My husband has travelled in Sri Lanka extensively, with a friend who has Sri Lankan parentage and travels there regularly. His travel tips are amazing!! My husband ate local authentic food while there and fell in love with the cuisine. To really get a grasp of local culture, food is one of the major components, along with art, music and architecture. Learning the language also helps of course, but not always practical for every country you want to visit, to the point that you can get the humour, so eating is the best way to connect. This curry really give you a taste of the culture and history, combining the Indian influences with that migration brought to the local cuisine. The fact that this is cooked in a slow cooker/ crockpot is along the lines of the more traditional methods of slow cooking over fire, or in open fire ovens.
COOKS NOTE: Pandanus leaf can be purchased from a specialist world food store or Indian store.
WINE NOTE: Nero D’Avalo from Sicily or Tempranillo from La Mancha will give spice with spice. This curry totally deserves a red wine and one that holds its own with fruit and flavour!
2 tsp whole mustard seeds
½ tsp whole peppercorns
3 tbsp whole coriander seeds
4 shallots chopped
½ inch length of ginger chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 packed cup of cilantro
1 or 2 hot green chillies
3 tbsp corn or peanut oil
1 stick of cinnamon
2 whole cardamom pods
10/15 curry leaves
2 inch length of pandanus leaf
1 lb lamb
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp lemon juice
¾ tsp salt
1 cup coconut (shake can)
- Grind finely mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds & cloves in coffee or spice grinder
- In blender, put shallots, ginger, garlic, cilantro & chillies and blend to a paste with 5 tbsp water, pushing down with a spatula.
- Put oil in pan and heat on med- high heat. Add cinnamon, cardamom, curry leaves and pandanus leaves and stir for 5 seconds
- Add lamb and brown on all sides
- Reduce heat to med and add spices from grinder and stir for 1 min.
- Add paste from blender and stir for 5 mins.
- Place 2 ½ cups of water, turmeric and lemon with salt to the crock pot and stir
- Add the meat and contents of pan and stir again
- Leave to cook for 6-8 hours, stirring a couple of times
- 10 mins before serving, stir in the coconut milk to heat through.
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