The southern Indian capital of Telangana, Hyderabad centers its cuisine on a wealth of spices. So if you're looking to expand your spice palate (and tolerance), this classic braise is the perfect gateway. Each Indian cook tends to make it a little differently, so we encourage you to make it your own, too. This dish is traditionally made with goat; our version substitutes bone-in lamb for richness and tenderness.
One essential, though, is garam masala, a spice blend This spice lends body-warming effects to the dish, since 'garam' literally means "hot." For best results, try making your own; freshly toasted and ground spices are always better than what you can buy in a bottle. But this widely available spice mix is also worth picking up for convenience.
This recipe also calls for watermelon seeds; we swap in pumpkin for a more wintery flavor, but feel free to use either. Again, make it your own; that's what they do in Hyderabad.
For more Indian food, check out our special India issue.