A scrumptious Slow cooked Lamb bursting with pickled flavour from Nigella and Fennel Seeds
I learnt to cook with AGA after I moved my home to Scotland. Everyone told me that house with an AGA is a status symbol for good homes. Keeping in mind that the house we bought came with AGA, I had to give it a go. My friends gave me Mary Berry’s cookbooks on AGA but there was no information on cooking Indian curries in AGA. I struggled in the beginning, but AGA slowly grew on me. More I tried cooking with AGA, more I got to love it. I changed some of my recipes and adapted them to AGA temperatures. I must confess that it was the best thing I ever did. The flavours got better and the time I took to stand and stir reduced dramatically. This recipe was one of the first ones I tried with lamb and believe it or not, it is one of the favourites among my family and friends. That makes it a must to try with all AGA owners who like to eat lamb.
- Lamb meat on Bones – 500 gm (cut in medium size pieces)
- Boneless Lamb – 400 gm (Medium size pieces)
- Potatoes – 2 mediums
- Onions – 4 large
- Tomatoes – 2 large
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Garlic – 4-5 cloves large
- Green Chillies – 2 mediums or to taste
- Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 handful
- Lemon Juice – 1tbsp
- Nigela seeds – 1tsp
- Mustard oil or vegetable oil – 4tbsp
- Salt – 3-4 tsp or to taste
Dry Spice Mix
- Kashmiri Red chillies – 6
- White Poppy Seeds – 1tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Nigela Seeds – 1 tsp
- Fenugreek Seeds – ½ tsp
- Fennel Seeds – 1tsp
- Cloves – 4
- Cut onions in fine chunks.
- Peel and chop potatoes in medium size chunks.
- Crush tomatoes to a puree form.
- Cut ginger and garlic to a fine mince or alternatively use ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp.
- Chop Green chillies roughly to any size.
- Chop Coriander leaves for garnishing.
- Dry roast all spices on slow heat and grind to a fine powder using a spice mill.
- Wash lamb and dry using paper towels. You can ask your local butcher to cut the lamb on bones.
- Heat the cooking pan. If cooking in Aga use a cast iron cooking pan if possible.
- Add oil and let it heat. If using mustard oil let it smoke until the oil become lighter in colour. You can smell the lovely aroma at this point (I always use mustard oil in this recipe).
- Add Nigella seeds to the hot smoky mustard oil and stir for 10-20 seconds.
- Add onions, ginger, garlic (if ginger and garlic have been chopped) and stir-fry until light golden brown in colour.
- If using ginger-garlic in a puree form, add it once the onions are light brown in clour. Adding ginger-garlic paste in the beginning will hinder the onions to cook and will mostly burn before onions have cooked.
- Add spice powder and stir for 10 seconds.
- Add lamb pieces and stir for about a minute on high heat while turning the pieces to seal the juices within the meat.
- Add tomato puree and stir for 20 seconds to mix the flavours.
- Add 1 cup of water, lemon juice and salt and give a good mix.
- Bring to boil and transfer to simmering oven of Aga (the temperature of simmering oven is around 140C) or a slow cooker at about 120-140C.
- Let it simmer for 3 hours.
- At this stage remove the pan from Aga and add Potatoes.
- Transfer the pan to simmering oven again and cook for another hour.
- Transfer the pan at this stage to Roasting oven for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft and lamb is just coming of the bone.
- This will allow the gravy to cook at a stage where the oil separates from the water giving the whole curry an appetizing look.
- The time required to cook lamb also depends on the quality of lamb. I recently learnt that spring lamb takes very little time to cook compared to a mature lamb. With time you will learn and will know that the lamb is ready to be served.
- Add chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
- Serve hot with Nan bread, chapatti or rice.