Lamb Pasanda, Lamb in Creamy Sauce
Lamb (or Mutton) Pasanda
In Hindi and Urdu, the words 'pasand' or 'pasanda' mean 'like' or 'liked' or 'to like' depending upon the verb it is used with. Pasanda means that the dish is to everyone's liking; children, beginner meat eaters and old hands alike. It is of a creamy consistency, lamb being marinated in a mix of yoghurt, ground almonds, onion, ginger and garlic. It is mildly flavoured with cardamoms, cinnamon and spices and it is not very hot. If you are looking for a hot curry, this is not the dish for you! It is an easy dish to cook, specially for the beginners. It is made with boneless pieces of lamb that have been beaten/flattened with a wooden hammer. Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients. Serves 4
500 gm. good quality Lamb piece of approximately 2 inch
100 gm. or 4 tbsp. thick, natural yoghurt** (you can use sour cream)
Salt to taste
2 level tsp. coriander powder
1 level tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. or to taste, chilli powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika powder for colour
2-3 green chillies, chopped (optional)
* 1 medium onion, peeled and grated or ground to a paste
*3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or ground
*1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or ground
2 tbsp. ground almonds
*These 3 can be ground together in a blender.
2-3 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. methi or fenugreek seeds
2-3 large cardamoms
3-4 green cardamoms
2 bay leaves
1-2 inch piece cinnamon stick
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced/chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
Flatten Lamb pieces by beating with a wooden hammer.
Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl and add Lamb to it. Mix and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight in a fridge.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan.
Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cardamoms, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cloves. When cumin seeds crackle or splutter, add sliced onion. Stir-fry until dark golden brown.
Add Lamb, all the marinade and water. Close the lid and cook on medium heat until Lamb is tender. You can cook it in a slow cooker at this stage. If cooking in a pan, you will need to stir it from time to time, to ensure that it does not 'catch'.
Raise heat towards the end, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Ghee will separate at this stage.
You can add 2 tbsp. of dry methi leaves to the marinade.
You can add 1/2 a cup of sour cream at step 7 for an extra creamy taste.
**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 yoghurt 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.