Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot. When hot, fry the almonds until pale brown and remove with a slotted spoon.
To the same oil, add the raisins, and when they plump up remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
To the hot oil in the pan, add the whole cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon. After about 30 seconds add the bay leaves. Stir once, and then add the chopped onions. Stir and fry the onions, over moderate heat, until they begin to brown at the edges.
Now add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili or paprika and stir fry for a minute. Now add the yoghurt and stir and fry over medium heat until the mixture in the pan is pasty and you see specks of fat appear at the edges.
Add the lamb, and stir and fry for 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water and the salt. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. If needed, turn the heat up to reduce some of the liquid. The sauce should be thick and clinging to the meat.
Take the pan off the heat, add the reserved sultanas and nuts and the garam masala, stir well to combine, and serve hot.
This is not a difficult dish to prepare, but it does involve quite a lot of preparation work, and as you can see, it has a long list of ingredients. This makes a dish of many layers of flavor, and I agree with the submitter, it is not hot. I wished for a bit more thickness in the yummy sauce, so it would cling to the meat more. I served with saag paneer, basmati rice and chapati bread. - 21 May 2013