- 1 small knob ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 lemongrass stalks, chopped
- 4 red chillies, seeded and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 T tamarind pulp
- 3 T water
- 3 t coriander
- 3 t cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cardamon pods
- 5 T dried coconut
- 2 T peanut oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 kg diced lamb neck
- 3 star anise
- 1 3⁄4 coconut milk
- 3 - 4 Thai lime leaves, sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Peel and slice ginger, lemongrass stalks, seed and slice red chillies and peel garlic.
Soak tamarind pulp in 3 T boiled water for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve, discard the pulp and reserve the liquid.
Dry-fry coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods over a medium heat until fragrant. Cool and place in a spice grinder, then grind to a powder. Place in a food processor with the ginger, lemongrass, chillies, garlic and a little tamarind water and blend to a smooth paste.
Toast dried, shredded coconut in a pan until golden brown. Cool, then grind as finely as possible in a spice grinder.
Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan, add sliced onions and cook until soft. Add the spice paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add diced lamb neck and fry for 5 minutes, or until browned.
Add star anise and cups coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer uncovered for 1 1⁄2 hours, or until the lamb is tender. In the last half hour of cooking time, add sliced Thai lime leaves and season with salt to taste.
Cook's note: Voted the most delicious dish in the world in a poll conducted by CNN, there’s no faulting this comforting, complex curry. This lamb version by original spice girl Vanie Padayachee is one of our all-time faves.