Wednesday, 16 March 2011

J is for... Jardaloo ma gosht

This was my favourite dish of the main course by far. The lamb was meltingly tender and the pockets of sweet, juicy apricots bursting in your mouth created a wonderful contrast with the rich, thick and savoury aromatic gravy. All in all this dish was a real winner and one I have every intention of making again and again. I found this recipe in Rhodes Across India. I extended the cooking time and increased some of the spice amounts and, sadly, I had to leave out the potato matchstick crisps for scattering on top included in the original recipe, as I just didn't have enough hob rings free to do them. Only three of our hobs work and while many of the dishes were stuck in the oven to keep warm while other dishes took over the gas rings, three still wasn't enough for J night. But then again, I'm not convinced four would really have been enough either as pan juggling would still have been necessary.

Jardaloo ma Gosht

200g pitted soft dried apricots
2 large onions, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
A finger of ginger, grated
500g boneless lamb, cut into cubes
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick, bashed gently to help release the flavour
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper
A bunch of fresh coriander
A few sprigs of fresh mint

Soak the apricots in 300 ml water for at least four hours. 

Fry the onions in a generous glug of vegetable or sunflower oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for around a minute before adding the lamb. Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and cumin and stir around to fry off in the oil before adding the cinnamon stick. Pour over enough water to barely cover and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours or until the lamb is tender and the sauce is thick. Add extra water if needed and stir at regular intervals.

While the curry is simmering, heat the sugar in a small pan and cook until it turns into a deep caramel. Add the soaked apricots along with their soaking liquid and remove from the heat.

When the lamb is tender, stir in the tomatoes and the apricots and their syrup. Finely chop half the coriander and stir through the curry for a few minutes before serving with the remaining whole coriander leaves and chopped fresh mint scattered over the top.

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