This is another favourite amongst South African Indian families. It’s a great dish for a wintry Sunday like it is here in Sydney today.
The sweetness of the cabbage permeates this dish and the resulting curry is somehow more fragrant and lighter than most lamb curries. Flavouring the oil through the gentle frying of the fenugreek, cummin and nigella seeds along with the cinnamon and curry leaves provides the basis for this.
The addition of fresh and dried chillies add an extra warming spicy element but by no means is this required if you prefer a milder sweeter curry.
The curry sauce is thinner than usual as well so rice is the best accompaniment, and Mint and Peanut Chutney is a delicious alongside it. I suppose this is the Indian version of Norwegian Farikal or Irish Lamb and Cabbage stew.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour
750g lamb cut into chunks, or for best results lamb chump chops with fat removed and diced keeping bones in
1 large onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2 dried chillies and/or 2 fresh red chillies left whole(optional)
5 cloves garlic and equal amount peeled ginger, crushed into a paste
3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
2 sticks cinnamon bark
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
Handful of fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon salt or salt to your taste
1/2 a whole cabbage sliced finely
2 cups chicken stock or water
Coriander chopped for garnish
1. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in heavy based casserole pot.
2. Add cinnamon sticks, cummin and nigella seeds and curry leaves and heat through until fragrant, taking care not to burn spices. (This process flavours the oil)
3. Add onions and cook slowly over medium heat until transparent.
4. Add ginger and garlic paste and cook for 1 minute,stirring through onions.
5, Add turmeric, chilli, cummin and fennel powder, as well as salt, and stir briskly to mix well into onion mixture heating spices but once again taking care not to burn.
6. Add chopped tomatoes, died and fresh chillies if using, and lamb, stirring to coat lamb well in spices and to brown/seal the meat, before adding enough chicken stock or water to cover lamb.
7. Bring to the boil, the lower heat and simmer gently for 35-40 minutes until lamb is almost tender.
8. Add sliced cabbage and cook for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is tender and sauce reduces. (If you do want to thicken sauce you can add 2 teaspoons of cornflour mixed into a smooth paste with some water and simmer for 3-4 minutes stirring well)
9. Taste to see if additional salt is required.
10. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with basmati rice.