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North: Kashmir Lamb Stew (Kashmiri Gosht)

Stephen Ceideburg 2 lb Boneless lamb, trimmed of

-all fat 1/4 c Cashew nuts

3 tb Mild vegetable oil

1 Two-inch piece cinnamon

-stick, broken 4 Whole cloves

4 Cardamom pods

1 ts Cumin seeds

1 lg Onion, chopped

1 tb Minced fresh ginger

3 Garlic cloves, peeled,

-crushed 1/2 ts Ground coriander

1/4 ts Turmeric

1 ts Paprika

1/2 ts Cayenne pepper

1 ts Salt, or to taste

2 md Tomatoes, peeled, seeded,

-chopped 3 md Boiling potatoes, peeled,

-diced 1 c Water

2 c Unflavored yogurt

1/4 c Whipping cream

1/2 c Fresh peas, or frozen,

-thawed Snipped fresh chives or -green onion tops Kashmir's cuisine combines the area's plentiful fruits and nuts with the rich ingredients and sophisticated cooking style of the Moghuls. This rich stew makes a marvelous main dish. Serve it with rice or crusty breads. Cut meat in 1-inch cubes and set aside. Grind cashews with a little water to make a paste. Set aside. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Stir and cook until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne and salt. Stir for a minute. Add lamb and stir-fry until it is no longer red. Add tomatoes and potatoes. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Blend yogurt, cashew paste and remaining water and add to skillet. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until meat is tender. Skim off fat from surface. (May be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Warm over medium heat before continuing.) Add cream and peas and heat through. Sauce should be thick. If too thick, add a few tablespoons water. If too thin, boil to reduce. Serve stew in deep plates garnished with chives. PER SERVING: 545 calories, 45 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 30 g fat (9 g saturated), 135 mg cholesterol, 153 mg sodium, 4 g fiber. Laxmi Hiremath writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24/92.

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