Confusion and indecision: Two Lamb Madras recipes
Hubby has asked me to give a go at making lamb madras, which I've never done before and am confused about the vastly different ingredients used in two recipes I've found on the web. In addition to spices, one uses tomatoes and tamarind, and the other doesn't.. I realise everyone has their own recipes, but would have thought there would be more in common! Both claim to be "authentic", whatever that means!
Recipe 1: coriander, peppercorn, fennel, fenugreek, clove, red chillies, onion, ginger, garlic, fresh tomatoes, coconut, cilantro/coriander to garnish. This one has a sauce that clings to the meat.
Recipe 2: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies, fresh curry leaves, garlic, ginger, ground tumeric, ghee, onion, coconut milk, fennel seeds, cardamon pods, cinnamon, garam masala, tamarind. This one looks like it will be a bit saucier than the first.
I've never had it, but the husband - who loves it - can't recall the overall taste, but thinks it has tomatoes or was otherwise a deep red, so not much help!
Does anyone have any opinions? I'm one of these who end up with bland curries (despite using fresh whole herbs, etc.) and really don't want to end up with yet another dish that fails to "wow".
I tend to generalize that coconut milk is more south Indian (Kerala and points south) rather than Chennai/Madras. Madrasi foods are typically very highly spiced/hot (another stereotype, I know). I'd try #1 first to see if you like it. Also find that many American versions of Indian foods generically call for garnish of coconut, cilantro, raisins, etc., which I've seldom seen in Indian homes.
Bear in mind that "Madras" is an invented westernised restaurant dish and, as such, has no real traditional basic recipe. As such, it can be anything you like, so I'd just pick the recipe that appeals most.
In my experience (albeit limited) dishes in western restaurants tend to have much more sauce than home cooked family recipes.