3 lbs. good quality beef stew meat (e.g., beef chuck shoulder roast) or lamb shoulder, or boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2" cubes.
Vegetable Mixture for the Sauce:
2 onions, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1" pieces of fresh ginger, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
2 serrano chiles, chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
3 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. unsweetened coconut
5 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
7 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 2" stick of cinnamon
2 dried red chiles
2 tbsp. plain yogurt (I prefer Greek)
2-3 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. garam masala
Chopped fresh cilantro
Pinch of freshly ground green cardamom pods
Sliced fresh serrano or jalapeno chiles
Mango Chutney http://thegrubfiles.blogspot.com/2013/09/mango-chutney.html
1. Blend the vegetable mixture in a blender or food processor until just smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and dry roast the ground coriander, cumin and coconut for a couple minutes until fragrant (do not burn). Remove the spices to a plate or container and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, heat 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium heat until quite hot, then add the cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon, and dried red chiles. Stir briefly until fragrant then add the meat (do not overcrowd - cook in batches as needed or else the meat will steam rather than brown). Turn heat up to high to ensure the meat browns nicely. Remove meat & spices to a platter when browned.
4. For the sauce: In the same pan, heat 1-2 tbsp. of oil over medium high heat. Add the blended tomato mixture and stir constantly (watch out as it may splatter). Cook for 3-4 minutes until somewhat reduced, then add the reserved toasted spices. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the yogurt.
5. Add the browned meat and salt. Feel free to add a little water if there's not enough sauce to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook 1 hour or until the meat is very tender. Stir in the garam masala and cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in a couple tablespoons of fresh cilantro.
6. Serve with garnishes, mango chutney, and steamed basmati rice on the side.