You can probably tell that I love lamb. A lot of my recipes use it. I just think it's a wonderfully flavorful meat.
The recipe below is my own concoction, and based on a lot of trial and error to get the spices right. If you make this, be forewarned that the recipe, as written, makes a very spicy dish. If you aren't into that sort of thing, reduce (or omit) the chile powder called for. Also, keep in mind this is not chili con carne seasoning, but rather a dried chile product that's not unlike cayenne. I use a brand called Laxmi that's available from the Indian/Desi grocery here.
I usually make this with lamb shoulder. It's one of the more inexpensive cuts. Lamb leg works well, too. Just don't use anything super expensive like loin chops. For something like this, you want to use a cut that's fatty and flavorful.
I also like frozen cauliflower (although you can certainly use fresh) just because it tends to contain smaller, more evenly cut florets.
Finally, about the spices. One of the original recipes I based this on called for whole spices (cardomom pods, whole cloves, etc). After an incident at an Indian restaurant where I almost broke a tooth on a piece of cardamom, I now run the whole spices through a spice mill, the exception being bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, which are hard to miss. For some reason, whole spices don't seem to bother Indians. But we Americans aren't used to it, and finding something like a whole clove in your mouth can be somewhat off-putting.
I hope you enjoy it!
Lamb and Cauliflower Curry (Gobi Gosht)
- 1 lb lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (I use frozen)
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 4 tbsp ghee or butter
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 3 black cardamom pods
- 10 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2" ginger, finely minced
- 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1-2 tsp Indian chile powder or cayenne, to taste (warning: 2 tsps will make it VERY hot)
- 2 tsp ground coriander seed
- 2 tsp ground cumin seed
- 1 cup full fat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Salt, to taste
- Melt ghee or butter in a Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add bay leaves, green and black cardomom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, brown mustard seeds, and fry until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the spices.
- Add the onion, and saute until golden brown. Increase the heat to medium and add the lamb pieces. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and ginger and saute for a few minutes more.
- Add the diced tomatoes, Indian chile powder, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Add salt to taste. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until lamb is fork tender.
- Add cauliflower and turn up the heat to return to a boil. Cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and garam masala. Mix well and heat through. Taste for salt, and correct as needed.
- Serve with flatbread and basmati rice, if desired.