Cookstr.com

Saffron-Scented Lamb with an Almond Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I believe lamb, saffron, and almonds are a culinary ménage à trois that is meant to be together at all times. The earthy meat, creamy almonds, and perfumed saffron bring in elements characteristic of Moghal cooking—the cuisine of the Muslim emperors who had a profound cultural influence in northern India. Smoky black cardamom adds another twist, along with the other aromatic ingredients in the spice blend. Remove the whole spices from the curry before serving it, or instruct your guests to set them aside should they land on their plate.

Serves4

Cooking Methodstir-frying

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationlow carb, peanut free, soy free

Equipmentblender

Mealdinner

Taste and Textureherby, meaty, nutty, savory, spiced

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Ghee or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (each 3 inches long)
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 3 black cardamom pods
  • 1 medium-size red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1½ pounds boneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed off and discarded, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

Instructions

Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and cardamom pods. Cook until they sizzle, crackle, and are aromatic, about 1 minute. Then immediately add the onion and lower the heat to medium. Stir-fry until the onion is soft and honey-brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown and some ghee separates from the mixture, 15 to 20 minutes. (The meat will sear a bit, then release its liquid, and once the liquid evaporates, start to brown.)

While the lamb does its thing, pour ½ cup water into a blender jar. Add the almonds and puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to form a slightly gritty, milky white paste.

Once the lamb has browned, pour in the almond paste. Pour 1 cup water into the blender jar, and swish it around to wash it out. Add this to the skillet, along with the saffron and salt. Once the curry comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is fork-tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro, and serve.

YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED RECIPES

Reviews

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Close

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Facebook
Google
Twitter
OR
Sign In using Email and Password