Sumptuous and celebratory, this is a real feast of a curry. The shanks take a long time in the oven, but the oven does all the work. What emerges is meat falling from the bone and a deep, intense gravy. A final flourish of evaporated milk and palm sugar rounds off the flavours, making the curry rich and interesting.
Season the lamb shanks with salt. In a large casserole pan, heat the oil and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove from the pan, leaving the oil behind.
Add the curry leaves to the hot oil and sizzle briefly until fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to scatter over the finished curry. Keep the oil in the pan.
In a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic, ginger and candlenuts to a paste.
Return the casserole pan to a medium heat, topping up the oil if needed. Add the onion, garlic paste, cloves and cinnamon. When the onion is soft and translucent, add the remaining spices and the tomato paste and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tinned tomatoes followed by
Serve the lamb shanks with the sauce spooned over and a crown of fried curry leaves.
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