[an error occurred while processing this directive] Lamb Curry, Rice & Raita - Steven and Chris
Lamb Curry, Rice & Raita

Lamb Curry, Rice & Raita

Fragrant Lamb Curry
Serves 6


1 2-inch piece of cinnamon bark
10 cloves
4-5 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 green chiles, split lengthwise
6-7 fresh curry leaves
2 large onions, diced
7 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups tomato puree, fresh or store-bought
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
¼ cup canola oil
2 lb leg of lamb, fat trimmed and cut into 1½-inch cubes
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped

1. Wrap cinnamon bark and cloves in a little cheesecloth bundle and set aside.
2. Melt ghee on medium heat in a large, heavy stock pot. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves and chilies and stand back, as they will sputter. Saute for about 45 seconds, until the cumin starts to sizzle and the chilies are blistered.
3. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 3 minutes, or until golden. Stir in ginger. After 1 minute, add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt. Cook on medium heat, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes or until a nice paste is formed, but nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, until it cooks down and incorporates into the spice paste. Stir in yogurt and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add water, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
5. In a large high-sided sauté pan, heat ¼ cup canola oil on medium high heat, and sauté lamb, stirring regularly, until a bit of a brown crust starts to form on the meat. Remove from the heat and transfer meat to the stew.
6. Return stew to medium-low heat and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, or until meat is cooked through. Add more water, ½ cup at a time, if the stew becomes dry while cooking. This should be a moist, thick curry.
7. Just before serving, remove cinnamon sticks and clove bundle, and add coriander. Serve over a bed of rice or with naan.  Enjoy!

Saffron Basmati Rice
Serves 4-6

This is a no-fail way to make rice, and will work with almost any other type of rice. You can increase the water for a stickier rice, or decrease it if you are using peas or sautéed onions or any other vegetable flavouring. It's simple, and produces a lovely, fluffy, fragrant finished product.


2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1½ tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1 pinch saffron

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Actively rinse rice under running water until the water runs clear.  Place washed rice in a square, oven-proof dish.
2. Add water, salt, cinnamon, saffron and cardamom pods. Cover securely with foil and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
3. After 30 minutes, pull back a corner of the foil and make sure that all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the stove top.
4. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.  Enjoy!

Cucumber Mint Raita
Makes about 3 cups

Straining the yogurt is an idea I borrowed from the method used to make tzatziki, the Greek cousin to raita.  I like my raita nice and thick and rich, with little crunchy bursts of cucumber, smeared on the inside of a piece of naan with a skewer of grilled chicken tikka.

2 cups Balkan-style yogurt
1 medium English cucumber, seeded, grated and squeezed dry
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
fresh lime juice to taste
2 tbsp whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
kosher salt to taste

1. Place yogurt in a fine mesh sieve, resting over a bowl deep enough, so the bottom of the sieve is away from the bottom of the bowl.  Let the yogurt sit to strain out the water for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2-3 hours.
2. To the strained yogurt, add the squeezed cucumber, garlic, lime juice, toasted ground cumin, mint and salt.  Mix to combine and let sit, covered in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to make friends.


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