Lamb Balti

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Lamb Balti

India’s food culture is as varied as its people. Each region boasts of dishes that have clearly defined characteristics and diversity. Up north in Punjab, a fertile land, the dishes are rich with thick gravies and buttery sauces. Rajasthan, an arid region, offers drier game-based and vegetarian dishes often spicy and cooked with buttermilk and curd. Kerala, in the south famous for its incredible variety of both spicy vegetarian and seafood curries, which are thinner and coconut, tamarind and an array of spices are used to flavor the dishes.

This diversity and the numerous types of curries available can often be baffling and a neophyte can often find a restaurant visit intimidating. So it is no surprise that some of the most famous Indian dishes, at least in the UK and in parts of Europe, have very little to do with this complicated tradition and intricate compositions. They have more to do with the desire to introduce new flavors and joys of spice in the Indian cooking. The lamb balti is one such dish that has elevated itself to the iconic status of “curry” and it does share one thing with its Indian heritage – its identity with a single area that since the 1970s has become synonymous with a modern and dynamic Indian cuisine – Birmingham.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons feenugreek seeds
2 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Thumb sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
10-15 curry leaves
1kg lamb shoulder, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
Large bunch of coriander, chopped

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