Fijian lamb curry
( SERVES 4 )
This recipe is special to me because this is how we Fiji Indians cook our lamb curry. This is a unique way of making lamb curry and only made by Fiji Indians in Fiji or around the world by Fiji Indians. I grew up with my mom’s super delicious lamb curry. When I moved to Wellington I missed my mom’s cooking. Since we hardly get boneless lamb in Fiji and the boneless lamb being expensive we use lamb shoulder chops, lamb shanks or lamb neck for our lamb curry.
|1 kg||Lamb shoulder chop|
|1 large||Potato, diced into quaters|
|2 Tbsp||Vegetable oil|
|2 sprigs||Bay leaves|
|1 tsp||Turmeric powder|
|2 Tbsp||Garam masala|
|1 tsp||Chilli powder, red|
|4 cloves||Garlic, crushed|
|1 tsp||Fresh ginger, crushed|
|2 sprigs||Chopped fresh coriander|
|½ small||Onion, thinly sliced|
|¼ tsp||Mustard seeds|
|¼ tsp||Fenugreek seeds|
|¼ tsp||Cumin seeds|
- Trim off excess fat from the lamb. Since fat gives taste and flavour you may keep some on. Cut the lamb into bite size pieces. Wash and drain the lamb.
- Heat up a wok on a low heat. Add oil, heat up the oil. Temper mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds in the hot oil. Let the seeds splatter, add bay leaves, sauté for a minute or until it changes colour while stirring constantly.
- Add sliced onions, sauté the onions, keep stirring constantly until they are golden brown. Add garlic and ginger paste, sauté garlic and ginger paste until they are fragrant.
- Add garam masala, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Cook the spices until the oil separates. If need be add about 2 tbsp of water to the onions before adding the spices to avoid burning of the spices.
- Add lamb pieces, diced potatoes and salt. Cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally until the water dries out and the oil starts to separate.
- Add two cups of water to create sauce for the curry. Increase the heat to high. Cook for 40 – 50 minutes or until the lamb and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. The cooking time depends on the lamb as well if the lamb is tender it will not take more than 40 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook further 5 minutes. Add coriander leaves, check the salt in the curry, if not enough add some more. Remove curry from the heat and let the flavours from the coriander leaves infuse the curry. Enjoy your lamb curry with rice and roti.
- If you want more sauce add more water. Potatoes thicken the curry sauce. There shouldn't be any restriction how many potatoes you want to add. If you diced your potatoes into smaller pieces and then don't add them with the meat. Add them when the meat is half cooked.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder in my curries. Kashmiri chilli powder is very mild and instantly imparts a vibrant red colour to the curry with a hint of heat.
- Always temper your spices – it releases essential oils which provides beautiful fragrant to the curry.
- To improve the flavour of the curry - you may also add whole spices along with mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds. One inch of cinnamon stick, 4 cardamoms slightly cracked open, 4 cloves, 6 peppercorns and 2 star anise.