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Lamb with almonds

Badam pursindah

1 lb (500 g) boned leg of lamb
4oz (125 g) blanched almonds
one cup (250 ml) yougurt
2 tbsp pounded mint leaves
½ cup (125 ml) milk
6 pounded cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 stick (125 g) butter
1 tsp hot paprika
1 pinch of asafoetida
4 ground cardamoms
2tsp garam masala

Ask your butcher to chop the bone into one inch pieces and cook these with the meat for extra flavour. Be careful not to lose the marrow, which will add richness to your dish.

Keep the meat in one piece. Make many incisions in the meat; insert a blanched almond in each one. Spread the meat on a board; beat with a mallet to tenderise the meat and shatter the almonds. Cover the meat with yoghurt, chilli and garlic, and half the mint; leave to marinate for four hours, or overnight.

Fry the meat in a little oil over a brisk heat until the marinade has dried and the meat begins to brown. Add the milk and simmer until the meat is dry.

Add the butter and, once it has melted, paprika, asafoetida and the remaining mint. Fry gently, without burning, until the butter separates.

Add enough water to half cover the meat. Simmer, or cook in a medium oven, for one hour, or until the meat is tender, adding more water as required. Add garam masala and cardamom; stir well and cook for 15 minutes more. Carve the meat in thick slices across the grain to serve.

This tastes even better if kept overnight and gently reheated.

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