4 lbs Lamb, cut into curry about one inch cubes
5-6 pieces whole cardamom
2 inches cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
2 cups onions, finely diced
3 tbsp garlic paste
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1-2 tbsp paprika
red chili powder, optional to taste
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp all spice powder
5-7 whole cloves
1 ripe tomato, finely diced or puréed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2-3 tbsp milk
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking
Green chilies, optional
Wash the lamb well and drain all water. Set aside. For most flavour, use lamb with some bones.
In a bowl, mix yogurt, sugar and milk till smooth. Set aside.
In a pan, heat oil and add cardamoms, bay leaves and cinnamon. Once they become aromatic, add the onion and saute until it is translucent and is slightly golden. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for a little longer. Make sure it doesn’t burn, so stir as required. Add turmeric, paprika, red chili powder, all spice, cumin, coriander, cloves, salt and tomato and stir and cook for another minute or two. Add yogurt mixture and cook for a few more minutes. Add about 1/2 cup of water and cook the spices for another 5-10 minutes in medium heat until the water has evaporated and oil has separated. The cooking for the spices is very important as it determines the flavour.
Add the lamb to the pot and stir in to the spice mixture until all the pieces are well coated. Cook without water for 5 to 10 minutes while ensuring that they do not burn. Once the lamb pieces are starting to change colour, add water about 2-3 cups and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and to medium-low and cover. Cook until lamb is tender and gravy is to your desired consistency. Add green chilies, 5 to 10 minutes before removing from heat. Always check for salt and adjust as required.
Serve hot with plain rice, polau or biriyani.
- This curry is often cooked with potatoes, as Bengalis do love their meat with potatoes. If you would like to add potatoes to this recipe, add them towards the end of cooking. The timing would depend on how large your pieces of potatoes are and how long will they take to cook as you do not want the potatoes to be over cooked and disintegrate into the curry. If this happens the taste of the curry will change.
- If you do not like lamb, use beef instead and you should have just as delicious curry.