4 dried red chillies, diced
1/4 cinnamon stick, broken
21/2 tsp cumin seeds
6 cardamom pods
4cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg boned shoulder of lamb, cut into 2.5cm-4cm cubes
12 dried ready-to-eat apricots, roughly chopped
500ml vegetable stock
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
200g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
25g unrefined sugar
1. Using a spice (or coffee) grinder, blend the red chillies, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cardamom pods and cloves, until finely ground.
2. Mix together half the ginger, half the garlic and half the ground spices. Toss this mixture with the lamb pieces, cover and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, put the apricots in a saucepan, add the stock and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to soak in the cooking stock for about 30 minutes, until the apricots go soft.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes (until rich brown). Add the remaining ginger, garlic and ground spices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
5. Add the lamb and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and season to taste. Add the vinegar, sugar, apricot and stock mixture and a little water, stir, partially cover and simmer over a low heat for 45-50 minutes until the lamb is tender.
6. Meanwhile, make the potato straws. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan or deep-fat fryer to 190°C or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Add the potato straws and fry for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the lamb and pilau rice.