Monday, December 21, 2009

Cardamom Lamb Curry

I was planning on putting up a shortbread recipe today --it being the holiday season dontcha know-- but I've just found out that someone way up north is interested in a lamb curry. Specifically, a lamb curry that features cardamom.

Now, I don't have enough time to write a dissertation on cardamom (a spice I LOVE) cus it's already 4:30 pm and I've got a crew to cook for. And I also don't have enough time to completely list exact amounts of every single item. However, she won't mind cus she cooks this way too so I'm sure she'll figure it out --you will too, no worries.

I do have time to tell you that I make many many many different kinds of curries and that this particular one could maybe be classified as a massaman type curry (from Thailand, but this is waaaay different) but until 5 minutes ago I had never even heard that name.

Therefore I think I can safely claim this curry as one of my own.

Alrighty, clock is ticking and after this post I need to get cooking!

Here we... GO!

Dingo Dave's Cardamom Lamb Curry

What you need:

8 green cardamom pods
small palmfull crushed peanuts (put some shelled peanuts in the cupped palm of one hand and run the thumb from your other hand over it; tada! crushed nuts!)
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp dried mint

2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp cinnamom powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder*
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger powder

2 lbs diced lamb --whether from chops, a roast, leg, etc. Doesn't matter.

2 or 3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 an onion, finely minced
1 tbsp lemon grass (just use the jarred kind), finely minced

1/2 glass lambrusco wine (it's what I had in my hand at the time)
1/2 glass dark ale (it's what I had in my other hand at the time)

1 can (400 mls --around 13 ounces) coconut cream

*coriander is called cilantro in North America. The powder is the dried, ground seeds of the plant; NOT the leaves.

What you do:

Put the first 5 ingredients (notice how I grouped the goodies so it's easy to see?) in a dry (no oil) wok. Fry for 3 minutes while tossing/stirring. Add the mixture to a mortar and go to town on it with your pestal! Don't worry about the shells of the pods, they'll get ground up and add to the flavour, trust me.

Mix the next 7 ingredients (tamarind paste through ginger powder) in a bowl. Add the diced lamb to the bowl and mix to coat the lamb pieces well.

Put the olive oil (traditionally you'd use ghee, but I use olive oil) in your wok and crank up the heat. After about 30 seconds it should be ready to add the coated lamb, the onion and the lemongrass. Cook and sear for about 2 minutes, tossing/stirring regularly.

Turn the heat down to low, add the wine and the beer. Stir to deglaze the wok. Add the cardamom spice mix from the mortar, stir it in. Let the liquid cook down by half --should only take 1 or 2 minutes. Add the coconut cream, stir everything together and simmer till the texture is to your liking. Just make sure you don't boil the coconut cream or else it'll separate.

Serve it over jasmine or basmati rice (I suggest you cook the rice). If it's too spicy for someone at the table just top their's with some plain yoghurt, no worries. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

This is good stuff, really.

1 comment:

Naturelady said...

This sounds scrumptious!
Cardamom has gotta be one of the favored spices in our household -- my husband wooed me with a cardamom cake when we met, and he was impressed that I immediately recognized it...