5 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 black peppercorns, left whole
3 black cardamom pods, left whole*
5 green cardamom pods, left whole*
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece mace
1 onion, finely chopped
1 (1 1/2-pound) leg of lamb or mutton, bone intact, cut into pieces
6 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
1 (3/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
Water, as needed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
2 tomatoes, blended to a pulp in a food processor
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
Boiling water, as needed
Handful chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
*Can be found at specialty Asian markets. If you're worried about biting on whole spices, you can leave them out of this dish. Fry the spices first, and then fish them out with a slotted spoon, tie them in a muslin pouch and add it back to the simmering curry. The spice pouch will continue adding flavor. Do try the dish and add extra garam masala powder at the end if you feel it needs it.
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