Sometimes I get in the mood to make a recipe that, to put it quite honestly, takes forever (first you have to make the spice rub. They you have to make the curry past. Then you have to brown the meat, etc.). Perhaps it's because I get bored easily and recipes such as this, which has many steps and cooks for a long time, keeps me occupied for hours. Or maybe it's a delayed gratification sort of thing. I'm not real sure. Regardless, this is one of those all day recipes, but believe me it's totally worth it. And as it the way with most stewy sort of dishes, this is even better the next day.
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cardemom pods
freshly ground pepper
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled
2 tennis-ball-sized red onions, peeled
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 fresh red chillies
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans (14.5 ounces) chopped tomatoes
1/2 pint stock or water
3 1/2 pounds lamb (or chicken or shrimp or whatever), diced
freshly ground black pepper
2 cans (14.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or other vegetables such as okra, spinach, peas, cauliflower, potatoes, or eggplant)
white rice to serve
1 handful chopped cilantro and mint
lime juice to taste
Paneer Indian Cheese (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly toast the spice rub ingredients in a dry pan over a gentle heat until fragrant. Using a spice grinder, grind the toasted seeds into a fine powder.
Chop the paste ingredients roughly, add the rub mix and puree in a food processor.
In a large stockpot, fry the curry paste mixture in the butter until it turns golden, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, put a lid on the pot and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours, to intensify the flavors.
Meanwhile, saute the lamb in olive oil until browned and set aside.
Remove the pot from oven, remove the lid and place on burner. Simmer the sauce over medium heat until it thickens. Add the lamb to the curry sauce and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Add chckpeas and simmer for 30 more minutes until lamb is tender.
Serve curry over steamed basmati rice. Top curry with Paneer cheese, chopped cinatro and mint and a squeeze of lime juice.