one of the classic kashmiri dishes is tabak-maaz or kabergha, itrs part of every wazwaan and always at any wedding - probably one of my favorite dishes in the world.
Anyway, lamb ribs (with a good deal of the fat left on) are first browned in oil that has been tempered with black cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns, and a clove or two, then ground fennel and ginger with a pinch of ground coriander and cumin are added to the oil. After which the ribs are simmered in milk traditionally (I usually pressure cook with just water) until they are fall of the bone tender.
Once the ribs are soft enough, some of the braising liquid is combined with besan (chickpea flour) to make a thin batter. The ribs are dipped and then shallow fried in ghee at low heat to get a crisp crust. It should be slightly crunchy on the outside with moist, well seasoned meat on the inside. When done well, absolutely delicious.
This thread reminded me that I had drooled over Mark Bittman's recipe for tabak-maaz when it came out in the NYT last February. He omits Zim's final step (which I would be inclined to include, mostly because anything fried in chickpea flour batter is delicious). Here is an adaptation:
TWICE-COOKED LAMB (TABAK MAAZ)
Time: 60 minutes
4 pounds lamb ribs from the breast or 2 to 3 pounds shoulder lamb chops
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or neutral oil like corn or grapeseed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup water
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.
1. Put the ribs in a large skillet with the remaining braising ingredients; bring to a simmer and cook until just about tender (30 to 45 minutes). Add more water if the mixture is looking dry.
2. When the meat is fork tender, remove it. Cook down any remaining liquid, stirring, until just about dry. Remove the whole spices.
3. To finish, add the butter and the garlic to the pan over medium heat and return the meat to the skillet to brown. Remove the ribs and keep warm. Deglaze with 1/2 cup water and cook down until liquid is reduced by about half. Pour over meat, garnish with cilantro and serve.
Yield: 4 main course or 8 appetizer servings.