Atul Kochhar is one of the world’s top Indian Chefs and Restauranteurs. He was the first chef in the UK to be awarded a Michelin Star for Indian cuisine at Tamarind. He sailed world famous Benares restaurant into Michelin star status and is currently the Executive Chef of Indian fine-dining restaurant, Kanishka, based in Mayfair, London. He is bringing a whole new style of Indian cooking to the city, introducing the flavours of the region of North East India’s ‘Seven Sister States’.
As an International and UK nationwide TV personality, he has been featured on popular programs such as Million Dollar Menu and Saturday Kitchen and now he has teamed up with Parson’s Nose.
Lamb with Green Chillies
Katchi Mirch Gosht
This rich dish has a wonderful flavour with just a hint of heat. With an eye on the clock I suggest marinating the lamb for 5 minutes, but if you have time you can leave it overnight.
If you can’t find black cardamom pods or black cumin seeds, don’t worry and just replace them with the conventional green pods and tan-coloured seeds. It can also be difficult to find ground fennel, so I toast and grind my own (page 227), but if you find it, by all means buy it.
225g Greek-style yogurt
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger
2 long thin green chillies
4 green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pod
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 blade of mace
4cm piece of cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons Onion Paste (page 218)
2½ tablespoons Benares Curry Powder (page 223)
a pinch of saffron threads
fresh coriander leaves
125ml double cream
2 teaspoons ground fennel
For the spice powder
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
Assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin. You need a non-stick pan for toasting the spices, a spice grinder, a large non-reactive bowl, a large non-stick sauté or frying pan with a lid and a small heatproof bowl.
First make the spice powder. Heat the dry non-stick pan over a high heat. Add the coriander seeds, ordinary and black cumin seeds and peppercorns, and stir until they are aromatic. Tip the spices into the spice grinder and grind until a fine powder forms. Set aside.
Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces, trimming and discarding any fat. Put the lamb, spice powder and yogurt the large bowl. Season with salt and mix together so all the lamb pieces are coated. Set aside for 5 minutes to marinate.
Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the ginger. Remove the stalks from the green chillies, if necessary, then de-seed and finely chop the chillies. Lightly crush the green and black cardamom pods to loosen the seeds.
Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat in the sauté pan. Add the ginger, green chillies, green and black cardamom pods with the seeds, the mace and cinnamon stick, and stir until the cardamom pods crackle. Add the onion paste and curry powder and stir them into the oil for 30 seconds, then add the water and bring to the boil, stirring.
Stir in the lamb and all the marinade. Cover the pan and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 8–10 minutes until the lamb is tender.
Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to the boil. Put the saffron in the small bowl, add 2 teaspoons of boiling water and set aside. Rinse and chop enough coriander leaves to make about 2 tablespoons.
When the lamb is tender, uncover the pan, turn the heat to high and return the curry to the boil. Stir in the cream, saffron and ground fennel, and leave to boil for a further 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and sprinkle with the chopped coriander to serve.