Monday, March 31, 2014

Lamb Tikka Masala

There's a small store not too far from our place called Bombay Bazaar that carries more varieties of rice, spices, curry pastes and chutneys than you could even imagine.  When I walk in, intending to only pick up a small burlap sack of rice and some packages of ready-to-bake naan (because I no longer attempt to make my own), I inevitably leave with more spices than we have room to store in our kitchen cupboards.

And just a block or two further, there's Hmart, the Asian fish market where we buy sashimi-grade fish, exotic fruits and vegetables, and endless aisles of soy sauce, curry paste, rice paper, Asian snacks and frozen prepared dumplings and pot-stickers.

Curry is one of my favorite foods.  It could be the overload of comforting carbs like naan, rice and potatoes all in one dish, the rich coconut milk based sauces, the tender slow cooked meat or the warm exotic spices, but whatever the reason, I love meals like this.

Whenever the subject of lamb comes up, a friend at work will say, "It's embarrassing how much I love to eat lamb."  But I would have to agree.  It's one of my favorite meats to add to curry dishes.

One Year Ago:   Dreams of Blueberry Fields in the Summer, and Buttermilk Biscuits
Two Years AgoBrown Bread Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Raisin Spice Cookies

Lamb Tikka Masala

Meat and Marinade:
  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb (stew meat, cut into bite-sized chunks)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (seeds discarded)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup cream or whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • fresh cilantro
Basmati Rice and Naan for serving

Place the lamb in a bowl; add the coconut milk, garlic, ginger and spices; cover and let marinate for several hours, or overnight.

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and jalapeno and cook for several minutes until softened.  Add the garlic, tomato paste and spices and cook for two minutes, until fragrant.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, cream and sugar; add the lamb, including the marinating liquid.  Cover and simmer for at least two hours, preferably longer, until the lamb is tender.

Serve over hot basmati rice with a little fresh cilantro.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen, adapted from Chicken Tikka Masala by Cooking Recipe Central