Lamb curry

“The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation.”
John F. Kennedy

Very often I find myself leafing through the pages of one of my fave Indian food blogs…Quick Indian Cooking run by none other than the glamorous Mallika. She’s quite the Domestic Goddess of Indian cooking…& as quick as an express. She cooks out of her lovely space in London, combining & frying spices to concoct up the perfect Indian meal. When I run out of dog-eared pages in my Indian recipe books, when I have exhausted all my known combinations, & when I am looking for fresh ideas, I turn to the ever dependable Mallika … & she never disappoints! This recipe from her blog is a wonderfully easy lamb dish, Gosht Kali Mirch / Spicy Lamb in Black Pepper that I cooked recently, twice, & I love the flavours that caress this curry. Generous lot of black pepper, & a squeeze of lime … can you smell the curry? Taking a cue off one of the posts in Quick Indian Cooking, I now find myself roasting & grinding fresh garam masala each time I need to use it. The flavours are fresh & exciting… & I love using my stone pestle & mortar.
I am sending in this lamb curry to Giz for her BloggerAid event; a small beginning to raise awareness for world hunger. A dish from my little corner of the world…This one’s for you Giz…thank you for hosting such a meaningful event. Learn more about Blogger Aid here, & also check out Giz’s event post here – BloggerAid:Because We Can Help; an event that has the specific theme of creating awareness about food hunger. Support BloggerAid by submitting a recipe that you would feed a hungry guest visiting your home during the holidays.
Bloggers Uniting to Aid in the Alleviation of Hunger.
BloggerAid was started by thee food bloggers who have joined forces in aid of world hunger; Val, of More Than Burnt Toast, Ivy, of Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality and Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen. They are now focusing on expanding their message and how to help others in need, in this worldwide crisis.
We are a growing group of international food bloggers determined to make a difference in aid of world famine. The love of food and community that brings us together drives the compassion of its members to reach out to our world to help those less fortunate than we are. Banded by a mission of helping to make a change in a world where starvation affects such a profound number of people, we will raise money and awareness for the hungry in communities both at home and abroad.

as adapted from Quick Indian Cooking
Lamb – 800gm; shoulder;on the bone; diced
Tomatoes – 3 small; chopped
Onions – 3 medium; chopped
Yogurt – 3 tbsp
Black cardamoms – 2
Green cardamoms – 8
Cinnamon sticks – 2 x 2″
Cloves – 6
Whole black pepper – 2 tsp
Green chillies – 2 (deseed/omit them if you want the curry less hot)
Freshly ground black pepper – 2 tsp
Garlic – 4 cloves; grated
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp (I used 1 tsp freshly ground garam masala)
Fresh ginger – 3″piece; grated
Salt to taste
Oil – 3-5 tbsp


  • In a large pot, bring the oil to heat over a high flame. When it’s hot, add all the whole spices. As they splutter, mix in the onion & fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste & saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the lamb & roast till brown, followed by the yogurt & roast well.
  • Then add in the tomatoes, chillies, black pepper and garam masala. Stir for two minutes and as the tomatoes disintegrate.
  • Add some water, salt to taste and cover. Cook on a medium flame until the lamb is tender. (I cook it under pressure for 25 minutes).
  • When it is tender, raise the heat and reduce the volume of liquid until the oil separates from the curry.
  • Serve with a squirt of lime juice and chopped coriander, with naan or rice.

In Mallika’s words, the recipe is…”Not for the faint hearted or chili challenged mind you.” But I urge you to try this delicious curry, omit the green chillies ‘if you have to’, & enjoy the flavours! Or better still, come on over & I will stir up the curry for you…it’s finger-licking good! From what I gather from Mallika’s blog & the link on on it, this recipe is from the sister of a celebrity chef in the UK, Reza Mahammad, of the ‘Star of India’ restaurant fame. He is being touted as England’s freshest culinary talent, & has released his first book recently, ‘Rice, Spice & All Things Nice’.

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Hasta la vista, Baby
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)


Hasta la vista; is a Spanish parting phrase meaning “see you” or “so long”. It literally means “until the seeing”, but is used in the sense “until next time”. My dish here reflects the same sorta feeling. It’s the time of the month again for The Monthly Mingle at Meeta’s @ What’s For Lunch Honey! This time’s special…it’s the BOLLYWOOD bling!! Time to show-off colour, polish the family silver, splurge on all things oily & rich…generally ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET!! Also time to fall off my ‘healthy perch’…blame it on Bollywood or blame it on Meeta…I did just that!!
“What we are looking for is a glamorous and elegant dish fit for the red carpet. We love the everyday comfort cooking no doubt about that, but here we want you to dress your dish up in glitter and gloss. Show us your favorite Indian dish fit for a Bollywood (or even a Hollywood) star and share your experience with Indian food with says Meeta.
Made a deliciously rich version of lamb curry on the bone, Nalli Gosht, even simmered it for longer than I did earlier, served it in silver, & sat back & relished the scenes as everyone enjoyed it. This time around, it’s a rich, finger-licking good curry…a pot-boiler for Bollywood with something for everyone! This finger-licking good lamb-curry has been simmered lovingly just for the mingle this month!!
Meeta’s been joined this month by the lovely Bulbul Mankani, author of Bollywood Cookbook . About the book….The chutzpah of Bollywood is a reflection of how we feel about food. There is a constant celebration, the mingling of colors and flavors, the near excess of emotive breathlessness. There is no better way to sample the high life of India than to see what the Bollywood royals eat and enjoy. Bulbul Mankani celebrates the sensuality and vibrancy of Bollywood by marrying it with the food of the stars.”
My attempt to mingle colours with flavour…

The recipe then, which is an adaptation to my earlier adapted version of Sanjeev Kapur’s recipe.

