Lamb Madras (serves 4, preparation time 30 minutes, cooking time at least 2 hour and better for mor
Ingredients for the curry paste:
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 5 cloves
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
For the lamb madras
- 4 lamb shanks
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 green birds' eye chilli
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1.5cm/¾in piece fresh root ginger, peeled
- 1 onion, peeled, thinly sliced
- 12 curry leaves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 200ml stock
- 2 tsp tamarind juice or 1 tsp paste if you can’t get juice
For the madras curry powder, place all of the curry powder ingredients into a spice grinder (coffee grinder does just as well) and grind to a fine powder. If you don’t have a grinder, a mortar and pestle will do.
For the lamb madras, season the lamb shanks all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick casserole pan and sear the lamb shanks for 1-2 minutes on all sides, or until golden-brown all over. Remove the lamb shanks from the pan and set aside.
Blend the chilli, garlic and ginger in a small food processor to a paste, adding a splash of water if necessary.
Place the pan used to cook the lamb back over a high heat and add the onions (add a splash of oil to the pan if it is too dry). Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened and starting to colour.
Add 2½ tablespoons of the curry powder to the pot along with the garlic, chilli and ginger paste, curry leaves, cardamom and bay leaves. Stir well.
Return the lamb shanks to the pan and cover with the chopped tomatoes, stock and tamarind. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pan with a lid simmer over a low heat for 2 hours, or until the lamb is very tender.