- September 2016
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 35 min, simmering time 25-30 min
Naved Nasir’s family recipe for traditional Nihari curry combines lamb, cardamom, fresh ginger and turmeric to make a rich dish that’s bursting with Indian flavours. Make it ahead of time and freeze in batches for when you need a warming, flavourful, no-fuss meal.
Serve Nihari lamb as part of an Eid celebration.
- 41.1g (13.6g saturated)
- 11.1g (7.1g sugars)
- 150ml sunflower oil
- 4 whole cloves
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 3 large white onions, finely chopped
- 1kg British free-range lamb leg steaks, cut into 4cm chunks
- Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp mild chilli powder
- 1½ tsp ground turmeric
- 100ml greek yogurt
- 300ml fresh lamb or chicken stock
- 50g butter
- 1½ tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
- ½ tsp garam masala
- Sliced green chillies, slivers of fresh ginger, and chopped fresh coriander and mint to serve
- Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a medium heat, then add the cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and let them crackle for a few seconds. Add one quarter of the onions and fry until golden, then add the lamb and a pinch of salt and fry for a few minutes.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the ginger, garlic and a splash of water, then mix. Stir in the remaining onions, chilli powder and turmeric. Cover and leave for 15-20 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally. When the onions have completely softened, add the yogurt and cook for 5 minutes, then add the stock and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Put a sieve over a large bowl and pour the pan contents into it to strain out the liquid. Add the butter to the now empty pan and, when melted, whisk in the gram flour for a minute or so until the mixture thickens and forms a roux. Pour the strained liquid back into the pan and stir for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Return the lamb and other solids to the sauce and stir in the garam masala. Serve with a scattering of green chillies, ginger, chopped coriander and mint.
Lamb leg can be tough if it’s even slightly overcooked. Diced lamb shoulder is a good alternative but will need longer cooking. Simmer it in the sauce for about 2 hours (you may need to add extra water) in step 2 until tender.
Make up to 24 hours ahead, chill, then gently reheat and scatter over the fresh herbs. Freeze for up to 3 months, then defrost before reheating as above.
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