Kamal's Lamb Curry
Dr. Kamal Dhaliwal
I was 16 years old and living in Fiji (Sunny Hill – Nasinu) with my brothers and Mum and Dad. A decision was made to send me to England to complete my A-Levels (High School) in Coventry, with the overall plan for me to then read Law at Middle Temple in London, where my Dad got his law degree. Three (3) months before I left for England, my mum decided that I needed to learn the basics of Indian cooking before I left, so that I could fend for myself and never go without good, tasty food. I was initially against the idea and resisted having to spend time in the kitchen, peeling potatoes, cutting onions, learning how to make dhal, how to “Choko” onions and ginger and garlic, but I wasn’t really given a choice in the matter. I am so very grateful for my mum’s foresight in insisting that I learn to cook back then. I have grown from strength to strength, love cooking and experimenting and now actually prefer my own cooking to going out to an Indian restaurant!!
I am a keen observer of cooks in action. Wherever I travel, I usually end up chatting to the chefs or cooks or the wives in the homes that I have visited for a meal. Because of my enthusiasm and passion for learning about the dish being prepared that time, I often leave with new recipes, or an improvement on my own recipe.
My story re this dish is about sitting together as a family on a cold dark night, with the rich exotic aroma of my Lamb Curry wafting through the room, and tasting the hot, succulent pieces of lamb in its rich thick curry gravy, usually with home-made rotis and washed down with a nice Red. It brings back feelings of love, togetherness, safety and security amongst the ones I love
To travel through India on a culinary journey of discovery, dining and sampling the best dishes that India has to offer from one end of the country to the other.
- 1.5 kg of diced lamb – approx 1 centimetre cubes
- 1 big onion
- 10 – 12 cloves of garlic (equivalent to 1 ½ table spoons of minced garlic)
- fresh ginger – (equivalent to 1 ½ tea spoons of crushed ginger)
- 1 big tomato
- 2 stalks of spring onions
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 2 star anise (optional)
- 10 cloves
- 6 cardamom
- 12 curry leaves
- handful of fresh coriander – chopped
- chillies to taste
- salt to taste
- tomato paste – 1 ½ table spoons – more if want it more tomatoey
- 1 large potato or 2 medium ones
- olive oil – 8 – 10 table spoons
- Pattaks Rogan josh curry paste – 1 ½ table spoons
- Pattaks vindaloo curry paste – 1 ½ table spoons
- Turmeric powder – 1 ½ – 2 level tea spoons
- Crush garlic, ginger and chilli together
- Slice onion
- Chop each potato into eight cubes
- Chop tomato roughly into 4 pieces
- Heat oil in sauce pan large enough to easily stir all the ingredients
- Add cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom to the pan and gently fry
- Add curry leaves, onions and the crushed garlic, ginger, chilli paste and fry till almost golden brown
- Add Rogan josh, vindaloo and turmeric and fry for another minute or so to help it break down and mix well with the ingredients already in the pan
- Add the lamb, mix well to coat with the curry and gently fry for a few minutes with lid off – be careful to not let the mixture catch at the bottom of the pan
- Add salt to taste
- Gently fry making sure it does not catch, on low heat until the water from the meat evaporates, and separates from the oil.
- Gently fry some more to get the caramelized look of the “chun mun”.
- Add ½ cup of boiling water, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stir every 5 minutes to ensure not catching at bottom of pan
- Keep adding ½ cup of boiling water as liquid begins to dry up
- When meat feels tender (approx 30 – 40 minutes later), check for salt
- Add potatoes, tomato, tomato paste and chopped spring onions – add a little boiling water, cover and simmer, gently stirring every 5 minutes and mashing the tomato into the curry sauce
- When potatoes are cooked through and the curry sauce is at the consistency that you want the curry to be, add the chopped coriander, stir through, turn off the heat, cover and leave.
- Serve with rice and/or chappatis/naan bread
Bon a petit…..!!!!