Cooking recipes from different cultures not only takes an understanding of the spices, sauces, and aromatics it uses but also the cooking techniques; which is the part that I think tends to be forgotten by us home cooks.
Take this korma-style braised lamb in tomatoes and yogourt which I do not claim to be authentic in and of itself – but the cooking technique of stewing the lamb without browning it first is. It is also counterintuitive to all of my classic French training (although, for you purists yes there is blanquette) for stews. Other techniques to remember when cooking Indian food include browning the onions so much they are nearly burnt and making sure you toast the spices well. What tips do you have?
Lamb Braised in Yogourt and Tomatoes(serves 4)
In a heavy dutch oven heat the oil to medium high heat and the onions along with a pinch of salt. Slowly, stirring regularly to allow the onions to brown evenly. While the onions are browning place the coriander and cumin into a mortar and pestle and break down into a fine powder. Once the onions are browned add the garlic, ginger, and spices and cook until nice and fragrant.
Break the tomatoes apart using your hands and add into the pot, stir in the yogourt and then the stock.
Chop the lamb into 1" square pieces and add to the pot. Stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer on low until nice and tender about 2-3 hours.
Serve on top of basmati rice.