Buttermilk and yoghurt thicken and add a rich finish to this Indian-style curry, yet also counteract the heaviness of the lamb. Look for properly cultured buttermilk without additives or thickeners for the best flavour; Pepe Saya, for example. This curry also works well with large cuts of chicken on the bone. Begin the recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas and marinate the lamb.
- 1.2 kg boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
- 200 gm (¾ cup) plain yoghurt
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 20 gm (4cm piece) ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp (heaped) ground chilli
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 6 cardamom pods, bruised
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 3 fresh curry leaf sprigs, plus 1 extra sprig fried in oil to serve
- 600 ml buttermilk
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 130 gm dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
- 1 small bunch of kale or silverbeet, leaves torn
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped coriander
- Warmed roti, lime cheeks, and yoghurt mixed with cucumber and finely chopped mint (optional), to serve
- 1Combine lamb, yoghurt, garlic and ginger in a non-reactive container, season to taste with salt and a good grind of black pepper, mix well and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
- 2Heat oil in a large casserole or wok over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, pound coriander and cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Add to casserole with remaining spices, stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then add lamb, stirring and turning to coat (1-2 minutes). Add curry leaves, buttermilk and stock, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered for 2 hours. Add chickpeas and cook, uncovered, until softened and lamb is very tender (30-40 minutes). Transfer lamb to a bowl and strain sauce through a sieve, reserving solids.
- 3Return sauce to casserole, place over high heat and cook, skimming occasionally, until reduced by two-thirds (30 minutes). Add kale and coriander and return lamb and reserved solids to casserole. Serve with curry leaves, roti and cucumber-mint yoghurt.
Drink suggestion: Yeasty saison ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.