Brick Lane is known for its curry houses and Bangladeshi eateries, and it’s no surprise as the largest Bangladeshi population in the UK lives in the area that surrounds this famous foodie hotspot. This is a classic Bengali curry; it does take a little time but it is worth it. Make sure you get lamb on the bone as it is key to those distinct home-style flavours. Mopped up with some flatbread or rice, this is perfect comfort food and it also makes for an impressive dinner party main with sides such as dhal, sautéed vegetables and pilau rice.
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic and ginger to a paste and place with the meat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, bay, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, mustard seeds, star anise and salt. When the lamb begins to release its juices, place the lid on and leave to cook on low heat for 30 minutes. By now the onions will have almost disintegrated. Turn up the heat to medium and add the oil, stirring through to coat all the meat.
Next, add the ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, paprika and garam masala and cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly. Mix in the chopped tomato and about 100ml water. Cover and cook on medium heat for ten minutes, checking on it regularly and giving it a stir. Add a dash of water if you feel that the meat is catching, or it’s drying out too much.
Stir in the potatoes and chillies and cook for five minutes. Add enough hot water to just cover the meat and potatoes and shake the pan gently to mix instead of stirring - the meat and potato will absorb the spices better.
Bring to the boil and simmer on medium-low with the lid on for 20 minutes or until the potato pieces are soft and tender. Check the seasoning and sprinkle over the chopped coriander just before taking off the heat.
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