Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
8 green cardamom pods
1 tblsp sunflower oil
500 g boneless leg/shoulder of lamb (cut into 2–3cm cubes, trimmed of fat)
salt and freshly ground
1 onion (peeled and sliced)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 tsp root ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
0.25 tsp turmeric
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
500 ml chicken stock
1 sweet potato (about 300g, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes)
75 ml natural yoghurt
handful of chopped coriander (to serve)
To extract the cardamom seeds from the pods, place the pods on a chopping board, lay the flat side of a large knife over the top and press down to lightly crush. Remove the seeds, discarding the pods, and set aside.
Pour the sunflower oil into the casserole dish or saucepan on a high heat, then season the lamb with salt and pepper and place in the hot oil. Sauté the lamb pieces, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the meat is browned all over. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, leaving any oil behind, and set aside on a plate.
Add a little extra sunflower oil to the dish or pan if necessary, then reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6–8 minutes or until the onion is soft and golden. Next, stir in the coriander, cardamom and cumin, along with the turmeric and cayenne pepper, and add the reserved lamb.
Stir together for a further minute, then pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is almost tender.
Next, tip in the sweet potato and cook for another 30 minutes or until the potato is soft. If you would like a thicker sauce, then remove the lid and cook, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the yoghurt and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and naan bread.