and the sauce is done Bhunao (ing), then you add the tomato, green chili and 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup of water. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lamb is tender.
Put half of the lamb curry into a airtight container and send it to me. Enjoy the rest hot.