Meat Beliram

( A true delicacy of Punjabi cuisine by the grand master  chef of yesteryear’s  BELIRAM – who was the royal cook of the Maharaja Ranjeet Singh from the Patiala kingdom a few centuries ago.)

* 2 lbs. lamb, cut into 2 inch cubes   
* 6 oz. ghee (clarified butter)
* 1 tsp. sonth (ginger powder)
* 1 tbsp. saunf (fennel seeds)
* 2 cinnamon sticks
* 6 garlic cloves, minced finely
* 1 tbsp. kashmiri mirch (kashmiri red pepper powder or cayenne)
* 1 tsp. shahi zeera (black cumin seeds)
* 6 cardamoms
* 6 cloves
* 1 tej patta (bay leaf)
* 1 tsp. zaafraan (saffron), gently toasted and ground
* 1 cup dahee (yogurt)
* 1 tsp heeng (asafoetida)
* salt to taste

Clean, wash and remove all fat from the lamb and set aside.
Grind together all the spices in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.
Soak saffron in the yogurt and set aside.
Heat ghee and add the heeng into it and cook for a few seconds.
Add the lamb to this and sear on all sides, frying until well browned.
Pour the saffron yogurt mix and fry until all liquid is absorbed.
Add a cup and a half of water and the ground spices.
Bring the contents of the pan a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until tender.
Uncover and cook until excess liquid is evaporated.

(Courtesy Executive chef Aman Tandon at ThePrideHotels Ahmedabad)

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