Lamb Maharaja adapted from Nigella Lawson’s book Feast

Serves 8-10
90g oil or butter ( I use half and half)
700g onions
5cm fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic
6 red chillies
2 tspns nigella seeds
6 tspns ground coriander
2 tspns garam masala
2 tspns turmeric
1 tspn ground black pepper

2kg lamb (from the shoulder) diced into cubes
300ml natural yoghurt
2 tspns salt
4 tbsps ground almonds
4 tbsps ground poppy seeds
 2 tbsps lemon juice
4 tbsns chopped coriander
2 tbsps chopped pistachios

Process the peeled onions peeled ginger peeled garlic and chillies until finely chopped, then cook in heated oil/butter for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has softened. Put into a bowl and set aside.

Put the nigella seeds, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and black pepper into a small bowl and heat the remaining oil/butter in the same pan and cook spices over a low heat for about a minute, taking care not to burn them. Then add  the lamb and brown it in batches if necessary turning up the heat slightly, just to sear, not cook through. Lower the heat and cover and let meat cook in its own juices for 5 minutes.

Put the onion mixture back int the pan,  and add the yoghurt and 350 ml of water. Add salt and bring to the boil and simmer gently for an hour or until meat is tender stirring occasionally.

Grind the poppy seeds with the ground almonds in a spice or coffee grinder,  add to the curry and stir in the lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with coriander and postachios with rice or naan bread or both.

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