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Badami Gosht - Lamb, Yoghurt, Coconut and Almond

1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups unflavored yoghurt
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup ghee -- (or melted butter)
4 1 in stick cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
6 whole cloves
2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon grnd red chili pepper
2 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
2 b cubed lamb
1/2 cup unsalted almonds


Drop the saffron threads into a small bowl or cup, add 1/3 of the boiling water and soak for at least 10 minutes. Pour the saffron and its soaking liquid into a deep bowl and stir in the yoghurt, caraway seeds and salt. Add the lamb and turn it about with a spoon until all the pieces are evenly coated. Marinate the lamb at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the almonds and the rest of the boiling water in a bowl, and soak for 10 minutes. Pour the almonds and their soaking water into a blender and blend until you have a smooth paste. Set aside. In a heavy casserole, heat the ghee over moderate heat until fairly hot. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, stir for a minute or so, then add the onions, garlic and ginger. Lifting and turning them constantly, fry for 7 to 8 minutes until the onions are soft and golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the lamb from the marinade, add the meat to the casserole, and stir over moderate heat until it browns evenly. Stir in the marinade and the cold water, then add the almond puree and red pepper and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour in the coconut mild, bring to a boil, and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. To serve, discard the cinnamon and cloves, mound the lamb attractively on a deep heated platter, and pour the sauce over it.


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