Bindia’s Butter Lamb is tender New Zealandic lamb in a critically acclaimed curry.
Butter Lamb is a dish from Northern India. The main ingredient is, as the name indicates, the famous Butter curry or Makhani, which is probably more famous in the West than its country of origin by now.
At Bindia, we make the Makahni as they do in the mountainous regions like Kashmir and Punjab where Amer Suleman is born and raised.
Here, you typically eat much milder food than in Southern India. Furthermore, nuts, instead of animal fat, are often central to the cooking process by providing lots of healthy and nutritional calories, which are so essential in these colder regions.
We, therefore, have a special focus on the nuts – especially cashew – in our Butter Lamb.
As with our Korma curry, we have developed just the right mix of nuts and seeds for our Butter Lamb, which doesn’t just provide the dish with healthy calories, but simultaneously produces an exquisite and creamy texture. Together with the sourish tomatoes and the honey, the nut mix furthermore gives our Butter Lamb its particular sweetness with its subtle nutty nuances.
In fact, at several stages of the cooking process, you’ll find other secrets contributing to the success of our Butter Lamb, like for instance in the sophisticated and attentive approach to the heating of Suleman’s Butter curry.
At just the right temperature, a chemical reaction takes place between the fat and the tomatoes, which makes the taste come together in just the right way. If you never reach this temperature, you’ll never reach the same richness of taste, while you risk completely ruining the dish, if the temperature exceeds this magical sweet spot, Bindia’s head chef warns.
Besides the right temperature, Bindia’s Butter Lamb must be seasoned and flavored with not only the right spices, but also by the correct methods, which happens through a process called tempering - a specific spicing method common in India and its neighboring countries of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
During tempering, grinded spices are stir-fried in burning hot ghee (or oils suitable for such heat). When the crushed spices hit the boiling warm fat, they have a heat shock response, which makes them discharge their essential oils and, thereby, rich flavor.
During its creation, our Butter Lamb goes through four different phases of tempering. And we even use lots of spices you won’t find in a Butter Lamb elsewhere.
We use a total of 23 different ingredients in this customer favorite: all the way from the base of the curry consisting of just tomatoes, ginger, and garlic, to the more surprising contents like poppy seeds and licorice root.
As the Indians don’t eat pork or beef in consideration of the country’s two largest religions Hinduism and Islam, they have instead become specialists in dealing with lamb and therefore have unique traditions and techniques for selecting the best meat and make it as delicious as possible. We therefore have clear guidelines for selecting and preparing our lamb at Bindia.
We only use grazing sheep from New Zealand in our Butter Lamb, as this meat has the best smell and taste and doesn’t contain too much fat. We take measures to select for young, and therefore tender, meat, which we cut ourselves to ensure the final product is consistent with our standards.
We then roast the meat together with a tempering of ginger, carnation, and garlic, among others in a big cauldron. This removes the characteristic smell of lamb and gives the meat warm flavor and that Bindia character. All done according to traditional procedures.