Kid Goat Curry Wrapped in Gold

(Kundan Khaliya)


Kundan means gold; khaliya is a category of rich meat curries.

1 1/2 cups usli ghee
3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
3/4 cup charoli nuts
1 1/2 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
15 green cardamom pods
15 whole cloves
4 bay leaves
2 3" cinnamon sticks
2 lbs. bone-in leg of kid goat or baby lamb,
trimmed and cut into 2"-long pieces;
shanks cut into 3"-long pieces, rinsed
2 1/2 lbs. boneless leg of kid goat or baby lamb,
trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2" piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 ripe medium tomato, cored and coarsely chopped
4 tbsp. ground coriander, sifted
1 tbsp. ground turmeric, sifted
1/2 tsp. Indian (not kashmiri) red chile powder, sifted
1 cup whole-milk yogurt
2 tsp. kewra (screw pine) water
1/4 cup clotted cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
8-10 sheets gold leaf (optional)

1. Heat ghee in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add cashews and fry until they darken slightly, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium-low and repeat process with charoli nuts, then transfer to bowl with cashews. Add onions to pot and cook until soft, 8¿10 minutes. Add cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer onion¿spice mixture to another bowl. Increase heat to high. Fry meat in 3 batches until golden brown all over, 5¿8 minutes per batch. Return meat and onion¿spice mixture to pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put garlic and ginger into a blender and, with motor running, drizzle in 2/3 cup cold water through hole in blender lid, blending until a loose paste forms; transfer to a bowl. Puree tomatoes in blender and transfer to another bowl. Add the fried nuts to blender and, with motor running, drizzle in 1 cup cold water through hole in lid, blending until a loose paste forms; transfer to another bowl.

3. Stir garlic paste, coriander, turmeric, chile powder, and 1 tsp. salt into pot and cook for 2 minutes. Add yogurt, 1 tbsp. at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in tomato puree. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, 2 hours.

4. Mix saffron and screw pine water together and set aside. Stir nut paste into pot, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in saffron mixture and creams and cook until heated. Ladle sauce into a sieve set over set over a bowl. Discard onions and spices; return strained sauce and any larger bits of meat. Adjust seasonings. Sauce should be as thick as heavy cream; loosen with hot water, if necessary. Stir in as many as 7 gold leaves , if using. Transfer curry to a serving dish. Wrap a few pieces of bone-in meat in remaining gold leaves, if using.

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