An authentic Bengali meat dish and one of my favourites. In India it is cooked with mutton though I have swapped lamb for it; marinated in a yoghurt mix, tossed in spices and cooked until the meat is moist & tender. A note to remember is that there is no additional water added to this dish. The end result isn’t quite a gravy dish but one with a thick masala that coats all the chunks of lamb. For this dish this it is crucial that the onions are fried well until soft & caramelly also that the ginger & garlic paste is blended to a fine puree to yield that thick masala base.
800gms leg of lamb cut into 4cm pieces on the bone
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp mustard oil (optional)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
3 cloves of garlic
1” piece of ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 green cardamom pods
½ “piece of cinnamon
2 dried mild kashmiri chillies
1 medium onion finely sliced
1 heaped tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1 medium potato cut into chunks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp coriander leaves roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Add the Greek yoghurt, mustard oil, turmeric powder and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk lightly. Add the lamb to it and marinate for 1 hour or preferably overnight. Blend together the garlic & ginger with a splash of water (2 tbsp) to a fine puree. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the vegetable oil and add the cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick. Also add the dried chillies. Let them sizzle and infuse the oil for a minute. Add the sliced onions and fry on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. As they soften and start to change colour add the ginger garlic paste. Sauté the paste for a couple of minutes and turn the heat to low. Followed by the tomato puree frying for a further couple of minutes. At this stage add all the lamb pieces along with the marinade and stirring well, seal the pieces for 2-3 minutes. Add the powdered spices and stir well frying for 3-4 minutes. As the lamb cooks it starts to release its moisture. Now add the potato chunks. Season to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer cooking with the lid on for an hour on a low heat until the meat is moist & cooked all the way through. Make sure to check half way through the cooking process, stir the lamb adding a splash of water if it gets too dry.
Add lemon juice, salt and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve warm with luchis or puris.