This recipe is from Food of India by Carol Selva Rajah and and Priya Wickrwmesinghe (Murdoch Books). “Moghul lamb with turnips, a festive dish from the Punjab region of India would have once been served in the Moghul palaces at the time of their rule in India” says Carol. "Even today this is reserved for festive occasions when it comes to the table covered in silver leaf accompanied with a stack of garlic naan and yoghurt with saffron threads sprinkled over.”
- Prep Time : 25-30 minutes
- Cook Time : 1h 30 min
- Yield : 4
- onions - 2, roughly chopped
- garlic cloves - 4, roughly chopped
- fresh ginger - 5cm piece, peeled, and chopped
- green chillies - 2
- vegetable oil - 160ml
- Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves) - 2
- boneless leg lamb or shoulder - 1kg, cut into 2.5cm cubes
- asafoetida - a pinch
- chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
- ground coriander - 2 tablespoons
- ground cumin - 2 tablespoons
- ground masala - 1/2 teaspoon
- ground turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
- tomato puree - 1 tablespoon
- thick natural yoghurt - 2 tablespoons
- salt - 1 tablespoon
- ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon
- bayb turnips - 450g, large ones, cut into halves
Put the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor and chop them to form a paste. If you don't have a food processor, chop everything finely or grind them in a pestle and mortar.
Heat the oil in a karhai or casserole and add the onion mixture with the bay leaves. Fry over high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and fry for another 2 minutes. Don't let the onions turn more than golden brown. Add the meat and stir until all the pieces are thoroughly coated with the onion mixture. Fry for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. This is a very important part of the cooking process as the longer you fry the meat, the more flavour it will absorb. It is ready when the oil starts to separate out from the meat.
Add the asafoetida, chilli powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala and stir in well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomato puree and yoghurt. Fry for another minute and add the salt and pepper.
Pour in 500 ml water a little at a time, stirring into the mixture after each addition. This will ensure that the dish retains the heat throughout and will be constantly bubbling until you have a rich, thick sauce. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the turnips to the pan and continue simmering for another 45 minutes, or until both the lamb and turnips have completely softened and the oil has separated from the sauce and turned bright orange.