Kerala is a southern state of India along the Arabian Sea. In India, they call it 'God's Own Country.' Kerala is a coastal state and has been blessed by all things coastal - tropical weather, coconut, seafood, and palm trees. This recipe is a popular 'roast' recipe from that region. This recipe can be prepared in an Instant Pot, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, or you can bake it in the oven as I did.
TRIVIA: Kerala is also the home for the most popular black peppercorn - Tellicherry. History books mention that when Europeans had just begun trading with India, black peppercorns were traded for its equal weight in gold, and hence called 'black gold.'
Rupen Rao is an Indian culinary entrepreneur residing in Washington, DC. He has taught Indian cooking to more than 25,000 patrons in the past 15 years. He is an author of 3 cookbooks on Indian cuisine, and has recently launched a line of Indian Simmer Sauces. www.Rupens.com for more information on his work. —Rupen Rao
lamb shoulder, boneless and skinless, chopped in 8 equal portions
freshly ground black pepper (preferably Tellicherry black peppercorns)
ground turmeric (powder)
shallots, thinly sliced
fresh curry leaves (available only at the Indian store), if you do not have it, then add 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
jalapeno, top end removed, seeds removed, and then chopped
In a mixing bowl, add lamb, sea salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Mix until all the lamb pieces are coated with the spices. Set aside.
In order to sear lamb pieces, in a 4 qt Dutch oven, over medium heat, add coconut oil.
When the oil is hot, add lamb pieces and spread them (you may want to do this in 2 batches) and cook lamb pieces for 7 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
Pre-heat oven at 350 F.
Add shallots, curry leaves, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic to the pot and saute for 5 minutes.
Add paprika, coriander, and cumin. Mix.
Add tomatoes, and stir to combine.
Add lamb pieces to the pot along with 2 cups hot water.
Bake lamb for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle garam masala, and mix. Cover and set aside for an hour.
Remove meat from the gravy and place it in a medium-size bowl.
Using 2 forks, shred the lamb and set aside. If the lamb is dry, add some of the gravy and mix.
Serve the lamb along with gravy on the side. You may serve it with mashed potatoes (I make my mashed potatoes with coconut milk instead of cream, a true Kerala style mashed potato!)
NOTE: If you are unable to shred lamb using forks, then it may need additional cooking time. Place it back in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. You may also need to add 1/2 cup of water in case lamb is dry and you do not have enough moisture.