Lamb do piazza

By Anjum Anand

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 4–5 tbsp vegetable oil (use 5 tbsp if your lamb is quite lean)
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2.5cm cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 smallish onions, 1½ chopped and ½ sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 10g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼–½ tsp chilli powder, or to taste (add some paprika for colour if you don’t use much)
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 500g leg of lamb, cubed
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • good handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves

Preparation

A much-loved British dish that’s also a favourite in India. It is, at heart, a richly flavoured mutton or goat curry with double the amount of onions normally used. This is a great recipe to prepare a day in advance of serving, as the beautiful tangle of flavours continue to soften and marry. If you can add some lamb bones (ask your butcher), you’ll get an added depth of flavour. For a wow factor, deep-fry some more finely sliced onions until crispy and pile a dramatic mound of them on top.

  • Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan.
  • Add the whole spices and, once they have sizzled a bit, add the chopped onions and cook until browned; the darker the onion, the deeper the flavour.
  • Meanwhile, make a fine paste of the tomatoes, ginger and garlic using a hand blender. 
  • Stir in the powdered spices, salt and yogurt until smooth.
  • Add the lamb to the pan and seal the outsides. 
  • Add the tomato-yogurt paste and bring to a boil while stirring very often. 
  • Then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 45–50 minutes, or until the lamb is tender.
  • Add the sliced onions 30 minutes into the cooking process and give the pot a stir every 10–15 minutes, making sure it does not dry out.
  • Ideally, the dish should cook in its own sauce but, if necessary, add a splash of water.
  • By the time the lamb is tender, the sauce should have reduced to a creamy consistency with a tangle of sweet,  sliced onions.
  • If it is too dry, add a splash of water. 
  • Taste and add more salt, chilli powder or lemon juice, as you prefer, until it is perfect for you.
  • Stir in the chopped coriander and serve with Paratha, Chapati or Naan.

I Love Curry: The Best Indian Curries You'll Ever Cook by Anjum Anand, published by Quadrille (£9.99)

Photography by Jonathan Gregson