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Lamb Curry

4 pounds boned lamb -- (from shoulder or leg)
2 pounds onions
8 large garlic cloves -- peeled
1/2 cup coriander leaves -- chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root -- chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon kalonji -- (nigella) seeds
3 tablespoons ghee
3 tablespoons oil
10 cardamom pods -- bruised
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 teaspoons salt and pepper -- to taste

Trim off all fat, and cut meat into large cubes. Finely slice half the onions. Roughly chop remaining onions and put into food processor or blender with garlic coriander leaves, ginger, yogurt, chili powder, paprika, ground coriander and kalonji seeds. Process until smooth.

Heat ghee and oil in a large heavy pan and fry sliced onions, stirring frequently, until evenly browned. Remove from pan. Add cubed lamb to pan, a little at a time, and stir-fry over high heat until browned all over. Remove each batch as it browns, before adding more. When all meat is browned, lower heat to medium. Add a little more oil to pan if necessary and fry blended mixture, stirring, until it is aromatic. This takes quite a while - 20 minutes or longer- and when it is ready, oil will appear around edges of mixture.

Return meat to pan, add cardamom pods and salt and pepper, stir until well mixed. Cover and cook over low heat until meat is almost tender, stirring occasionally. The juices given out by the meat are usually sufficient to finish the cooking, but it may be necessary to add a little water. When meat is tender and liquid almost absorbed, add garam masala and reserved fried onion slices. Cover pan and simmer gently for a few minutes more.

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