SHABI KORMA (‘royal’ beef or lamb with creamy almond sauce, for four)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch cube of fresh gingerroot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 ounces blanched slivered almonds
6 tablespoons plus 1 cup water
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds beef chuck or boned lamb from the shoulder or leg cut into 1 inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-¼ teaspoons salt
1-¼ cups light cream
¼ teaspoon garam masala
- Put the garlic, ginger, almonds and 6 tablespoons water into the container of an electric blender and blend until you have a paste.
- Put the oil in a wide, heavy, preferably non-stick pan and set over medium high heat. When hot, put in just enough meat pieces so they lie, uncrowned, in a single layer. Brown the meat pieces on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch, then remove them with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. Brown all the meat this way.
- Put the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon into the hot oil. Within seconds the cloves will expand. Now put in the onions. Stir and fry the onions until they turn a brownish color, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium. Put in the paste from the blender as well as the coriander, cumin and cayenne. Stir and fry this mixture for 3 to 4 minutes or until it too has browned somewhat.
- Now put in the meat cubes as well as any liquid that might have accumulated in the meat bowl, the salt, the cream and 1 cup of water. (If you are cooking lamb, add only ½ cup of water.) Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer beef for 2 hours (one hour for lamb) or until the meat is tender. Stir frequently during this cooking period. Skim off any fat that floats to the top. Sprinkle with the garam masala and mix. Serve with white rice with Indian spices.
NOTE: The whole spices in this dish are not intended to be eaten.