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Kashmiri Yakhni - Kashmiri Lamb Stew

4 teaspoons fennel seeds
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pinches asafetida -- optional
3 pounds shoulder of lamb -- boned and cubed
1 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
10 cardamom pods
15 cloves
1 3/4 teaspoons salt -- or to taste
1 1/2 pints water -- plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 7/8 cups natural yogurt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala

Put fennel seeds into clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder and grind into powder. Put oil in heavy wide pan over high heat. When hot add asafetida. Once second later put in all the meat, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and salt. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until liquid disappears and meat browns. Lower heat to medium; add 1 tablespoons water, fennel and ginger; mix.

Add 1 1/2 pints water, cover partially and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. Cover completely, turn heat to low and simmer 40 minute or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary. Beat yogurt in bowl. Remove cover and turn to medium low.

Push meat cubs to edges; pour yogurt very slowly into center while moving slotted spoon back and for in area - to prevent curdling. Continue stirring5 minutes. Gently cook 10 minutes. Add garam masala ad mix. Remove whole spices.

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