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Laal Maas

my version

from Curry: fragrant dishes from India, Thailand, Malaysia & Indonesia, foreword by David Thompson

If you enjoy a curry from many different countries but don’t want to get too in depth I’d really recommend this book – great recipes, great photography, a good introduction to the different styles of curry. So getting back to Rajasthan (North India).

I made this last night, but didn’t have any yoghurt and used creme fraiche instead, which was just as good!

1tbs dried capsicum flakes (i bought by accident thinking they were chilli), 5-10 dried thai chillies, stalks off; 1.5tsp cloves; vege oil; 250 natural yoghurt; 2 tsp roasted cumin seeds (do under grill or in a frypan, careful not to burn!); 20g ground coriander (ideally you’d grind your own seeds in a mortar & pestle or a dedicated spice grinder); 1/2 tsp chilli powder; 2 tsp salt; 3 bay leaves; 10 green cardamom pods; 6 black/brown cardamom pods (necessary, they are a different species to the green & give a distinctive earthy note, you can get them in little delis, indian & asian stores); 2 heads of garlic finely chopped (trust me it’s good!); 250g onions finely chopped; 1kg goat shoulder in cubes (or lamb if you must!); 750mL lamb stock or water; finely chopped leaves of 1 bunch of coriander.

Set aside 2 chillis & soak the rest in water. Also set aside 6 cloves. Mix the yoghurt, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder & salt in a small bowl. Heat some oil (1 tbs) in a heavy bottomed large pan, add cloves, bay, both cardamoms. WHen they begin to crackle & change colour add the garlic. Saute for 2 mins or until garlic changes colour, add the onions & cook until golden brown (10 min). Stir in meat & cook for a couple of minutes before adding soaked chillis with water & cook until the liquid has evaporated a bit (if possible) & meat browns. Add spiced yoghurt & cook 10-12min until liquid has evaporated. Depending on how much water evaporates, add some of the heated water/stoc, bring to the boil & simmer until the meat is tender (1-3h, depending on what you get, cooking in the microwave seems to tenderise quickly if you’re running out of time, not that I recommend this step ;-)) Now to boost the flavours, heat a small pan with another tbs of oil & fry the reserved cloves & chillis, cook 1-2mins until the spice smells good. Pour over the curry, sprinkle with the coriander leaves & serve with basmati rice.

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