Lamb curries are some of my favourites. And this recipe for Lamb Badam Pasanda is at the very top of the tree. Creamy and rich, but very simple to throw together, this cardamom-infused curry is the perfect way to enjoy such a sweet and tender meat.
It seems that pasanda is a dish with many varieties. It’s difficult to find two that are the same. And though my recipe is in many ways unique, it does bear resemblance to other renditions in a number of ways.
The main flavour component of pasanda, other than the meat, is cardamom. There’ll be no cardamom shirking here. As a result, pasanda has a very distinctive and fragrant flavour, almost medicinal, but pleasantly so.
It should also feature a rich and creamy masala. Though there are numerous ways to achieve this. Personally, I use plenty of ground almonds – the origin of ‘badam’ – but you could also use cream or milk.
Many pasanda recipes add paprika in an attempt to convey a vibrant red colouring, instead of the greeny-brown masala in my images. But I’ve never been a proponent of paprika in curries; it just doesn’t seem right and it masks the fragrance of the whole spices. Leave it out and embrace the colour.
Lamb Badam Pasanda
- 1kg leg or shoulder of lamb, large chunks
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 8 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 200ml water
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp almond flakes, toasted
- Quickly brown the lamb on a high heat with 1 tbsp of oil and set aside. To the same pan add the remaining oil and saute the onions for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
- In a dry pan, gently toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, before grinding. Once the onions are ready, add the ground spices, turmeric, ginger paste, garlic paste, cardamom pods, chilli flakes and salt.
- After a further 2 minutes incorporate the browned lamb and ground almonds, covering with 200ml of water.
- Cook for 2 hours over a medium heat, topping with water if necessary. The masala should be thick and rich at the end of the cooking time.
- Finish the dish by stirring through the garam masala. Top with toasted almond flakes and serve with rice and paratha.
Cost: Lamb is incredibly cheap at the moment – in Britain at least. But even if you take this anomaly into account, your pasanda should set you back only £7.