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Lamb Curry with Caramelized Onions

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons dried mint

2 teaspoons salt

12 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup water

2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 11/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup Greek style yogurt

1/2 cup (1 cube) butter

2 cups caramelized onions

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

6 green cardamom pods, crushed

1 stick cinnamon

1 (16-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand

3 cups of water

Cooked white rice

First prepare the spice paste: Combine the turmeric, garam masala, paprika, mint, salt, garlic, ginger and jalapeno with a quarter-cup of water in a small food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer half of the spice paste into a bowl and add the lamb cubes and yogurt. Toss until evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the coriander, fennel, cardamom and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the cinnamon stick unfurls and the spices are fragrant and lightly toasted. Add the caramelized onions and continue cooking until the onions are soft. Add the remaining spice paste and continue cooking until the paste is no longer raw, about 2 minutes. Add the lamb, along with the marinade, and cook, stirring, until the marinade is no longer raw, about another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is very tender, about 11/2 hours.

Adjust seasoning and serve, along with the rice.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

— Recipe adapted from "Saveur" magazine.