So last week, my baker husband, , requested that I make an Indian curry one night so he could try out a new recipe for naan. Happy to oblige, I decided to try doing an authentic scratch curry, instead of my past Indian curry attempts: essentially a big pot of cauliflower, potatoes and peas sauteed in butter and curry powder with basmati rice. I’d already learned how to pound my own authentic Thai curry, so it seemed high time to learn the basics of the Indian style, too.
It turns out I had nearly all of the necessary spices on hand for this basic lamb curry from Indian Food Rocks, and I found this Apartment Therapy page with tips and ideas on how to adapt the recipe to a slow cooker. I got some cheap arm steaks, and was ready to roll.
After my Nia class last Friday morning, I started frying the whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and a bay leaf) and onions in my ancient Dutch oven over low heat.
Forty-five minutes later, here’s what I had:
I wasn’t seeing the pink described in the recipe, but my time was limited and I needed to progress to the next step. I added the diced tomatoes and tomato paste, then the garlic and ginger, and let it simmer for another 45 minutes before adding the lamb and moving the whole thing into my slow-cooker.
It braised over low heat for four more hours, causing the entire house to smell heavenly. I mixed rice, water, saffron, peas and knob of butter in the rice cooker while my husband finished off his naan, and we prepared to feast.
I was amazed at how the onions just melted away into the sauce. Three onions create a significant amount of vegetable matter, and this pile gradually transformed to a mellow, savory mush that carried the rest of the ingredients. I honestly had no idea that this was how the traditional curries were made, and it was surprisingly easy, if time-consuming. The meat, even though it was a cheap cut, was absolutely melting in our mouths, and the combined rice and curry leftovers were even better the next day.
There’s still a bit left over in the fridge, but we watched The Silence of the Lambs last night… oops.