8 Saffron strands
750g Boti lamb or chops
100g Small madras onions
4 tablespoons oil
250g Lamb bones for stock
1 Cinnamon leaf (tej patta)
6 Green cardamoms
2 1 and 1/2-inches (4-cm) Cinnamon sticks
2 pints (1.2 litres) milk
2 tablespoons single cream
1 1/4 teaspoon Fennel powder
1/3 teaspoon Cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1. Soak the saffron strands in 1/4 cup
water. Soak the lamb in lukewarm water for 30 minutes, until lightened in colour.
2. Puree the peeled onions in a mixer, or
grate them, and fry in 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan until golden.
3. Boil the meat and bones in a cooking pot
in 6 cups water, along with 3/4 teaspoon salt, the cinnamon leaf, 1 clove, 3 cardamoms, 1
cinnamon stick and the fried onions until tender. Lift out the meat and set aside. Strain
the stock and discard the bones.
4. While the meat is cooking, bring the
milk to boil in another pot, with the remaining clove, cardamoms and cinnamon stick. Put a
wooden spoon into the pot to prevent the milk boiling over. Stir from time to time and
keep cooking until the milk reduces and thickens. When it is reduced by a third, remove
from the heat and leave to cool. Strain. Add the cream and stir well. Now add the meat and
3 cups of the stock to the milk.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a ladle held
over a moderate heat. Add the fennel powder to the oil, then after 20 seconds add the
cumin and pepper. Fry for just 10 seconds, then pour the oil mixture into the meat, add
the sugar and milk; season with salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes with lid on to
prevent the meat from darkening.
6. To serve, reheat uncovered and simmer
for about 2 minutes. Add the saffron just before removing from the heat. If you require a
little 'pep' in the curry you can add a couple of slit green chillies during the last 10
minutes of the cooking time. Remove from stock and add to the milk mixture.