This is essential British Indian restaurant cooking!
Whether the restaurant is a low cost Indian takeaway or an upmarket British Indian restaurant, the chefs will normally cook meat before service so that it is tender and ready to use. The reason for this is simple… if they didn’t do it, it would take too long to serve their delicious curries.
Lamb, goat and most hooved game for example require about an hour and a half to cook. If you don’t cook this meat long enough, it will be tough and your curry will fail to impress. These animals need a lot of exercise so their meat is naturally tough.
Beef and veal on the other hand can cook in about 40 minutes to an hour. Cows are quite lazy after all.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Use the meat when it is easy to eat and you will be much happier with the end result.
I used to prepare my pre-cooked meat the way I was originally taught. I’d stew it in a little curry base sauce and/or water. This works very well.
Nowadays, however I use the following recipe which I might add is a popular way to pre-cook the meat in many restaurants. The sauce that is made from the process can actually stand on it’s own as a curry. I prepare chicken in a different way so that my curries don’t all taste the same from using just one curry base sauce.
Cook in a kilo or so more meat and you’ve got a nice meal for the day and also lots of delicious pre-cooked meat for your other curries.
Here is my recipes for cooking lamb but you could use the meat of your choice.
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- 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 6 whole cloves
- 8 black or 16 green cardamon pods
- 10m whole black pepper corns
- 1 two inch long cassia bark stick
- 1 Piece mace
- 2 large onions
- 2 tablespoons ginger and garlic puree
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 Kilo (2 pounds) leg of lamb cut into 1 inch size pieces - retain the bone
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons good quality mild paprika
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Heat the ghee/oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
- When the oil is nice and hot, add the whole spices and stir. Be careful not to burn the spices. If you do, you will need to start over.
- Pour in the chopped onions and stir to coat with the oil and spices. Cook this for about five minutes before adding the garlic and ginger puree.
- Fry for a further then minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Now add the meat, the bone and the rest of the spices.
- Brown the meat for a couple of minutes and then add just enough water to cover and simmer for about one hour to one and a half hours until the meat is nice and tender.
- When tender, allow the meat and the sauce to cool for use in your curries.