I stole this recipe from a friend (thanks Nick!) but it’s so delicious that I wanted to share it. It’s actually not that hot, in that you can still enjoy the taste. I used extra hot dried chillies and still managed – although I would suggest going for the 25 chilli version to start with, just in case! So anyway, here’s the recipe – enjoy!
As the name suggests, this is a very hot dish, not for people with a weak constitution. This is one of the few Indian dishes that contains heat in every sense – both ‘chilli hot’ and ‘spice hot’. You can decide the amount of heat you’d like. Discard most of the seeds from the chillies if you want to reduce the heat, or keep them in if you want it really hot.
Serves 3 or 4
25-35 dried red chillies, stalks removed
11/2 tsp cloves
150g ghee or vegetable oil
250g plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
20g ground coriander
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp salt
3 cinnamon leaves or bay leaves
6 green cardamom pods
5 black cardamom pods
75g garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g onions, finely chopped
1kg leg of lamb or goat with bone chopped into 2.5cm cubes
750ml lamb stock or water
30g coriander leaves, finely chopped
Set aside 3 or 4 of the dried chillies to use later; put the remainder to soak in 125ml water. Also put aside 4-6 of the cloves and 1 tbs of the ghee. Mix the yogurt with the cumin seeds, ground coriander, chilli powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat the rest of the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the remaining cloves, the cinnamon leaves and the green and black cardamoms. When they begin to crackle and change colour, add the garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Stir in the meat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the red chillies and add to the pan.
Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the meat starts to brown. Now add the spiced yogurt and cook for another 10-12 minutes or until the liquid from the yogurt has evaporated. Add the stock or water and bring to the boil, then cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender. Check the seasoning. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
To prepare the tadka, or tempering, which boosts the flavours, heat up the reserved ghee or oil in a large ladle over a flame (or in a small pan) and add the reserved cloves and dried red chillies. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the ghee changes colour and the spice flavours are released. Pour the contents of the ladle over the lamb curry, sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve.