Lamb Curry, Nani Maya's
Gosht Curry, Nani Maya's
Nani Maya is the mother of a dear friend of ours, late Dr. Krishna Sen. Nani Maya comes from Calcutta and she is a superb Bengali cook. We had many a wonderful meals cooked by her, whenever she visited her daughter Krishna in UK, throughout the seventies and the eighties. Serves 6
1 kg. lamb or mutton, cubed (lamb is better)
Ingredients for marinade:
2 large onions (approx. 400 gm.)
1 inch ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 tbs. thick, natural yoghurt, see notes*
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. chilli powder or according to taste
Salt to taste
Ingredients for curry:
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Garam Masala. You can use whole spices that make garam masala instead (2-3 brown cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, 6-7 cloves, 6-7 black peppers and 2-3 inch piece of cinnamon).
A bunch of coriander leaves, chopped finely
Wash and drain meat.
Instructions for marinade:
Peel onion, ginger and garlic and grind in a food processor, together.
Add yoghurt, turmeric, salt and chilli powder to this and mix well.
Marinate lamb in this mix for a few hours.
Instructions for making curry:
Peel onion, ginger and garlic and chop finely or grind together in a food processor.
Heat oil in a pan. If using whole garam masala spices, add them now and stir for 10 seconds.
Fry onion, ginger garlic paste until nicely browned and oil separates.
Add sugar, mix & continue frying until dark brown.
Add marinated lamb, including the marinade, stir fry until fairly dry and oil separates from the meat.
Add water, 1 cup at a time (add more only if the gravy begins to get too thick), and cook until tender. The quantity of water depends on the thickness of curry gravy you prefer. It tastes better with a thick gravy.
Switch off heat.
Sprinkle garam masala, if using powdered garam masala, and 2/3rd of coriander leaves. Stir and leave covered.
Use leg or shoulder of lamb. If you get the meat from an Indian butcher, he will prepare it for you, taking out all the fat, tendons and membranes and will cut the meat into bite size pieces, with the marrow bones in.
New-Zealand lamb requires less cooking and is always of good quality.
*Tips for cooking with yoghurt:
Always use full fat yoghurt, if possible. Skimmed milk yoghurt sometimes curdles during cooking. If you wish to use low fat yoghurt, add 1 heaped teaspoon of plain or corn flour per cup of yoghurt.
Make sure that the dish you are cooking is at room temperature. If yoghurt is cooked straight from the fridge, it may curdle.
When adding yoghurt during cooking, take out a few tablespoons of the hot food in a bowl, mix yoghurt, warming it a bit and then stir it back into the hot dish.
Substitute sour cream for yoghurt, using only half the amount.