• 2 x 2.5cm chunks fresh ginger; peeled & chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 kilo boned lamb neck fillet, shoulder or leg; cubed
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed -- ground
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds -- ground
  • 4 teaspoons red paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 dash fresh ground pepper to taste


  • STEP 1
    Put the ginger, garlic, and 4 tablespoons water into the container of an electric blender. Blend well until you have a smooth paste
  • STEP 2
    Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium high flame. Brown the meat cubes in several batches and set to one side. Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon into the same hot oil. Stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on colour. This just takes a few seconds.
  • STEP 3
    Now put in the onions. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes or until the onions turn a medium brown colour. Put in the ginger garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Then add the coriander, cumin, paprika-cayenne, and salt. Stir and fry for another 30 seconds. Add the fried meat cubes and juices. Stir for 30 seconds.
  • STEP 4
    Now put in 1 tablespoon of the yoghurt. Stir and fry for about 30 seconds or until the yoghurt is well blended. Add the remaining yoghurt, a tablespoon at a time, in the same way. Stir and fry for another 3 - 4 minutes.
  • STEP 5
    Now add ½ pint (275ml) of water if you are cooking lamb (3/4 pint (425ml) water if you are cooking beef). Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, scraping in all browned spices on the sides and bottom of the pot. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about half an hour if you are cooking lamb (2 hours if you are cooking beef), or until meat is tender. Every 10 minutes or so, give the meat a good stir.
  • STEP 6
    When the meat is tender, take off the lid, turn the heat up to medium, and boil away some of the liquid. You should end up with tender meat in a thick, reddish brown sauce. All the fat that collects in the pot may be spooned off the top. Sprinkle the Garam Marsala and black pepper over the meat before you serve and mix them in.

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