I am currently travelling through north India for work. You can see the pictures from my trip so far over on Instagram. And as many times as I visit various cities across the subcontinent its still amazes me how flavoursome and diverse our food is. Eating in parts of Punjab or Rajasthan gives you a glimpse into the local cuisine. The influence of Mughlai cuisine of course has always had such a vital part to play in our culture historically. And so even in a city like Mumbai it’s no surprise that you will find so many restaurants which strive to replicate the flavours mughal food available in places like Agra or Delhi. For those who know me, I am a big fan to meat dishes with spices. While writing my cookbook my editor asked if I could reduce the number of lamb dishes I had in each chapter! There are so many recipes with mutton or lamb that complement spices superbly and bring out the best flavours, for me it seems hard to resist. One such classic has got to be a slow cooked Karahi Gosht; slow cooked lamb with tomatoes, ginger, garam masala and chillies.
Spending winters in India eating Karahi Gosht with soft warm Tandoori rotis at local places in Mumbai, Delhi and or even Lucknow make up some of the best food experiences.
Most Mughlai and Punjabi restaurants will serve you a plate of this goodness as do dhabas and street vendors with succulent morsels of slow cooked lamb in a thick gravy bringing sheer delight with every mouthful. The heat/ spice of the dish combines with the rich gravy and slight sweetness from the tomatoes that make it very hard to resist. I prefer Tandoori rotis as they have soft as well as a crispy texture which make scooping up the curry a joy.
Cooking Karahi Gosht at home has always for me been about getting the flavours just right and like I knew they should taste. This recipe is one that I can say is an absolute hit every single time with family and friends. The key here is letting the tomatoes and onions bring out the moisture in the gravy without the use of any water. I was recently asked how the lamb cooks without any water in a recipe for Sindhi Seyal Gosht as well. The principle is exactly the same making sure it cooks in its own juices along with the additional ingredients. The Karahi Gosht is slow cooked in a curry that is infused with spices including kala jeera (black cumin seeds), tomatoes and fresh chillies. The dish is garnished with fresh coriander, slivers of fresh ginger and chopped green chillies. Serve with roti, naan or pulao. To buy any of the spices or ingredients you can refer to the diary pages of the website.
Add the lamb to a mixing bowl. Crush the garlic and ginger to a coarse paste and add to the lamb. Stir well and set aside for an hour or overnight if you have time.
In a heavy bottom large saucepan or kadhai heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the marinated lamb chunks and fry for 5-6 minutes stirring well to seal. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook for a further 8 minutes. The tomatoes will begin to break down and soften. Add the onions and chilli powder and stir well cooking for a further 3 minutes. Season to taste. Now lower the heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes stirring half way through the cooking process.
Add the greek yoghurt to a small bowl and mix in the ground spices; coriander, turmeric, cumin and black pepper. Add this to the karahi gosht and stir well making sure the yoghurt does not split. Continue simmering on a low heat and with the lid half over the pan, cook the lamb for 45-50minutes stirring half way through cooking making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Turn the heat off and while it’s still warm add the garam masala, coriander, mint and ginger slivers.