- 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1.4 kg lamb ribs (see note)
- 4 Japanese eggplant, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 30 gm tamarind pulp, soaked in 200ml warm water for 10 minutes
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- 2 cracked cardamom pods
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 15 small dried red chillies, soaked for 3 hours in warm water, drained
- 6 fresh curry leaves, plus extra to serve
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 cm piece ginger, crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1Steam lamb ribs over a saucepan of boiling water until tender (30 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, for spice paste, dry-roast whole spices in a small frying pan over low heat until fragrant (1 minute), then grind in a spice grinder. Pound spice mixture with remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt with a mortar and pestle until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
- 3Heat oil and ghee in a casserole over high heat, add ribs and eggplant and turn occasionally until lamb is golden (3-5 minutes). Remove ribs and eggplant and set aside. Add onions to pan and stir occasionally until golden (5-7 minutes), then add spice paste and stir until fragrant. Strain tamarind water into a bowl and add to pan with tomato, cardamom, lamb ribs, eggplant and 125ml water, then simmer, covered, until lamb is tender (1¼ hours). Season to taste and serve hot with yoghurt and steamed basmati rice.
Note Lamb ribs need to be ordered ahead from the butcher. Ask for a whole trimmed lamb breast.
Drink Suggestion: Spicy cold-climate syrah. Drink suggestion by Max Allen