India and chillis with lime, oil, mustard and .are home to some of the world’s best pickles, all types of fruit and vegetables preserved in a fiery mix of , citrus juices and oils. The best are little more than sliced
They’ll blow you away. Literally.
In Hindi, ‘achar‘ means pickle, and gosht achar is a cousin of the pickle-making process, a lamb curry that uses many of the spices typical to .
This recipe came to me in an unusual way. We had a takeaway the other night, and tiring of the usual place round the corner, ordered from the Aagrah group’s mothership restaurant in Shipley. The Aagrah is a superb restaurant, a small chain with branches across Yorkshire and a first class and well-deserved reputation to match. The difference in quality between our usual takeaway, itself no slouch, and the Aagrah’s was immense.
There was a bonus.
The paper bag the food came in bore the Aagrah’s recipe for Gosht Achar on the side. I knew straight away what was going to happen. I was going to cook this, and it was going to be bloody marvellous.
This recipe looks long, but it isn’t complicated. It’s just a matter of being organised, having everything ready and putting things together in the right order.are quite easy, but don’t tell anybody.
Start by browning a kilo of cubed lamb in small batches, in hot oil in a large pan. There will be a lot of smoke and spitting. Lamb on the bone will have more flavour.
When the lamb is done, nudge the heat down a little and add a medium chopped onion to the pan, frying until it turns a golden brown colour. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as you go, to lift any burnt on lamb into the onions.
Add a dessert spoon each of finely chopped or minced garlic and ginger, fry for a couple of minutes before adding three or four cardamom pods, half a dessert spoon each of fennel, fenugreek, onion and mustard seeds, and six bay leaves.
Stir for a few minutes until the seeds are nicely toasted, then add a generous half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a dessert spoon of ground chillis and red chilli powder to taste. Start with half a teaspoon, but remember that there are green chillis in there too. Fry for a couple of minutes., half a dessert spoon of ground cumin seeds, a teaspoon of salt, a couple of sliced green
Add a can of chopped tomatoes, two or three tablespoons of plain yoghurt and a scant dessert spoon of white wine vinegar.
You’ve now got a masala. It should bubble away for a minute or two, filling the kitchen with exotic smells.
Return the browned lamb and it’s juices to the pan and turn the heat down to a gentle bubble. The lamb will take about an hour and a half to cook through and tenderise. Remove the lid for the last half an hour to let the liquid steam away and the sauce thicken.
Just before serving, add a good handful of chopped coriander and stir in half a dessert spoon of garam masala. The garam masala is important – it gives the curry a fresh and spicy taste.
Serve with plain boiled rice or a naan bread.