AT A GLANCE
"The flavours of this dish are based on a dry black curry traditionally made with wild boar," says O Tama Carey. "The secret is in toasting the spices until they're almost but not quite burnt. Rich with sweet spices and soured with tamarind, this is a robust, spicy and hot dish." Serve this with cabbage mallung and rhubarb achcharu.
|01||For black curry spice blend, dry-roast whole spices over medium heat until mustard seeds start to pop and spices darken and become fragrant (4-5 minutes). Remove from pan, add chilli powder to pan and toast, stirring continuously, over low heat until quite dark (2-3 minutes; this can cause coughing and watering eyes). Add chilli powder to other dry-roasted spices along with nutmeg and saffron, then finely grind in a blender or with a mortar and pestle (see note).|
|02||Preheat oven to 150C. Season brisket with salt, then rub with half the black curry spice blend. Heat a frying pan large enough to hold meat over high heat, add oil, give it a moment to heat up, then slip in the brisket. Give it a few minutes before turning and searing the other side until browned (2-3 minutes each side). Transfer to a deep baking dish that holds brisket snugly.|
|03||Add shallot, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, chilli and lemongrass to the same pan used to sear the brisket, and stir over high heat for a few minutes, then add remaining black curry spice blend; it looks like a lot, but it’s necessary. Stir until spices begin to stick to the pan (6-8 minutes), then add tamarind and 500ml water. Stir and bring to the boil, then pour mixture over brisket. Cover brisket with a sheet of baking paper then foil, and braise in oven until gelatinous (3-3½ hours). Rest in pan for 20-30 minutes.|
|04||Thickly slice brisket and serve with cooking juices poured over. (You may want to skim some of the fat off the top first, but I like to keep it.)|