Lamb-/ goat- based Indian Cuisine

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Traditional lamb based Indian recipes

Times Of India

Traditional lamb

Brace yourself for the perfectly cooked lamb. Try your hand at these traditional Indian delicacies.

Preparing lamb excellently, is an exploit usually reserved for pros, chefs and grandmothers who know that 'slow cooking' doesn't test your patience, but is a delicious lesson in one. For those who struggle to differ between sheep, lamb and mutton (meat of a sheep in its first year is lamb, and that of an adult is mutton), tackling the meat with the appropriate amount of tenderness required, can be an uphill battle.

According to home chef and food blogger Afsha Beg, the basic rule of thumb when selecting a cut of meat depends on how you plan to cook it. For roasts, the best cuts include leg, breast, best end of neck (also known as rack of lamb), shoulder, saddle, rump and loin. For quickcooking, choose fillet, chump chops, loin chops, leg steaks, best end cutlets and butterflied leg. For slow cooking, leg, shoulder, shank, neck and chump chops are among the best options. When choosing any cut of lamb, look for firm, fine-grained meat with a velvety texture; it should be moist, rather than dry or slimy. Any fat on the outside of the lamb should be white (fat that is yellow could be rancid).

Properly hung lamb should have a deep red, rather than bright red colour, although a very young lamb will be paler than an older one.

In a country where lamb is a revered meat, and often a celebratory star ingredient, each region adapted it to its own unique flavours creating some exquisite dishes. Here are a few regional favourites —

Hyderabadi Haleem by Afsha Beg (Home chef and food blogger)

A dense stew, haleem usually consists of wheat, meat and lentils and spices slow cooked for hours on end, resulting in beautifully rounded flavours.


1 kg Boneless lamb

3 cups Cracked wheat

4 tsp Ginger-garlic paste

1 cup Urad daal and chana daal

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

2 cups Curd

1 cup Crisp fried onions

1/2 cup Cashew nuts

1 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Black pepper corns

1" Cinnamon stick

2-3 Cloves

2-3 Cardamom

1/2 cup Ghee

1 cup Fresh coriander leaves

1/4 cup Fresh mint

5-6 Green chillies


Wash and soak the cracked wheat for half an hour. Trim the mutton of any excess fat.

To the mutton, add 1/2 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, half a tsp of salt, red chilli powder, half a tsp of garam masala powder and a pinch of turmeric powder. Pressure cook the mix for 8-10 min (or until 4 whistles) and simmer for another 15-20 min. Shred and keep aside.

Boil the cracked wheat along with urad and chana dal with a tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, 2-3 green chillies, and pepper corns in 8-10 cups of water until its cooked completely and the water is absorbed. Blend this mix for a few seconds.

Heat the oil in another container, add whole spices, cooked and shredded lamb,remaining green chillies, half a cup fresh coriander and saute for a 2-3 minutes. Add curd and saute for another 10- 15 minutes. Add three cups of water and bring to a boil.

To this, add the blended wheat and mix well, adding a little ghee as you go. Let it simmer and cook slowly for atleast half an hour.

Serve hot, garnished with fried onions, cashew nuts and fresh coriander.

Laal Maas by Jaya Mathur (Home chef)

A popular Rajasthani meat dish, it's known for its rich, dense flavour and deep red colour, courtesy a generous helping of red chillies. It's usually prepared with lamb meat and is served with rotis.


1kg Mutton with bones

20 to 25 Whole dried chillies

3Medium onions, chopped

2tsp Fresh garlic paste

2tsp Fresh ginger paste

4small Bay leaves


2Green cardamom

2Black cardamom

2tsp Roasted cumin seeds

3tsp Coriander powder

1cup Yogurt


Soak whole dried chillies in warm water for sometime. Grind to a smooth paste using little water.

Heat ghee or refined oil in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaves, clove, green and black cardamom and let the spices simmer. Add garlic-ginger paste and stir. Then add onion and fry until evenly browned. Now add the chilli paste and saute the mixture for a few minutes. Add the meat and fry further.

Now add coriander powder, cumin and yogurt and salt to taste. Cook till all the yogurt is absorbed by the meat. Then add two cups of water, stir and pressure cook for 10 minutes, till the meat is tender.

Release the steam and serve hot with coriander garnish.

Pake hue gosht ke kabab by Masterchef Mukhtar Qureshi, Neel at Tote of the turf

Ingredients (For the first marinade)

500 gms Boneless lamb, cubed

20 gm Ginger garlic paste

10 gm Raw papaya paste

2 gm Nutmeg

Salt to taste

1 gm Shahi jeera (black caraway seeds)

10 ml Dark vinegar

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