The Balti originates from Baltistan in Northern Pakistan where the cuisine style has some similarities with neighbouring China. Traditionally cooked in a round shaped, two handled pan, the Balti Dish or Karahi as it is also known, has a strong passing resemblance to the Wok. This aromatic, quick to cook, medium hot curry is made with lean lamb strips stir fried with onions, garlic, ginger and Balti curry spices. Peppers, green beans and tomatoes give freshness to the sauce which is sweetened with a little palm sugar or jaggerey as it is also known. The Balti is finished with a generous amount of torn coriander and mint. Serve in a Balti dish with naan or Indian uneven flat breads such as puri, paratha or chapatti.
Recipe by Le Creuset Australia
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium white onions – sliced
3 cloves garlic – minced
40g of root ginger – peeled and finely diced
500g lean lamb leg steaks cut into strips
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon jaggery/palm sugar
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1 red pepper – seeds removed and sliced
85g extra fine green beans – trimmed and halved
2 tomatoes – quartered
Handful of fresh coriander and mint
Readymade Indian flat breads, warmed to serve
- Heat the combined ghee and oil in the Balti Dish over a medium heat.
- Add the onions and fry for 6 -8 minutes until soft and lightly caramelised. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Push the onion mixture to the sides of the Balti Dish, stir fry the meat a little at a time combining each batch of the seared meat with the onion mixture as you go.
- Add the spices and salt, stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the tamarind paste, tomato puree, sugar and coconut.
- Add the water, green beans, peppers and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring the mixture occasionally.
- Roughly tear or chop the coriander and mint leaves, stir in half and sprinkle over the remaining.
Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve with warmed Indian breads.