Last week I had a great lunch in a restaurant near Wareham, Dorset. The restaurant is called Gurkha and does a lunchtime buffet of Indian, Nepalese, Thai and Chinese food. It is run by Captain QGO Asbahadur Gurung formerly of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
Apart from the Tom Kha Seafood soup, which incidentally was the best I have ever tasted my interest was in the cuisine of Nepal. One of the dishes on offer was Gurka Lamb curry and it was so good I though that I should try and make something similar. Having some lamb shanks in the fridge they were the obvious choice for the lamb part of the dish. The rest of the ingredients I found in my store cupboard.
Before we get on with the recipe here is a little history about the Gurkhas. The Gurkhas who come from Nepal in the Himalayas have served in the British Army for many years. They have fought alongside British troops and proved themselves to be the most disciplined, fearless, brave fighters in the world. As a fighting force they are feared all over the world.
- 4 lamb shanks, slashed with a knife to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 250 ml natural yoghurt
- 125 ml vegetable oil
- 10 cardamom pods, seeds removed
- 25 g fresh ginger, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 7 cm of a cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 350 ml cold water
- Add garlic, ginger, yoghurt, cardamom, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, fennel, cayenne and ½ the onions into a blender. Blend the mixture into a smooth paste.
- Sprinkle the lamb shanks with a little salt, then pour over the masala mixture, and allow to marinade for at least an hour.
- Heat the oil, in the inner pot and add the cinnamon, cloves and rest of the onion. Cook until the onion is golden brown.
- Add the marinaded lamb shanks to the inner pot along with all the marinade.
- Bring to the boil, you should see oil slowly rising to the surface. At this stage add the cold water, stir and bring the mixture back to the boil.
- Turn down the heat. Put on the lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container and shut the lid.
- Thermal slow cook without power for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Before serving check the seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Serve on a bed of plain, pilau or saffron rice which you could cook in the top pot if you have one.