A specialty of Pakistan and Lucknow, is often roasted in tandoori or makeshift grills. In India, this special occasion dish often requires a long marinating time because the meat is used mutton - a mature sheep or goat. Cooks apply ground unripe papaya to the meat because the chemical papain a natural tenderizer present in the fruit breaks down the tough tissues to yield fall of the bone meat when it is cooked. However lamb in Western countries is often quite tender making the papaya application unnecessary . The acidity from the yogurt is enough to tenderize it, especially when marinated overnight. This is a dry roast, often served in India with slivers of raw onions, cilantro and wedges of lime with tandoor cooked naan alongside. I have taken it a step further and served it, curry style, with a mint-enriched tomato sauce laced with cashews and golden raisins.
1. To prepare the lamb, first ensure that it is tied into a compact shape, either cooking twine or in the oven save netted bag used by most supermarkets today. Make 4 to 6 gashes, about 1/4 inch deep in the meat. Place the roast in a shallow pan and set it aside while you prepare the marinade.
2. Pour the yogurt into a blender jar, and then add the almonds, garam masala, salt, onion, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to make a light purple, slightly gritty paste.
3. Pour the marinade over the lamb and sprinkle the cilantro over it. Using your hands, massage the marinade into the meat, making sure you get it into the gashes. Refrigerate, covered overnight to allow the yogurt to tenderize the lamb and the spices to permeate the meat.
4. When you are ready to roast the lamb, preheat the oven to 450 F. While the oven is preheating, bring the lamb to room temperature.
5. Set a rack in a roasting pan, and spray the rack. Place the lamb, including the marinade that clings to its surface, on teh rack. Reserve the remaining marinade, pooled on the bottom of the marinating pan for basting. Roast the lamb until it is seared and lightly browned on the outside about 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Lower the temperature to 325 F and continue to roast the meat. About 15 minutes in to the roasting time, spoon the reserved marinade over the lamb. Intermittently check the roasting pan to see if the meat drippings are starting to burn off. I usually pour a little water into the pan so the moisture can maintain the meats succulence and also prevent the drippings from burning. Toast until the meats internal temperature measured in the center of it s thickest part registers around 135 F for medium rare 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
7. While the lamb in roasting, make the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over medium high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle, turn reddish brown and smell nutty, 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately add the onion, cashews and raisins. Stir fry until the cashews turn light brown, the raisins swell and the onion browns around the edges, about 5 minutes.
8. Add the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it, releasing ant browned bits . Once the curry comes to a boil. reduce the heat to medium low, cover the skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally until some the the oil has separated and glistens on its surface and at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
9. Transfer the sauce to a blender jar and pour in the cream. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed to make a nutty sweet creamy red sauce that will be slightly grainy to the touch. Pour it back into the sauce pan. Or if you have a stick blender you can do this in the pan.
10. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. Its internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees. While the meat is resting, gently rewarm the sauce, covered, over low heat. Just before serving stir the mint leaves into the sauce.
11. Cut off the cooking twine, or the webbing with a pain of kitchen shears and transfer the lamb to a cutting board. Cut the meat into 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange them on a serving platter. Serve the sauce separately.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (409g)
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings
|Calories from Fat: 357 (61%)
|Amt Per Serving
|Total Fat 39.6g
|Saturated Fat 16.2g
|Monounsaturated Fat 16.7g
|Polyunsanturated Fat 3.8g
|Total Carbohydrate 17g
|Dietary Fiber 2.7g
|Sugars, other 14.4g
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Calories per serving: 583
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