Wet Masala (spice blend):
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 (1-inch) pieces cinnamon bark
- 6 cloves
- 4 peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, more if you're feeling feisty!
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1-inch thumb fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 serrano pepper, sliced in half
- Kosher salt
- Serving suggestion: Cooked rice and chapatis (whole wheat griddle bread)
In a small food processor or blender, combine the toasted spice mix and rest of the wet masala ingredients. Process until smooth. Place a large, preferably nonstick pot over high heat, and add oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and serrano pepper. Stirring frequently, saute onions until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cook's Note: Don't let them burn! Turn the heat down to medium-high if they're starting to burn.
Add the ground wet masala, taking care because it will sizzle wildly, and steam up your glasses if you wear them. Stir quite vigorously, and turn down heat if it's bubbling too furiously. Don't wash the food processor cup yet. Keep stirring, with short pauses, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the masala comes together as one mass, about 2 minutes. Also, you may see little droplets of oil on the perimeter of the masala. That's a good sign!
Quickly add the meat, and stir, coating the meat in the masala. Stir and cook about 5 minutes until the meat browns.
Remember that dirty food processor vessel? Fill it with 1 cup of hot water (from the tap is fine), swirl it around so it picks up any leftover masala, and pour that into the pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, stir and bring the curry to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Then cook with the lid ajar for another 15 minutes, to thicken the gravy slightly.