Thursday, November 02, 2006
Kashmir Lamb Curry
This hearty curry came from the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook, which I picked up on clearance in Berkeley at Pegasus Books, a great spot for book deals in general. (I've also found deeply discounted copies of The Silver Spoon and Russ Parsons' How to Read a French Fry there.)
The Chronicle cookbook contains a wide ranging mix of recipes, edited by the paper's restaurant critic Michael Bauer. Many of the recipes highlight California's superb ingredients, and a significant number come from some of the Bay Area's top chefs. No pictures, but lovely illustrations, and well thought-out instructions.
My homemade curries rarely have the depth of some of my restaurant favorites, but this one comes close. Toasting the spices helps, as do the almonds. Be sure to cook the ginger and onions long enough so you don't end up with unyielding crunchy bits. Serve your curry with rice or flatbread like naan. Also, I froze my leftovers in individual portions, perfect for a cozy meal during a busy work week.
Kashmir Lamb Curry
adapted from Laxmi Hiremath for the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook
2 lbs boneless lamb, like the Trader Joe's lamb loin
1/4 c. almonds
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 inch cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 medium tomatos, seeded and chopped
3 medium potatos, diced
1 c. water
2 c. plain, full-fat yogurt
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Put almonds in a plastic bag and smash gently with a rolling pin, set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Stir until the onion and ginger are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coriander, tumeric, paprika, cayenne and salt. Stir for a minute. Add the lamb and cook, stirring, until the cubes are browned on all sides. Add the tomatos and potatos. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 c of water.
Stir together the yogurt, crushed almonds and remaining 1/2 c water and add to the skillet. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30-45 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
Add the peas and heat through. The sauce should be thick, but if it is too thick, add a bit of water. If too thin, boil to reduce.