This is a generous and rounded lamb curry, laced with plenty of ginger and warm spices. The lamb shoulder really brings this together, with the connective tissue breaking down and adding lusciousness to the sauce, as well as being beautifully tender and flavoursome. This is delicious fresh, but the depth of flavour improves after a day or two, making it a winner for leftovers.
1 piece mace
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp ginger powder
1 whole nutmeg, finely grated
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp cayenne
100ml grapeseed oil
3 red onions, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
15cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1 small cauliflower, thickly sliced and broken into smaller pieces
2 handfuls coriander leaves
steamed basmati rice
Preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced or 180C conventional.
Grind the mace, fennel seeds, cinnamon and bay leaves as finely as possible in a spice or coffee grinder. Mix in the ginger powder, nutmeg, paprika and cayenne and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry for eight to 10 minutes until brown; lift out of the pan, leaving most of the oil behind.
Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and, working in batches, brown the meat over high heat.
Meanwhile, add the chopped ginger, cooked onions and 100 millilitres of water to a blender and blitz until smooth.
Remove the last batch of lamb from the pan, leaving behind the oil, and add the onion paste. Fry for about two minutes, and then add the ground spices, one tablespoon of salt flakes and 800 millilitres of water. Return the meat to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Tuck the cauliflower into the curry and cook for another 30 minutes.
Serve with yoghurt, coriander and a squeeze of lemon, with rice and pappadams on the side.
1. If you want a little more heat and a different chilli profile, throw in a couple of sliced bullet chillies when you add the cauliflower.
2. To make this more of a complete meal, stir through a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach leaves at the last minute.
3. Try a vegetarian version of this with halved waxy potatoes and similar-sized pieces of celeriac, and use vegetable stock instead of water to make it a bit more intense – the cooking time will be roughly halved.