Lamb leg pieces (nalli) – 750 gms (nalli means marrow bones)
Onion – 3 large / sliced fine
Garlic – 10 cloves / grated fine
Ginger – 1½ inch piece / grated fine
Oil – 2/3 cup
Bay leaves – 2
Green cardamom – 2
Black cardamom – 1
Cloves – 5-6
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Pepper corns – 5-6
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp (adjust to taste)
Paprika (degi mirch) – 1 tbsp (for colour basically)
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Tomato puree – 2/3 cup
Yogurt – 1 cup / thick
Green chillies
Fresh coriander
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


  • Clean and wash lamb leg pieces (on the bone).
  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add green cardamoms, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves and sliced onions.
  • Sauté until onions are light pink in colour.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder and cook for one minute.
  • Add lamb pieces. Roast well.
  • Add 1 cups of water + salt to taste and bring to a boil. Cook under pressure for 20 minutes, until lamb pieces are almost cooked.
  • Whisk the tomato puree & yogurt in a bowl, & add to the cooked lamb. Simmer for 30-45 minutes till the gravy is thick & red. Add a couple of slit green chillies for flavour. (Deseed them to reduce the chili factor)
  • Sprinkle garam masala, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with butter naan! ENJOY!!
    Note: While selecting cuts for this dish, make sure that you select lamb pieces with lots of bone marrow.

Hugs to you Meeta…for keeping the carpet out for late-comers like me. Cheers!!

” Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat.”
Fran Lebowitz
LAMB ROGAN JOSH…a passionate curry!
A very popular dish from North India & Pakistan, Rogan Josh is just mildly spicy. It gets its fiery red colour from paprika, & like all popular recipes, has many versions. Here is my own simple rendition of Rogan Josh…mild, tasteful & one we all like very much. I like this recipe for a change because it has no tomatoes & isn’t too laden on calories. Though traditonally cooked in clarified butter or ghee, mine is cooked in sunflower oil. I served it with a simple stir-fried cawliflower (recipe at the bottom).

Rogan josh is an aromatic curry dish. Rogan means clarified butter in Persian, while Josh means hot or passionate. Rogan Josh thus means meat cooked in clarified butter at intense heat.
According to Lizzie Collingham’s book Curry: A tale of cooks & conquerors, Rogan Josh was brought to India by the Moghuls. The unrelenting heat of the Indian plains took the Moghuls frequently to Kashmir, which is where the first Indian adoption of Rogan Josh occurred. Evidence of this is the typical absence of onion and garlic in the Kashmiri versions of the recipe as made by Kashmiri Brahmins, who had no qualms about eating meat, but were averse to using these spices in the kitchen.


Lamb – 500gms/ shoulder cut; on the bone
Whole garam masalas – Cloves -5/Whole pepper-7/Black cardamom – 3/Cinnamon – 1 ” piece
Onions – 3 medium / sliced
Ginger-Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Paprika – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Yogurt – 1 1/4 cup / whisked gently with a fork
Green chilies/Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

  • Heat oil. Add the whole garam masalas & fry for a minute or two.
  • Add the sliced onions & fry till golden brown.
  • Add the paprika & give it a good stir.
  • Add the lamb & roast well till nicely browned.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste & roast again. Add a tbsp of water if required.
  • Roast till the sides leave oil & put in the coriander powder + red chili powder.
  • Now pour in the yogurt in 2-3 goes, stirring in well so the mixture doesn’t curdle.
  • Add salt, stir & reduce heat to simmer. Cook covered under pressure/in a slow cooker till lamb is tender.
  • Open only once it’s cooled down a bit. If the gravy is too runny, simmer for a while till it thickens up.
  • Add a green chili or two for flavour if you like. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with naan, chapatis or rice.

Recipes vary widely across different locations and traditions, but all include lamb, onions, oil or ghee (clarified butter), and a mixture of spices. These may include paprika for its red colour, aniseed, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, and many others. Many variations have ginger, garlic, and yoghurt, and some use tomatoes.

Serve with a stir-fried vegetable dish on the side…

Recipe for Stir-fried Cawliflower (Gobhi)

Cawlifower – 1 medium head / cut into florets
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Roasted cumin powder – 1 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing – 1 pinch (optional)
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Red chilli flakes – 1/4 tsp
Dried mango powder (amchur) – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


  • Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan to nice & hot. Add the asafoetida if using, followed by cumin seeds.
  • Once the seeds splutter, add the rest of the dry spices to the hot oil.
  • Fry for a minute; make sure they don’t burn, but release their lovely aroma.
  • Add the cawliflower florets & salt to taste. Leave untouched on high for a minute or so to allow the florets to brown a bit.
  • Stir well, cover & cook on medium high for about 5 minutes. Then simmer for a further 5 minutes or till tender crisp & done.
  • Add dried mango powder if desired & roast well on full heat.

Another wonderful version of the rather under-rated cawliflower can be found at Manggy’s…it’s somewhat similar but baked! Nice!!
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