Put the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, bay leaves, black peppercorns and ginger into a deep, sturdy pan and add the milk and 500ml/18fl oz of water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the lamb cutlets and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the liquid (the lamb should still be pink in the middle at this stage).
For the batter, sift together the flour and cornflour in a bowl, then stir in the black pepper, fennel, ginger, cardamom and salt, followed by the chillies. Lightly beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until just frothy and then whisk them into the dry ingredients.
Strain the milk and remove the lamb cutlets from the pan. Add enough of the cool milky stock to make a thin batter the consistency of single cream.
Add the cooled cutlets to the batter and turn to coat evenly. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Take a few cutlets from the batter, add to the pan (don’t overcrowd it) and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden-brown. Keep these warm while you cook the rest.