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  Added: May 25, 2006  •  Visited (244)  •  Print version Print this recipe (45)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
Lamb With Coconut Masala
What You Need:
  • 1 fresh coconut, opened and shelled
  • 3½ cups hot, not boiling, water
  • A 2-inch piece of stick cinnamon, wrapped in a kitchen towel and coarsely crushed with a rolling pin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white poppy seeds, if available
  • The seeds of 3 whole cardamom pods, or ¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 dried hot red chilies, washed, seeded and coarsely crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons scraped, finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3 large onions, peeled, cut lengthwise in half, and sliced lengthwise into paper-thin slivers (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds lean boneless lamb, preferably from the leg or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat, sliced 2 inches thick and cut into 3-by-2-inch pieces
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • How To Cook:
    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. With a small, sharp knife or swivel-bladed vegetable parer, peel the brown skin off about one fourth of the coconut meat. (Set the rest of the coconut aside.) Slice the peeled coconut into paper-thin slivers each about 1½ inches long.

    2. Spread the slivered coconut evenly in a shallow baking dish or cake pan and, turning the slivers occasionally, toast them in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Then remove the dish from the oven and set the coconut slivers aside.

    3. Make two milks from the remaining coconut meat, using 1 cup of the hot water for the first batch and 2 cups of hot water for the second. Keep the two bowls of coconut milk separate.

    4. To make the masala, heat a heavy ungreased 8-to 10-inch skillet over moderate heat for a minute or so, until a drop of water flicked into it splutters instantly. Drop in the cinnamon, coriander, cumin, poppy seeds, cardamom, cloves and red chilies, and stir for 3 minutes, until they are lightly toasted.

    5. Add the ginger and garlic, and continue stirring for 7 minutes more, until they are browned. Add the onions and, stirring and turning them constantly, fry for 7 or 8 minutes, or until they are soft and deeply browned. Watch carefully for any signs of burning and regulate the heat accordingly. Pour in the remaining ½ cup of water and stir until all the ingredients are well blended.

    6. Remove the masala from the heat and set it aside. In a heavy 6- to 8-quart casserole, heat the vegetable oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the meat and brown it well on all sides, turning the pieces frequently with a spoon and regulating the heat so that they color richly and evenly without burning. Stir in the salt, reduce the heat to the lowest possible point, and simmer for 10 minutes.

    7. While the lamb is simmering, grind the masala in the following fashion: Stir the vinegar, turmeric and ¼ cup of the second coconut milk into the onion-and-spice mixture. Pour the mixture, a cup or so at a time, into the jar of an electric blender and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides of the jar with a rubber spatula, and blend again until the mixture is reduced to a smooth puree.

    8. As the masala is pureed, pour it into a bowl. When all of the masala has been pureed, add any remaining second coconut milk to the empty jar. Blend for a second, stir it into the bowl of puree, and pour the entire mixture over the lamb. Stirring constantly, bring the casserole to a boil over high heat.

    9. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the first coconut milk, cover again, and simmer for 5 minutes longer, or until the lamb is tender and shows no resistance when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife. Remove the casserole from the heat and let it rest covered for about 30minutes before serving.

    10. To serve, mound the lamb attractively in a deep heated platter or large bowl, pour the sauce over it, and sprinkle the top evenly with the toasted coconut slivers.

    To Serve: 6 to 8
    This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Asia » India
    Main Ingredient » Fruits » Coconut
    Main Ingredient » Meat & Poultry » Lamb
    Main Ingredient » Vegetables » Ginger
    Dish » Stew


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