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    Surender Mohan's Laal maas (spicy red lamb curry)

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    Surender Mohan's Laal maas (spicy red lamb curry)

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus marinating
    • Cooking time: 4 hours 35 minutes
    • Total time: 5 hours 5 minutes, plus marinating

    Serves: 5-6


    60g kashmiri chillies
    8g fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
    8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    150g natural yogurt
    2 tsp sea salt
    4 lamb shanks (about 1.6kg)
    60g ghee
    1 bay leaf
    1 cinnamon stick
    12 whole cloves
    2 onions, chopped
    2 tbsp ground coriander
    4 tsp ground cumin
    200ml tomato passata
    cooked pilau rice and naan breads, to serve


    1. Boil the chillies in 60ml water for 2-3 minutes until almost all the water has evaporated. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the chillies into a fine paste, adding more water if needed. Scoop out and set aside. Put the ginger, ¼ of the garlic and a pinch of salt into the mortar; pound into a paste. Mix ½ the chilli paste with ½ the ginger-garlic paste, 75g yogurt and the sea salt. Coat the lamb shanks with the spiced yogurt; leave in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.

    2. Heat the ghee in a large casserole or heavy-based lidded pan, stir in the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves. Add the onions and remaining garlic; cook for 15 minutes until golden brown. Add the lamb and cook for 8-10 minutes over a medium-high heat, turning to brown the meat evenly on all sides.

    3. Stir in the remaining 75g yogurt and chilli and ginger-garlic pastes, plus the coriander and cumin. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the spices are fragrant. Add 400ml hot water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a very low heat, cover and gently simmer for 3 hours, turning the lamb over occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly. Add the passata and simmer for 1 hour more until the meat is almost falling off the bone; season. Serve (warning your guests about the whole aromatics) with the pilau rice and naan breads, plus some raita, if liked. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, March 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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