Cardamom-Flavored Lamb (Eliachi Gosht)
¼ cup blanched almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large red onion, minced
2 serrano green chilies, seeded and minced
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 pound lean lamb chunks
½ cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cream
Table salt, to taste
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Fragrant cardamom pods and powder perfume this dish. Adjust the amount of cardamom to your taste. Serve with warm Simple Indian Bread (page 202).
1. In a food processor, combine the almonds with a few tablespoons of water to make a thick, coarse paste. Set aside.
2. In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the green chilies, cardamom pods, and lamb; sauté for about 25 minutes. If the lamb starts to stick to the pan, add about 1 tablespoon of water.
3. Add the yogurt and fry for 5 minutes. Add the almond paste, then add the water and bring to a full boil. Cover, lower heat, and cook for about 50 minutes or until the lamb is tender and cooked through.
4. Add the cream and mix well. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with the cardamom powder and serve hot.
Most stores sell this fragrant powder. Use a little at a time — it goes a long way. If you want to make your own, here is a simple recipe: Open the cardamom pods. Remove the seeds and discard the shells. In a spice grinder, grind the seeds to a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar.