Fragrant Indian-spiced lamb curry with chickpeas
This lamb curry is wonderfully aromatic and warming – and a great way to use a economical cut of lamb! The list of spices might look a little long, but you’ll find them all at your local supermarket and I think they should be pantry staples. A curry tastes so much better when you make your own spice blend like this; you get such a lovely depth of flavour. And boy oh boy, the house smells amazing while it’s cooking. If don’t want to have to remove bones before serving the curry, use 600g-800g of boneless diced lamb shoulder instead.
800g lamb neck chops (or use 600g diced lamb shoulder or 1kg shoulder chops)
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon each garam masala, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, curry powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chicken stock
400g can chopped tomatoes in juice
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
½ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
Steamed rice and hot naan
Natural unsweetened yoghurt
Fresh coriander, chopped
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan (preferably ovenproof) over a very high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and brown on both sides (this is best done in batches). Set the chops aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter/ghee and another dash of oil to the same pan. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the spices and cayenne pepper and cook for another few minutes, stirring all the time so the spices don’t stick and burn.
Add the stock to the pan, bring to the boil then immediately turn off the heat. Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice, yoghurt, and the lamb and its juices. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required. If your pan is ovenproof, cover tightly and cook in the oven for 3 hours, or transfer everything to a covered casserole dish.
Before serving,I recommend removing the meat from the bones, if you like, so it’s easier to eat. Serve the curry with steamed white or brown rice, a dollop of unsweetened yoghurt (I like to add a sprinkle of lemon zest and fresh herbs to the yoghurt), fresh coriander and hot crispy naan bread.