This Sri Lankan lamb curry made with Ceylon Cinnamon sticks has deep layers of exotic flavors that is out of this World. Lamb by nature is a dull meat. But infuse with exotic spices and it comes into its own. Without over powering it with chili but by masterfully blending exotic spices in the right proportion.
The Ceylon Cinnamon and vinegar creates an unusual flavor combination. Ginger is an ingredient that is a must be any lamb dish reviving it from its game taste.
This dish also makes heavy use of black pepper, cardamom and cloves, again to bring out the flavor of lamb. You must gently crush the cloves and cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle or a hammer so the flavor comes out to mix with the meat. And finally the coconut milk adds a creamy smoothness and dulls the chili just right while retaining the spark of chili with all its flavor variations.
Prep Time : 75 minutes
Cook Time : 60 minutes
Serves : 4-6 people
- 1-1.5 lbs Lamb – cut into small chunks
- 1 onion – sliced
- 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
- 2 Teaspoon crushed ginger2 teaspoons red chili powder
- 2 Teaspoons black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon un roasted curry powder (Sri Lankan is better)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tsp Fenugreek Seed
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 green chilies – cut in on half, seeds removed
- 15 curry leaves
- 1 three inch Ceylon cinnamon stick
- 8 cardamom pods - split
- 8 cloves – crushed
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 5 tablespoons oil
- 5.6 oz. coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Green onions for garnish
- In a medium size bowl, mix chili powder, black pepper. Cumin, Coriander, turmeric & with lamb pieces and keep it aside for 30-60 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.
When oil is hot add garlic & ginger, fry it for 1- 2 minutes.
- Add curry leaves, crushed cloves and cardamom, and 1 Ceylon Cinnamon stick and fry for about 1-2 minutes
- Add onions and fry for 5 minutes OR until its get slightly golden brown.
- Add the marinated lamb chunks and green chili and mix it well and stir fry it for about 5 minutes stirring frequently
- Now add 1 cup of water, stir, close the lid and let it cook for 25 minutes on medium heat. If you washed your meat, then do not add water since water would have absorbed into the meat. Of course if you want more gravy especially to eat with rice, then by all means add some water.
- Finally add coconut milk and salt, mix well and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes stirring once of twice. Do not over heat the coconut milk so low heat is best.
- Let it cool for 5-10 minutes. When you see the oil layer on top it is ready. Garnish with finely chopped green onion on top and serve with rice, bread, roti and maybe a vegetable dish.
This dish will serve 8-10 people if you put additional water (say 2 cups total) to make more gravy and cut the lamb into smaller chunks. Since the gravy is very tasty, it works very well with plain white rice and a vegetable dish. A simple elegant meal when you have friends over.
WHY CEYLON CINNAMON
Unlike ordinary Cassia Cinnamon you find in the stores, Ceylon Cinnamon has low Coumarin
levels, so it won't damage your liver, especially if you are a regular Cinnamon tea drinker. Besides Ceylon Cinnamon is mild, yet slightly sweeter. its not spicy like store bought Cassia Cinnamon, but has hints of cloves and citrus with wonderful subtle aroma. Ceylon Cinnamon is subtle and adds to create a more complex flavors. You would never know there is Ceylon Cinnamon in this dish, unlike Cassia Cinnamon which tends to be harsh and immediately makes its presence felt and often ruins the recipe.