By far the best restaurant in town is a small Pakistani place. I've gotten quite a few great ideas to recreate from them. This is another one of the dishes they feature that is great to try at home.

4 large onions
1/2 c. neutral tasting oil
2 lb. stew lamb or beef
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 star anise pod
1/4 tp. mace
1/2 tsp. allspice berries
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. coriander
2 dried peppers
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp sugar
4 - 6 c. beef broth
3 Tbsp. flour
1 inch piece fresh ginger, julienned
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a deep, thick bottom, pot. Add the onions and fry until they are crisp, about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from the oil and set aside.

In a dry skillet place the cumin, fennel, bay leaf, peppercorn, cinnamon, star anise, mace, allspice, cardamom, chilies, and coriander. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant.

Place in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

In the same pan without cleaning it out add the wheat flour and cook until toasted. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of the onion cooking oil to the bottom of the pan. Add the stew beef and sear in batches. Remove the meat from the pan and keep warm. Keep repeating this until all the meat is browned. Don't over crowd the pan or it wont brown.

Add all the meat, and it's drippings to the pan along with the ground spices, paprika, and dried ginger. Cook and stir to coat the meat.

Cover with beef broth. Add the fried onions. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

When the meat is tender combine the toasted flour and just enough water to make a smooth paste. Add the fresh ginger, sugar, and the flour paste and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes more and serve with naan bread or basmati rice.


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