Prep Time:20 minutes |
Cook Time:1-1/2 hours
My mother invited me over for a luscious lamb curry and I begged her for the recipe. She handed me a scrap of paper with my handwriting on it—I had written the recipe down for her years ago! Well, that’s proof my memory is shot…but not my taste buds. This is easier than most curries because it has a far shorter ingredient list, yet tastes as complex and rich as any. Like all stews, it gets even better the second day.
2-1/2 pounds boneless lamb stew (preferably from the shoulder)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1/4 cup curry powder, preferably Madras
1 can (14-oz) chopped tomatoes or tomato pulp
1 can coconut milk, regular or lite
chopped fresh cilantro, optional
hot cooked rice
garnishes (see below), optional
Cut the lamb into 1-inch chunks, trimming off excess fat as you work. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart pot, such as a Dutch oven, with oil and place it over high heat. When oil is hot, brown meat in batches, transferring the browned meat to a plate as you go and adding more oil as needed.
Once you have browned all the meat and removed it, add the onion and carrots to the pot and stir for a few minutes until soft. Stir in the curry powder, then the tomatoes and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Return meat and any accumulated juices to pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Stir in cilantro to taste and turn off heat. Let stew rest at least 10 minutes to settle flavors (or cool and refrigerate, then reheat as needed). Ladle sauce and meat over hot-cooked rice and offer garnishes alongside.
garnishes: if desired, set out little bowls of mango chutney, chopped cucumber, chopped scallions, chopped hard-cooked egg, or peanuts in any combination you like to sprinkle over each portion.