Indian Lamb Curry aka Leftovers Heaven

Whilst on holidays over easter, my sister decided to cook a huge leg of lamb. We thought we were cooking for 10 people but it turned out to be 6 – which meant a tonne of leftover lamb. We shredded the remaining lamb off the bone, which after 12 hours of slow cooking fell away like butter on a hot knife, and threw the giant bones to the dogs. They gorged themselves on said bones as equally offensively as we had not 15 minutes earlier on the garlicky lamb. With a vast amount of shredded lamb leftover we pondered options and my Indian afficionado sister threw together a delicious, mooreish curry for dinner and lunch the following day(s)!

One thing I’ll say about this recipe is, if you don’t have one of the ingredients, don’t worry.  This is a pantry recipe, not a presciption so make do with whatever you’ve got. We served it with some leftoever lime & vegetable yellow channa dahl which was also pretty much a pantry cupboard chuck-in.

Ingredients

  • Lamb, be it leftovers or some fresh shoulder, roughly a kilo I guess
  • 4 medium onions, choppped into rough chunks
  • 4-5 tomatoes, whole
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into rough chunks
  • 3-4 large potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, roughly chopped (chop finely if using leftover lamb)
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, roughly chopped (chop finely if using leftover lamb)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 3-5 cloves
  • 3-4 curry leaves, finely julienned
  • 1 cup vege or beef stock, or water
  • a bunch of fresh coriander, torn by hand for garnish
  • big dob of plain yoghurt, to serve
  • Ghee or vegetable oil for frying

Method

  • Dry roast the seeds in a frypan till fragrant
  • Pound the seeds in a mortar & pestle to a rough powder
  • Into a large saucepan with a heavy base, boil some water.
  • While the water is coming to the boil, slice a large X into the skin on the base of your tomatoes (this will help the skin to fall away easily)
  • Once boiling, drop the tomatoes in and blanch them for a minute
  • Immediately remove the tomatoes to cold running water and the skin should pull away easily.
  • Set aside the tomatoes.
  • Dry the large saucepan well then add the oil and bring to medium-high heat.
  • If you are using fresh lamb, add it now.  Let it take on a little colour.  If using leftovers, just continue to the next step.
  • Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and saute for about 2 minutes to soften.
  • Add the pounded spice mix, the garam masala, the turmeric and the chilli powder to the pan.
  • Fry off for another minute or two to cook out the spices.  It should be fragrant and the onion, garlic and ginger should be soft but not coloured.
  • Add the vegetables to the pan, including the tomatoes.
  • Add the stock/water, the curry leaves, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • If using fresh lamb, I suggest you let it cook for 2 hours. If using leftovers, let it go for about 40 minutes, till all your veg are nicely yielding.
  • If using leftovers, about 10-15 minutes before serving, shred your lamb and add to the pan.
  • Before serving, remove curry leaves, cinnamon and cloves if you are nice.  Or if you are lazy, like us, just tell your guzzling eaters to pull them out as they find ’em.
  • Serve with rice, if desired (we aren’t big rice eaters in our house but most people are)
  • Serve in a big dish with a big dob of yoghurt
  • Tear up the coriander and strew over the top

Serves:  3 very greedy people for dinner and lunch the next day
Recipe:  Alexandra Burgess

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