Southern Indian lamb curry

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cloves
  • 11/2 tbsp fennel seed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp turmeric
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1.35kg boned shoulder lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 110ml plain unsweetened natural yoghurt
  • 1 spring onion, shredded
  • 1.35kg steamed basmati rice
  • Raita
View metric measurements
1) Begin by placing a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat.

2) Grind the cloves, fennel, cumin, coriander, and turmeric in a spice grinder.

3) Add the oil to the hot pan and pour in the spices. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, curry leaves, and chilli and toast for 2-3 minutes until golden and aromatic - be careful, the leaves will splatter a little.

4) While they are toasting, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the food processor and mix until finely chopped.

5) Season the cubed lamb with salt and pepper then add to the pan of oil and spices. Brown all over for about 5-7 minutes. Add the onion puree and sweat for about 8 minutes, to remove some of the moisture, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes and almost cover the pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes until the lamb is tender.

6) Remove the lid and skim fat off the surface. Fold in the yoghurt and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and spring onions and serve with steamed basmati rice and raita.

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