Celebrate Indian independence with Parsi Cookery

Today is Indian Independence Day and to celebrate we’re offering this delicious recipe from Joyce Westrip’s Fire and Spice: Parsi Cookery…

Sweet and Sour Lamb – Gosht Na Curry Chawal

This is a full-bodied dish, its sauce made rich with cashews, poppy seeds, coconut and tomatoes, and the addition of potatoes to the meat makes a hearty meal when served with plain rice. Tamarind pulp is available in compressed block form, which is slightly sweeter than the paste or concentrate. Tamarind paste and concentrate are available from oriental stores and some supermarkets and may be more convenient to use. If you are using the paste or concentrate, dilute 1½ tablespoons of the paste or 3 teaspoons of the concentrate in 1 cup of hot water.

75 g/6 oz tamarind pulp
1½ cups hot water

Soak the tamarind pulp in the hot water. When the water has cooled, squeeze and rub the pulp with your fingers to dissolve the tamarind. Strain through a sieve and retain the liquid, discarding the seeds and fibres. Set aside.

8 cloves garlic
2.5 cm/1 inch ginger

Add a little water to the garlic and ginger and blend to a paste.

3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 finely sliced onions
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp roasted and ground poppy seeds
1 tbsp roasted and ground cashews
¼ can drained chick-peas
30 g/1 oz freshly grated or desiccated coconut
750 g/1½ lb cubed lean lamb
3 large potatoes, quartered
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 cups hot water

Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, fry the onion and the paste until the onion starts to change colour, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli, poppy seeds, cashews, chick-peas and coconut. Stir-fry the mixture for 3 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture is inclined to stick. Add the lamb and potatoes and stir to coat. When the meat is sealed, add the tomatoes, sugar, tamarind extract, salt and hot water. Reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender. This will take between 1 and 1½ hours. Serve with plain white rice and Coconut Chutney.

Read more about Parsi Cookery here.