Stewed Cinnamon-Scented Lamb Curry by Caitlin
I have both of the cookbooks from Vij's restaurant in Vancouver and I would describe the recipes as canadian, or fresher and healthier versions of traditional Indians recipes. I cook from these a lot! In our house, we have some favourites that appear at least once or twice a month at least on our table, including Paneer with Brussels Sprouts and red peppers and a lighter Palak Paneer made with coconut milk-which are both so good! I hope this stew meets your expectations of delicious home cooked Indian food.
From Vij’s Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij and Meehru Dhalwala
4-5 tb of canola oil
1 tb cumin seeds
2 large onions, chopped
7 large cloves of garlic (about 1oz)
1tb finely chopped ginger
2 tb ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon stick ~2 inches long
1 tsp ground cayenne* I used only ½ tsp, I find the strength of cayenne varies a lot, so make sure you know how hot yours is.
Scant 3/4 tb salt
5 ripe tomatoes or 1 ½ lb * I used one 28 oz of canned whole tomatoes.
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
¼ cups canola oil
2lb leg of lamb cut into cubes, or diced steweing meat, about 1 “ dice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
On medium heat, add oil to a large saucepan, then add cumin seeds and sauté until they sizzle, about 45 seconds.
Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
While onions are sautéing start browning meat. I like using a heavy cast iron pan to do this. Don’t crowd the meat, and make sure the pan stays hot throughout to give a crisp sear. It will take several batches to do all the meat. This is the step that if done properly will make your stew taste delicious. Transfer meat to a plate, you will add to the stew later.
After onions have browned, add garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes. Stir in ginger and cook for one more minute.
Then add your spices: ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Cook on medium heat, stirring regularly for about 5-7 minutes, or until oil separates from the spices. It should smell strongly at this point, I had to add another tablespoon of oil at this point as the spices were sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, then stir in yogurt and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Finally, add water and bring to a boil- my stew had a yogurty-oily film on it that I had to stir in. Turn down to medium low heat once it comes to a
Transfer browned meat to the stew. If you are not finished browning the meat at this point, simply remove the pot of boiling stew from the stove, finish browning the meat, and proceed.
Cook covered, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours til meat is tender and cooked through. Add more water, about ½ cup at time if the stew becomes dry while cooking. I had to add about a cup and a half as it cooked. This should be a moist thick curry.
Just before serving remove cinnamon stick and cloves and stir in cilantro.