Lamb Curry with Chickpeas Recipe
150 g chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
3 bay leaves
4 black cardamom pods
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or mustard oil
200 g onions, finely sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (refer Indian recipes)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
200 g tomatoes, finely chopped
4 lamb leg steaks, each about 100 g
1/2 teaspoon Bengali garam masala ** (refer below)
Chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
Drain the chickpeas, put into a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Add 1 bay leaf, 1 clove and 1 cardamom pod and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are cooked, about 2 hours. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt towards the end of cooking. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan. Add the remaining bay leaves, cloves, and cardamom pods and sauté until they crackle. Add the onions and sauté until softened and translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground coriander, chili powder and cumin and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, lamb steaks, salt and just enough water to cover the mixture. Cook gently for about 30 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes or until the lamb is cooked. Serve sprinkled with garam masala. Garnish with chopped coriander and ginger julienne.
**Bengali Garam Masala:
The term garam masala generally describes an aromatic blend of several dry roasted and ground warm spices. Every region in India has a few traditional recipes for garam masala. The composition of this Eastern spice blend varies, but the classic mixture is equal quantities of cloves, cinnamon and green cardamom with a couple of bay leaves, toasted and ground or blended to a fine powder. You can buy Bengali garam masala from most Asian food stores. Toasted garam masala is always added towards the end of the cooking unless otherwise stated.