This classic, superbly aromatic, slow-cooking curry originated in persia, and travelled to kashmir, in india' s far north, under the moghul empire. In kashmir it was adapted and perfected, incorporating the local chillies, saffron and cardamom.
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- Mix the garlic, ginger, cumin, chilli powder, paprika and coriander in a large bowl. Add the meat and stir thoroughly to coat the meat cubes well. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.
- Heat the ghee or oil in a casserole dish over a low heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is lightly browned. Remove from the pan.
- Add the cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon to the pan and fry for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high, add the meat and onion, then mix well and fry for 2 minutes. stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and fry for another 3 minutes, or until the meat is quite dry. Add 100 ml (3¼ fl oz) of water, cover and cook for 5–7 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the oil separates out and floats on the surface. Fry the meat for another 1–2 minutes, then add 250 ml (1 cup) of water. Cover and cook for 40–50 minutes, gently simmering until the meat is tender. the liquid will reduce quite a bit.
- Stir in the yoghurt when the meat is almost tender, taking care not to allow the meat to catch on the base of the pan. Add the saffron and milk. stir the mixture a few times to mix in the saffron. season with salt, to taste. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with garam masala.