Well, I still love it.
BUT, I also like doing fun things like making my own curry because other people mock curry paste and I don't like being mocked even though it's super delicious and easy.
I just want to be liked, is what I'm saying.
So. I made my own curry. Then I simmered lamb in it for 2 hours until it was falling apart.
Then I stirred in seared eggplant cubes.
It wasn't the WORST idea I've ever had. In fact, it was super duper delicious and I can't stop thinking about it now and I'm definitely making it again ASAP.
The curry itself isn't hard to make at all. There are some recipes where you toast spices, then grind them, then blend them with peppers and garlic to make a paste, yaddayaddayadda....
I didn't do that. Sorry. Get over it.
I did, however, use lots of different yummy spices and a fresh pepper and tomato base. Because of the hardiness of the lamb, I made this a darker curry with LOTS of spice - lamb can totally stand up to that!
Also. You can use any meat you'd like with this, but I'd definitely recommend beef, lamb, or some other dark meat - even pork ribs would work well, just something that can handle being cooked to death until it relaxes and says FINE, I'M FORK TENDER, EAT ME.
Or, you know, whatever your meat says to you after it's been braised.
So, here's what you need!
- ½ lb bone-in lamb
- ½ teaspoon meat tenderizer
- 2 medium or 1 large eggplant
- ½ medium onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh hot chili pepper (red or green) or 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 bay leaf or 1 teaspoon crushed bay
- 1 teaspoon fennel
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 small cans tomato sauce
- 2-4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup greek or other plain yogurt
- cooked rice and/or naan, to serve
- olive oil
A note on the spices: Mine were all in seeds, and I toasted them but didn't grind them. I love the texture they add to the sauce! Use whatever you have, though - don't obsess over that part.
Let's make curry! I started with the lamb. Sprinkle it with the meat tenderizer on both sides to get it going. Let the lamb sit for as long as you can - but even 15 minutes is just fine. If you don't have meat tenderizer just use salt - no worries.
Heat a large pan that has a fitting lid to medium high heat. In a drizzle of olive oil, sear the lamb on both sides until brown but not even close to cooked through.
While that's happening, dice the eggplant!
When the lamb is crispy on both sides, remove it to a plate. Add the eggplant to the pan with another drizzle of olive oil and LET IT SIT. We want the eggplant to get brown on the edges but not super soft, so we gotta leave it alone for that to happen! Trust me.
While the eggplant is browning, finely dice the onion...
....slice the pepper, removing the seeds if you don't like things too spicy...
....and mince the garlic.
Note: You could pulse these three together until they're finely chopped in a food processor and add them all at once too - up to you!
Flip the eggplant after 2 minutes and let it keep browning, then remove THAT to a plate.
Now, for the curry! Add the coriander, cumin, fennel, and bay to the pan and stir the spices in the lamb and eggplant drippings for 1 minute.
Then, add the chili pepper and onion. Stir them around until the onion just starts to become translucent.
Now, add the garlic and garam masala - stir that around for 2 minutes until the veggies are nearly cooked through and very fragrant.
Then, add the tomato sauce!
NOM. Grab your chicken stock too - we're ready for it!
Now, it's time to simmer. Add the lamb back to the pan and reduce the heat to medium so the curry is barely simmering. Cover the lamb and curry with 1 cup or so of chicken stock - you want the lamb to be nearly fully submerged in the sauce.
Cover the pan and WALK AWAY. Every 30 minutes or so, stir the curry and add more chicken stock if the pan is getting dry - even with the lid on it'll evaporate a bit. Adjust the temperature on your stovetop as needed so that the curry is barely bubbling.
When the lamb is completely falling off the bone, we're ready to go. Remove as many bones as you can from the sauce, then add the eggplant back to the curry.
Taste this, and add a sprinkle of salt if you'd like! The tomato sauce has salt in it, so I didn't add any up to this point.
Then, stir in the greek yogurt.
PERFECT. Wonderful. Let the yogurt heat through in the sauce for 2 or 3 minutes, then serve.
You can serve this in a bowl with some naan...
I left the bones in the sauce so people would know to look for little bones that I may have missed.
You could also serve this over plain rice, or with both options, or however you like.
I love this because the lamb is a strong flavor, so you don't need much - better for your wallet and your arteries to have the FLAVOR of the meat without a ton of it actually being in the curry!
This is total wonderful fabulous weekend food. Make it ASAP, and make a double batch for weekday leftovers.