zenbelly\'s lamb curry
2 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
should end up with about 2 teaspoons ground coriander
6 pods cardamom
should end up with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
reduce or eliminate if serving to children
1 tsp sea salt
finely ground
1 tbsp garlic
4-6 cloves pressed
1 tbsp ginger
peeled and grated, about 2 inches
1 tbsp coconut oil
could also use ghee
2 lbs leg of lamb
cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium onions
4 cups tomatoes
about 2 large tomatoes chopped
4 pods cardamom
6 whole cloves
2 small sweet potatoes
murasaki or other white sweet potato, peeled and cut into medium dice
fresh mint leaves
chopped, optional
The spices shine in this preparation. We usually have whole coriander seeds and cardamom pods on hand, so instead of buying ground coriander and cardamom, we simply grind it ourselves since the recipe requires relatively small quantities of each.
to grind the spices (skip if using pre-ground)
Preheat the Dutch oven over medium heat. Toast the coriander in it until fragrant.
Grind the coriander in a spice or coffee grinder.
Gently crush the cardamom to crack the pods. Extract the seeds and grind them in the grinder.
to prepare the curry
Preheat the oven to 300°. Combine the coriander, cardamom, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, garlic, and ginger in a small container.
Preheat the dutch oven over medium-high heat. Melt the coconut oil and brown the lamb on all sides. Brown the meat in batches to ensure that the meat browns instead of steams. Using a skinny plastic spatula to loosen the lamb from the bottom of the pot without scratching it, flip the pieces of meat every few minutes. Reserve the seared meat on the inverted lid of the Dutch oven.
Drop the heat down to medium and add the onions. Saute for 10 minutes or until caramelized and softened.
Add the spice mixture with the ginger and garlic. Stir constantly for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and their juices. Add supplemental water if needed so that the spices don't burn. Scrape in the bits of food into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer half of the tomato/onion mixture into a tall working glass and process with an immersion blender.
Pour the tomato/onion puree back into the pot. Add the seared lamb (juices and all), cardamom pods, and cloves. Bring to a boil and then transfer into the oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
Mix in the sweet potatoes. Cook for another 45 minutes.
Garnish with fresh mint. Share and enjoy!