Make this delicious curry any time you have a craving for something lusciously different. It’s a great Sunday night dinner and is perfect for a potluck or on a buffet.
Fragrant Lamb Curry with Barley
- 13-by 9-inch (3 L) baking dish
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided 25 mL
- 1 lb trimmed stewing lamb 500 g
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced gingerroot 15 mL
- 1 to 2 long red or green chile peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 tsp sweet paprika 5 mL
- 1 tsp turmeric 5 mL
- 1 tsp salt 5 mL
- 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
- 1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper 1 mL
- 2 black cardamom pods, crushed
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup whole (hulled) barley, rinsed and drained 250 mL
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or water 500 mL
- 11⁄2 cups plain yogurt (minimum 4% M.F.) 375 mL
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro 50 mL
- • Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
- 1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add lamb, in batches, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- 2. Add remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil to pan. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile peppers, paprika, turmeric, salt, peppercorns, cayenne, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add barley and toss until coated with mixture. Stir in stock and bring to a boil.
- 3. Return lamb and any accumulated juices to pan and stir well. Transfer to baking dish and stir in yogurt. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven until barley and lamb are tender, about 1 hour. Garnish with cilantro.
- Spicy Beef Curry with Barley: Substitute an equal quantity of stewing beef for the lamb.
- It pays to know your barley. Although most varieties of whole-grain barley cook in about 1 hour, which is fine for this recipe, I have encountered some that take up to 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook. If the variety you are using is longer-cooking, before starting the recipe, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan, add barley and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add it to the recipe in Step 2 when the chicken stock is called for.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/