This casserole in the Indian tradition is marinated in a spicy yoghurt mixture.
30 minutes, 1 hour marinating, then 1 3/4 hours
serves 6 - 8
1.4 kg (3 Ib) boned shoulder of lamb
100 ml (10 fl oz) yoghurt
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cardamom
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
7.5 ml (1 1/2 tsp) ground turmeric
125 g (4 oz) desiccated coconut
25 g (1 oz) butter
100 ml (10 fl oz) milk
60 - 90 ml (4 - 6 tbsp) olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) dry mustard
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cloves
2 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched, peeled,
seeded and diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper 10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
1. Cut the shoulder of lamb into 25 mm (1 in) cubes, trimming off any excess fat and gristle on the joint.
2. In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt with the ground cardamom, cumin and turmeric. Add the pieces of lamb and toss until each cube is thoroughly coated in the yoghurt and spice mixture. Cover the bowl and leave the meat to marinate for 1 hour in a cool place.
3. Meanwhile, place the desiccated coconut, butter and milk in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over a moderate heat, stirring until the butter has melted. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing the coconut against the sides of the sieve with a spoon to extract all its flavour. Put the desiccated coconut and the strained coconut milk aside in separate bowls.
4. In a flameproof casserole heat half the oil. When hot add the pieces of lamb, together with the yoghurt and spice marinade, and cook over a high heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a frying-pan and saute the finely chopped onions and garlic for 10 - 12 minutes until soft and golden. Remove the pan from the heat; add the remaining spices and mix well. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer to blend and bring out the flavours.
6. Add the spiced onion mixture to the lamb, together with the diced tomato flesh, the strained coconut milk and a little salt to taste. Bring the mixture to the boil over a low heat, stirring occasionally; then cover the casserole and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes.
7. Uncover the casserole and then continue cooking over low heat for another 30 minutes or until the lamb is very tender and the sauce is rich and thick, stirring very occasionally to prevent the lamb sticking to the bottom of the pan.
8. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and season with a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. If the sauce seems too thin add some of the reserved coconut and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes longer.
• Serve the Lamb korma with the usual curry accompaniments: a selection of chutneys, poppadoms, preserved kumquats, thinly sliced raw onion rings and boiled rice.