Recipe: Chickpea, Eggplant and Lamb Curry w/ a Cucumber Raita

Currys are one of those comfort foods that people either love or hate. They can be creamy and savoury or soupy and fiery hot or any number or derivations in between. This particular curry is rich and very hot. Usually on this blog I try to keep the heat level down so that you can adjust the spiciness to your taste, but in this case this curry needs to be hot or the flavours will not really make sense.

Ingredients(Curry):

2 Lamb Shanks(Bone In)

1 large eggplant

1 can of chickpeas (Strained and washed)

1 large onion(Rough chopped)

1 star anise

2 tbs turmeric

1 tbs toasted cumin seed

1 tbs toasted cardamom

1 tbs toasted coriander

1 ts mustard powder

1 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup butter

1 Naga Bhut jolokia pepper.(Ghost Chili dried and flaked)*

1 liter of vegetable stock.

2 cups of basmati rice(cooked in rice cooker because I am lazy.)

Directions(Curry):

Pre heat your oven to 350. In a dutch oven add olive oil at high heat and sear the lamb shanks, this should only take about six or seven minutes. When the sear is on the meat remove meat from the container and place on paper towels. Drop heat to medium and add your onions and cook until they begin to char.** Then add your chick peas and eggplant and continue to stir them with the onions which are going to be dark brown/black. When thing begin to smoke add a little lemon juice to deglaze and reduce. Then add your spices and star anise(whole). Add more lemon juice and some veggie stock to cover all the ingredients, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Return your lamb shanks to the dutch oven and add enough stock to submerge them. Cover and place in oven for 90 minutes.

*The Ghost Chili is the hottest chili in the world on the scoville scale with a rating between 300,000 and 1,000,000 units depending on it’s cultivation and climate. To give you an idea tabasco sauce is about 5000-8000 scoville units. But the heat from the ghost chili is different. It really doesn’t burn your tongue or really your mouth. It actually burns on the inside of you. Your body temp actually increases and you begin to sweat. Hot stuff on a hot day actually cools your body temp down in the long run because of the sweat. With that said if you want to use a less hot chili go for it but the flavour that comes with the heat of a ghost chili is transcendent. Safety tip: When working with these chilis wear gloves. The indian government has actually weaponized them, they are not a joke if you touch your eyes, nose, skin, genitals. Like seriously if you touch them and then go pee, you will have one of the worst 30 minutes of your life.

**Usually I would not do this but with a curry it adds flavour depth if you burn your onions a bit. I know it seems counter intuitive but it really does make a gigantic difference.