Who's afraid of the pressure cooker? I sure was. But in order to make my grandmother's fiery mustard lamb curry -- my idea of "home" in a bowl -- I eventually had to face my nightmare scenario that the lid of the pressure cooker would burst off and scorching steam and liquid would spray all around my tiny New York apartment ... or worse, all over me.
It was totally worth it though to dust off my pressure cooker still in its packaging and face my fears for this dish. The key is to cut the pieces of lamb and potatoes into the same bite-sized pieces. This way, with every spoonful you get a medley of lamb and potatoes veiled in a velvety mustard curry sauce. On a cold fall day, if you feel the sniffles coming on, this will clear your sinuses and leave you feeling cozy. The dish goes well with rice or chapatis, but I just like to have it by itself out of a cereal bowl while watching cartoons.
So, is the pressure cooker absolutely necessary for this dish? No. One can certainly cook the lamb in a covered pot or a slow cooker, but softening the meat in the pressure cooker takes about 15 minutes. That means I can make this on a weeknight, on a whim, for surprise dinner guests, at any time at all, because after all, a hankering for home can hit any time. —GSmodden
- Serves 6
lamb (chops or stewing meat or leg will all work)
large russet potato cut into small cubes
medium onion cut into very small pieces
or more Coleman's mustard powder
red hot pepper powder to taste
small spicy green chilies copeed for garnishing
cilantro (optional) chopped for garnishing
drizzle mustard oil
- Place lamb pieces in pressure cooker and cover with water. Secure the top and on medium heat cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cooker whistles at least twice.
- Open the pressure cooker after carefully letting the steam out. Take out the lamb pieces and place on a cutting board. After the pieces have cooled some, separate the meat from the bones and chop into bite sized cubes.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or pot. Fry the onions until softened and the edges are starting to brown. Fry potatoes, which have been cut to a similar size and shape as the lamb.
- Add in the lamb and fry with onions and potatoes until all are browned.
- Put in mustard powder mixed with a little water and the turmeric. Stir for a bit, letting the flavors come together. Add the red pepper and salt to taste. Stir some more.
- Taste. If the potatoes aren't fully cooked, lower the heat and cover the dish and let it cook covered a few minutes. Add more spices if necessary.
- There shouldn't to a lot of gravy, but just sauce enough to coat the meat and potatoes. If there is a lot of water, turn the heat to high and dry it out. If the dish looks too dry, put in a tiny splash of water to help it form a bit of sauce.
- Remove from heat. Serve with a drizzle of mustard oil, green chilis and cilantro if using.