With Easter right around the corner, why not try a new lamb recipe?
A little history: My parents are pure vegetarians; many people have theories as to how and why I am such a meat lover. I love the fact that my parents have always supported me on the choices I have made. Well, they could have supported me a bit more by letting me eat my meat in the house, my mom forced me to eat it in the garage. No lie!
I remember when I first started cooking meat, it freaked me out. Anything that resembled meat scared me so I usually opted to pay more for the pre-cut meat. Years have passed since then and I have advanced to buying what is sold in the supermarket and dicing it myself. I have to say out of all meats, lamb is my favorite. That distinctive taste screams for spices. If you have had an aversion to lamb or just haven’t known how to cook it, this is the easiest recipe ever and will make you look like the most talented culinary artist to grace the meat aisle, promise!
Many people are fearful of making Indian food, with the complex spice profile, they are intimated and think that it requires complicated procedures. Nothing can be simpler than this recipe. You chop everything up and throw it into one pot.
You are probably wondering what South Indian style means. As far as you are concerned, India is one country and they use tons of spices regardless of where you are from. True and not true, all at once.
I was born in South India (Southside!!), where the weather is very very hot and the monsoon season hits. We prefer spicy foods, coconut in everything and creamy foods. South India is filled with vegetarians and thanks to that, I was brought up loving vegetables. I couldn’t have asked for a better culinary childhood. Northerners also eat flavorful foods but it is not as spicy. Each region of India is known for different things. There is even a region that adds sugar to everything, even savory recipes. That will be saved for another day, back to my delicious recipe from my motherland.
TIP: It is an Indian tradition to cook your spices first to release their full potential. We usually cook the spices in ghee (clarified butter) and the spices are added at the beginning of cooking to infuse every ingredient with flavor. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter (feel free to use regular butter)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions in ¼ inch wedges
2.5 lbs of lamb meat, cubed into 1 inch portions
2 tablespoons coriander seeds or powder
2 tablespoons cumin seeds or powder
2 teaspoons fennel seeds or powder
6 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
2 bay leaves
6 whole dried red chili peppers
8 curry leaves
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garlic powder or fresh garlic paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 can of coconut milk (make sure there are no additional additives or sugars)
½ cup coconut flurries, unsweetened
In a large dutch oven, add the ghee and sauté onions until they are translucent and transfer to a plate.
Add the vegetable oil to the dutch over and place the diced lamb meat in the pot. Allow the sides of the meat to brown. Add the spices (everything but the last two ingredients) and cook for an additional minute.
Add the coconut milk, coconut flurries and clean out the can of coconut milk with water. The can of water should be added to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for an hour.
Remove the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and bay leaves before serving. Serve over jasmine rice or with naan. Yeah, it really is that easy!