Curried lamb pasties with spicy sweet potato and tamarind.

  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)


Curried lamb pasties with spicy sweet potato and tamarind

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling time for the filling

Servings: Makes 6 hand pies.

Note: Harissa can generally be found at gourmet and cooking supply stores, as well as select well-stocked supermarkets. Tamarind paste is available at Asian, Indian and Latin markets, and is generally available at cooking and gourmet supply stores.

2 tablespoons butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 pound lamb shoulder chops (or 3/4 pound lamb stew meat)

2 cups chopped, peeled sweet potatoes (about 2), cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste

2 tablespoons red curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

1 teaspoon coriander

2 tablespoons seedless tamarind paste

Salt and pepper to taste