Lamb and Cashew Nut Curry

This is a fine, delicately flavoured dish which may be served with rice or with chappatis. An electric blender will make light work of the spice paste but if one is not available use a food mill or pestle and mortar instead.

1 1/2-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves

2 green chillis

2 oz. unsalted cashew nuts

2 to

3 fl. oz. water

4 cloves

½ teaspoon cardamom seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon white poppy seeds

1 oz. butter

2 onions, finely chopped

2 lb. boned leg or shoulder of lamb, cut into

1-inch cubes

10 fl. oz. yogurt

½ teaspoon saffron threads soaked in

2 tablespoons boiling water or

½ teaspoon ground saffron

1 teaspoon salt juice of j lemon

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves 1 lemon, sliced

Put the ginger, garlic, chillis, cashew nuts and half the water in the blender. Blend the mixture at high speed until it forms a puree. Add the cloves, cardamom, cori-ander and poppy seeds. Blend at high speed, adding enough of the remaining S7WL vX- t water to prevent the blender from sticking and to make a smooth puree. Set the puree aside in a small bowl.

In a large, flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and fry them, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Stir in the reserved spice puree. Reduce the heat to moderately low and, stirring frequently, fry the puree for 3 minutes. Add the lamb cubes, increase the heat to moderately high and, tossing and turning the cubes in the spices, fry them for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, beat the yogurt with the saffron and salt. Pour the yogurt mixture into the pan and stir well to mix.

When the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook the curry, uncovered, and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Stir in the lemon juice. Sprinkle the coriander leaves on top. Cover the pan and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Garnish with the lemon slices and serve.

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