Here's a real recipe refined over a few generations and iterations on how to make a really good authentic lamb curry. I'll reveal the magic ingredient at the end of the recipe.
The method was taught to me by my mum, and the magic ingredient revealed by my aunt.
#Achari Lamb Curry
- 800g Meat
- Whole dry red chillies, 8
- Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon
- Fenugreek, 1/2 teaspoon
- Garam Masala, 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel, 1 teaspoon
- Onion seeds, (kalonji) 1 teaspoon
- Cloves, 5
- Sunflower oil, 7 teaspoons
- Onions, chopped, 4 medium
- Ginger, chopped. 2 inch piece
- Garlic, chopped, 15-20 cloves
- Turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon
- Red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Tomatoes, chopped, 4 medium
- Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
- Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- the magic ingredient
- Place the pan on the oven and set to 50% heat.
- Add the Sunflower oil.
- As the oil warms, blend the chopped onions into a soft paste.
- Add the onion paste to the pan and let it brown slightly (1 minute max).
- Add the meat.
- Turn the intensity up to 75% and let the meat brown. Stir the meat to soak up the onion paste as it browns.
- Once the meat has browned, add 1 cup of water. Enough to cover the meat. Continue stirring.
- Blend the garlic and ginger into a paste and add to mixture.
- Add the magic ingredient. Let the meat absorb the flavour for a minute or two. Keep stirring.
- Blend the Coriander leaves and add to mixture
- Add the red Chillies, Mustard seeds, Fenugreek, Cumin, Fennel, Onion seeds (kalonji) ,Cloves, Garam Masala and the red chilli powder and stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add another half cup of water.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Blend the tomatoes in the blender and add the resulting paste to the mixture.
- Add the turmeric.
- Add the sea salt.
- Let the meat absorb the flavour further. Continue stirring for a couple of minutes.
- Place a lid on the pan and set to 35-40% heat. Leave for a good 30 minutes. Keep checking and stirring periodically. You may need to leave for up to 40-50 minutes.
- Once the meat is fully browned and the excess water has evaporated - you should be left with enough liquid to surround the meat, but not enough to be free flowing - you are ready to serve.
Serving suggestion: For best results - serve with Chapati or Pitta bread (lined with Butter), some fresh salad and a chilled glass of Coke with a slice of Lemon.
The Magic Ingredient
The magic ingredient is one cinnamon stick. Best used ground.
This magic ingredient gives the curry a sweet 'n' spicy taste without which the achari lamb curry will be good but not amazing.
How to mess this recipe up
- Add canned tomatoes to lose the sweet 'n' spicy taste.
- Add more water than is necessary to lose flavour and increase cooking time.
- Don't stir the meat to get poor meat texture and less absorbed flavour into the meat.
- Add chopped onions and tomatoes without blending, to get a poor texture and less smooth and authentic essence.
- Add table salt to get a less authentic and rich taste, and to increase your cholestrol and blood pressure.
- Leave out the turmeric due to worry about staining clothes and lose the neutralising effect on the tomatoes and lemon juice. Have an overpowering sour taste.
- Add more garam masala than is necessary in the hope of making the curry more spicy, and get a bitter overpowering taste
- Add the meat last after the spices, to increase cooking time and have a less authentic essence
#Curry lovers, stop here.
Entrepreneurs and Start-Up founders, keep reading
Why am I telling you how to make a really good curry? and what has this to do with Entrepreneurship and Start-Ups?
Most of you will have guessed it by now.
There's too much time spent on looking for the magic ingredient, and not enough time spent on understanding that, what matters most is in fact the method. Even with the right ingredient(s), you can get a good curry very wrong. (see "how to mess this up" section above)
When it comes to making a really good curry, people spend a long time looking for the magic ingredient. I know I did. I've been practising making Achari Lamb curry for nearly three years now, but each improvement was primarily an improvement to the method and then a search for the magic ingredient. The magic ingredient was merely the 'tipping point'.
There's too many Start-Up founders looking for "the magic ingredient", that one really special idea, that one feature in a high profile magazine; too many Entrepreneurs looking for that one special "if".
"If only we had 2 million followers on twitter"
"If only we had VC funding".
I hear and see this often. What really matters is execution.
Almost every client engagement I have had with a Start-Up, has inevitably resulted in a discussion about improving execution rather than finding a way to strike "marketing gold".
Learn how to 'make a perfectly good curry', and the rest will follow naturally.