One-Pot Wonders

Ginger's Lamb Vadouvan Chili

January 30, 2012
Author Notes

Yesterday my fans were all gathered in my kitchen cooking and eating and talking (a lot of talking!) and occasionally feeding me. That was fun! They were talking a LOT about about chili, and what they should make. It sounded like they needed some help so I sent a mind meld to my mom (aargersi) and her friend (hardlikearmour). Even though humans can be simple at times, I managed to get through to them, and they implemented my idea of a Indian style lamb chili. There was a lot of "ooh yum" and "yeah I think this is good" going on. Then they said I couldn't have any because it was too spicy! Have I mentioned humans are simple? I will see if I can show someone how to take a photo soon .... —Ginger's Kitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

Most chili recipes made with lamb sound a lot better than they turn out, as even the most robust chilies do not marry well with lamb in a traditional chili. Ginger's Lamb Vadouvan Chili is a happy exception. Woof! The Fenugreek, cardamom and nutmeg not only add a bright burst of flavor, but act as a mediator between the lamb and the chilies, resulting in a pretty "doggone" good bowl of red! Two paws up! —wssmom

  • Serves a good pot of chili
  • Vadouvan Spice
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seed
  • 2 teaspoons white peppercorns
  • 8 pods green cardamom - seeds removed (chuck the pod part)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vadouvan Lamb Chili
  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder - trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large yellow onion - peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic - minced or pressed
  • 1 - 14.5 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons spice blend
  • 2 dried ancho chilie - seeds an stems removed
  • 1-2 dried chipotle chilis (depending on your heat love) seeds and stems removed
In This Recipe
  1. Vadouvan Spice
  2. Toast all of the spices except the nutmeg in a pot or skillet. You will know they are done when they smell rich and toasty but not burnt.
  3. Grind all of the spices, and stir in the nutmeg.
  1. Vadouvan Lamb Chili
  2. Grind or finely chop the chilies.
  3. Heat 2 tbs oil in a large heavy pot. Salt and pepper the lamb (about a tsp of each) and brown in the oil - work in batches if necessary and remove to a bowl as you go. Save any juices. When you have finished, add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onions for several minutes until they JUST start to brown, then add in the garlic, and chilis. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add in the tomatoes (with their liquid) and add the meat (with juices) back in. Add 2 tbs of the spice blend and the broth. Allow all of this to simmer for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally, then taste your spice and salt level and add more if needed.
  4. Put a lid on the pot ajar an allow the chili to simmer (stir occasionally) until the lamb is very tender - ours went about 2 hours. If it need more liquid you can add a bit more broth or a splash of water.
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