A very thoughtful friend from school gave me some Pakistani spice mixes for my birthday last year. I’ve been saving them for over six months now, but today, being the last day of finals for the most academically challenging semester of my life, I decided to celebrate with:
You would think after 10+ finals I would take it easy and just follow the damn recipe on the box. But no. I not only did my usual extensive recipe research, I even made my own ghee.
Yea. You heard me. I bought a box of organic unsalted butter and boiled it down to homemade ghee. Friggin’ amazing stuff, this ghee. And what’s equally amazing as GHEE itself? This step by step illustrated how-to: Homemade Indian Ghee. I only used 3 sticks of butter to make mine and 5 minutes in, I started panicking ’cause my butter was already well into step 4.
- ~2.5lb lamb stew meat (preferably shoulder cut)
- 2.5 cups onions, diced
- ~1 tsp ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 box Shan Korma Curry spice mix
- 1 large russet potato, diced
- 1.5 cups greek yogurt
- ~0.5 cup chicken stock
- Ahead of time: marinate lamb stew chunks in some of the spices (the box lists papain as one of the ingredients, which is a protein tenderizer. so why not), and coat evenly with a few dollops of yogurt (yogurt apparently tenderizes meat as well). set aside.
- heat a spoonful of ghee in a 5qt dutch oven.
- saute onions until caramelized. You want them brown, wilted, and ugly. Not barely golden and pretty. remove from pot and set aside.
- add a bit more ghee and on high heat, brown meat evenly on all sides.
- add the rest of the spices, some chicken stock, and the onions. liquid should NOT fully cover the meat. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and braise on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- add potatoes. continue simmering, 2 hours.
- add the rest of the yogurt (if consistency still too thin, incorporate in some corn starch.), mix until heated through, and put in fridge. reheat before serving the next day.
- 1.5 lb frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 onion, minced and caramelized like above
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbs curry powder
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp coriander seeds (i didn’t have lemon. this gives a nice lemony kick)
- 1/2 lb paneer, cubed.
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
*1/2lb ~ 280 g package. i’m buying my paneer at an indian supermarket in the future. $10 for a 1/2lb package at Whole Foods is ridiculous!
- In a 3.5qt dutch oven, heat a spoonful of ghee and fry paneer until slightly browned on all sides. remove and set aside.
- caramelize onions in ghee until brown and ugly like above. add minced garlic. continue sauteing until fragrant.
- add thawed spinach and continue cooking until warmed through.
- add milk, tomato paste, and spices.
- In a large food processor/blender or with a handheld blender, process until almost creamy. reserve some spinach un-processed if you want a chunkier consistency.
- cover and simmer 1 hr.
- mix in greek yogurt and fried paneer. cover and simmer ~15 min or until heated through.
- tastes better reheated the next day.
Serve with Naan or basmati!