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This dish hails from Bangladesh and is often served at special occasions and when hosting special guests. While yogurt is often a side dish to curries, this one uses the yogurt both in the marinade and in the sauce. The coconut oil is stirred in only at the end to keep its nutrients raw and bio-available, as well as to deepen the flavors of the whole dish on the palate. Coconut oil is also a source of needed saturated fats and minerals and its chemical make-up helps the body better assimilate the nutrients from the yogurt, meats, and spices. The dried coconut flakes (which I forgot to add in this picture) are a good source of manganese and other trace minerals, and gives it the final, yummy sweetness that makes it a winning dish with adults and kids alike.
For similar recipes, be sure to check out Extending the Table, published by the Mennonite Central Committee
2 1/2-3 lbs. pastured chicken or lamb, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 1/2-2 cups plain yogurt (enough to thickly coat meat pieces)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbls. tumeric
1 Tbls. lemon juice (use with lamb, not chicken)
2 T. butter
1-2 onions, chopped in medium dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, grated
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1-2 whole cinnamon sticks (may substitute 1 tsp. ground cinnamon)
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
2-3 Tbls. shredded coconut
1 generous Tbls. coconut oil
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
A few hours before you begin cooking, mix meat into marinade and set in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while prepping the rest of the dish.
At preparation time, saute onions in butter over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add red pepper strips and saute until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown, 1-2 minutes more. Remove sauteed pepper strips and reserve. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss in salt and give it a quick stir.
Stir in meat and marinade and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer gently for 30-45 minutes until meat is tender.
To serve, remove from heat, stir in coconut oil until melted, sprinkle coconut flakes and cilantro springs over the top, and lay reserved red pepper strips on each portion.
Serve with rice and naan (traditional flat bread).
Alternate (quick) Preparation
If you prefer to skip the marinade, change the order of operations a bit:
Preheat pan over medium-high heat and add 2 Tbls. lard or clarified butter. Sear meat in 2-3 batches and remove from pan.
Add 1 Tbls. butter and saute onions, peppers, garlic (increase to 2 cloves), ginger, and spices as described above.
Return meat to pan and stir in marinade ingredients, omitting the garlic.
Simmer and serve as described.