Friday, August 22, 2008

My mother-in-law's Lamb Curry

I don't have the recipe in front of me, but I think I remember it. I'll fix it later if I find a mistake. :-)

1 cup fresh coconut and 1 handful of cilantro (with or without stems) ground to a paste.*
sliced onion (1/8 of a big one? my mother-in-law's onions are the size of golf balls and she uses 1)
3 green chilies, slit in half lengthwise
1 tsp of crushed ginger and garlic (can chop then grind in mortar and pestle)
1 tsp coriander powder (can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder)
1/2-1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2-1 1/2 tsp salt
pinch turmeric
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
lamb shanks*

On medium heat, in oil, saute the onion, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste (until the strong smell goes away). Add the coconut/cilantro paste. Fry it until it's dry. Add the coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and turmeric. Fry for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes. Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes can be squashed with a wooden spoon. Add the lamb. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add about a cup of water and cover and cook for 30 minutes. Or, transfer to a pressure cooker with sufficient water and cook for 4 whistles (about 20 minutes). Serve over rice or with flat bread (rotis, chapatis, even tortillas would be good.)

*I used to have an Indian mixer, but I burned out the motor. It was a good one because you could grind things finely without having to add a lot of water. This time I used a food processor to break everything up, but it was still a little chunky for our taste, so I put it in the blender with some water, and then had to strain it with a sieve. Once I used just the food processor and you could totally feel the texture of the coconut, which wasn't too pleasant with lamb. Last time I used the blender and the coconut was fine, but it took forever to cook out all the water. This time was perfect with food processor, blender, sieve. but if you have a food processor that grinds things finely than you're set. Anyway. Turns out my mixer had a reset button on the bottom. It's okay now.

*My mother-in-law doesn't do this, and I didn't the first two times I made it, but this time I boiled the lamb first and drained off the fat. Then I put it in the fridge until I was ready for it, and the remaining fat totally congealed and I just sliced it right off. It was way less greasy than the other times I made it. Lamb can be pretty fatty. So what I did was sort of poach it. I covered the lamb in water and covered the pan and brought it to a boil then simmered it for 15 minutes. I also cut down the cooking time later so it wouldn't be too overcooked, since the meat was pretty well done after the poaching. But since we used a pressure cooker, it was still plenty tender. This is just if you're concerned about your fat intake or don't like your lamb too greasy. :-) We do this with chicken and ground beef and lots of stuff.


Suze said...

Mmmm, I looooove curry. Lamb's not my thing, but I might try it with chicken!

Mrs. Allroro said...

I never liked lamb until I tried it as a curry. (I don't know if that's why it's not your thing...)

I haven't tried this recipe with chicken. It is very similar to my mother-in-law's recipe for fish, though. I don't remember hte fish recipe off hand, but I know it has about 20 curry leaves fried and ground with the coconut and cilantro, as well as a pinch of fenugreek seeds. If you're interested, I'll try to remember to post it later (and even if you're not interested I might do it anyway).

Have you tried yet? Oh, such wonderfully easy to follow delicious recipes.