Soak the beans for 2-3 hours. Drain, add 3 cups fresh water and cook the beans at medium heat in a covered stockpot until tender. Depending on the size of the beans, they will take 45 minutes to an hour an a half. Save the beans with the liquid.
In a separate stockpot, heat up the ghee and pop the kalonji seeds. Add the minced onions and sauté until light golden in color. (Alternately add ¼ cup of caramelized chopped onions to speed put his process) Add the ground lamb, black pepper, turmeric and salt. Cook on high heat for 5-7 minutes allowing the spices to coat the lamb.
Next add the chili powder, ginger purée, ground cardamom and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the beans with water, cover the pot and cook on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes (stir every 5 minutes) or until the lamb is cooked through. Add the coconut milk and continue cooking. The curry should be thick and slightly creamy looking - if it appears dry, add more water or if too dry, add more coconut milk. Then stir in the cilantro, mint, lemon juice and serve.
For a vegetarian option, replace lamb with minced wild mushrooms.
Replace the coconut milk with pureed fresh or canned tomatoes for a lighter finish.
This recipe is provided courtesy of India 1948, Anita Jaisinghani's website. Anita Jaisinghani is the owner of Pondicheri in Houston and New York City.