As with all curries, this one gets better after a day in the
fridge. Cook a double batch on a Sunday when time is on your side
and you'll have dinner sorted for Monday night.
2 tbspghee2onions, thinly sliced1 tspfennel seeds1 cup each(firmly packed) coriander and mint, plus 2 tbsp extra finely chopped1 tspfinely grated turmeric5long green chillies, finely chopped2 tbspfinely grated ginger3garlic cloves, finely chopped250 gmthick plain yoghurt3 tsp eachground cumin and garam masala2 tspground cinnamon500 ml(2 cups) chicken stock600 gmminced lambJuiceof ½ lemon, or to tasteGinger pilaf1 tbspghee½onion, finely chopped1 tbspfinely grated ginger1 tspfinely grated fresh turmeric1garlic clove, finely chopped300 gm(1½ cups) basmati rice750 ml(3 cups) chicken stockFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 lemonCurry-leaf oil2 tbspghee1long green chilli, thinly sliced2-3fresh curry leaf sprigs
Heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and sauté until light golden, adding fennel seeds in the last minute of cooking (8-10 minutes). Process coriander, mint, turmeric, half the chillies, half the ginger and half the garlic in a food processor to a paste. Add yoghurt and sautéed onion, and process until smooth. Return to pan with half the spices and stir until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add stock, bring to a simmer and cook for flavours to infuse (6-8 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine lamb, finely chopped coriander and remaining chilli, ginger, garlic and spices in a bowl and season to taste. Roll into golfball-sized balls and add to curry mixture. Simmer, turning meatballs occasionally, until sauce thickens and meatballs are cooked through (15-20 minutes). Add lemon juice and season to taste.
For ginger pilaf, heat ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, ginger, turmeric and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add rice, stir to coat, add stock, season to taste and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook without removing lid for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid, place a clean tea towel over pan and replace lid. Stand for 10 minutes, then add lemon rind and juice and fluff up with a fork.
For curry-leaf oil, heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add chilli and cook until becoming crisp (1-2 minutes). Add curry leaves and remove from heat. Serve meatballs with ginger pilaf and drizzled with curry-leaf oil.