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Showing posts with label Lamb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamb. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

Gongkura Lamb Curry

Gongkura greens are edible Sorrel leaves most popularly used in South Indian Cuisine especially in the states of Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India. It has a distinctive tangy taste and is one of the main ingredients of Andhra Cuisine. It is also a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial to your overall health. 

I grew up eating a variety of dishes made with gongkura and I still cherish those memories. Here in Canada finding gongkura is like finding a lost treasure. When you find it you consider yourself lucky so you grab it at once with out thinking. I love all the dishes made with gongkura and I intend to post all the recipes here as and when I keep making them from time to time. I want to grow them in my backyard so I can cook them whenever I want to atleast during the summer months. 

The Gongkura lamb curry is made with lamb meat and bones. Using lamb meat from the rib area (sar seena) makes the best tasting Gongkura curry indeed! I was lucky to find the gonkura leaves in a store in Toronto and got to make it and enjoy it after so many years - with steamed rice it was insanely delicious!!

I made this in my instant pot and it was so convenient and quick. 

Here's the Recipe:

l lb Lamb bones with meat (from the rib cage and neck)
2 bunches  Sorrel leaves 
1 tbs  Channa dal 
1 tbs Ginger garlic paste 
3 - 4 Garlic cloves 
2 large onions
1 medium ripe tomato
2 tsp Turmeric 
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli pepper 
1 tsp Coriander powder 
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
4 - 6 Green chillies 
1small dried red chilli deseeded
2 tbs Oil 
Ghee - 1 tbs
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds 
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 
 Fresh Curry leaves -  a few 


1. Clean and wash the lamb rib & neck pieces with the bones and keep aside. 

2. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Wash the channa dal. Pluck the gongkura leaves only (no stems), wash, drain, chop them and set aside. 

3. Add 2 tbs of oil to the instant pot in the sauté mode on high followed by half of the sliced onions and fry them till soft and translucent. 

4. Add 1 heaped tbs ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder and 1 tsp coriander powder, give it a stir then add the lamb pieces and roast them well in the onion masala. Add 3 whole green chillies, 1 tbs channa dal and 1/2 cup water then close the lid. Cancel the sauté mode and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes till tender. The valve should be turned to sealing position after closing the lid. When done let the steam vent out on its own. 

5. When all the steam is released on its own, switch off the instant pot, open the lid and empty the contents of the instant pot in a dish. Lightly rinse the pot inside with a little water which you can add to the lamb curry. Set aside.

6. Switch the instant pot on high in the sauté mode again.  Heat one tbs of oil and ghee, sprinkle the mustard seeds and let them crackle, add the deseeded dried red chilli, cumin seeds, then crushed garlic cloves with their peel and curry leaves followed immediately by the chopped gongkura leaves. Fry them well then add 1/2 cup water and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Blend the gongkura with the other ingredients using an electric hand blender. Now throw in the remaining 3 whole green chillies and simmer on low sauté mode for 5 minutes. If we added them before the curry would be really spicy when blended.

8. Finally add the cooked lamb curry to the instant pot with the gongkura curry, sprinkle some garam masala powder, chopped cilantro, a little water and simmer on low for 5 minutes. The gongkura lamb curry is now ready to enjoy with steamed jasmine rice and ghee. So yummy and delicious!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lamb Shank Curry (Delhi Style)

It's been a long time since I made this curry in Delhi style. We used to relish it so much when we lived there. Luckily I happened to stumble upon it recently in one of those little trips into my past and therefore managed to bring this inanimate thing back to life. I had to make it the very next day otherwise it would have been a long lost forgotten thing again.

What makes it so unique in "Delhi style" is just one different spice and one finishing touch which changes its entire chemistry. It is the magic of the fried onions and the hint of the smoky flavour from the black cardamom that gives it the distinct flavour and taste which is so different from the traditional curries.

Here's the recipe!

2 Lamb shanks
2 medium onions
4 green chillies
1-2 Black cardamoms
1 Bay leaf
4 Cloves
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbs yoghurt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste.

1. Cut each one of the lamb shanks into 2 pieces. This makes it easier to eat the bone marrow which is very delicious rather than keeping them whole. Then clean them by trimming away the fat and removing the skin carefully without chopping off the tender meat. Rinse well, drain and keep aside.

2. Slice the two onions. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pressure cooker, add the black cardamom, cloves and the bay leaf and fry half the onion slices to a light golden brown. Reserve the other half.

4. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, kashmiri chilli powder and coriander powder, give it a stir then add the lamb shanks and salt. Sauté well with the spices. 

5. Add the whisked yoghurt to the pot followed by green chillies, cilantro and 1-2  cups of water. The water should be 2 inches above the shanks. After the first whistle in the pressure cooker turn down the heat, close the lid air tight and pressure cook for 10 - 15 minutes.  (But if you are not using a pressure cooker you will have to cook on low to medium heat for at least 45minutes to an hour. They should be so tender as to come off the bone. You can also cook in the instant pot following the directions for cooking meat accordingly.)

6. Meanwhile fry the reserved onion in the remaining 1tbs of vegetable oil till nicely browned but not burnt. So extra care should be taken while frying the onions to have them rightly done. Set aside.

7. Once the shanks are done turn down the heat to low and add these fried onions to the pressure cooker, cover lightly not air tight and let it simmer slowly for some more time (5-10 mins).  The browned onions not only give colour to the curry but also a sweet nutty flavour which when combined with the smoky flavour from the black cardamom and other spices further enhances the taste and makes the curry insanely delicious! 

8. Do not let the curry thicken too much. If it tends to thicken then sprinkle a little water on all sides and let it simmer till the oil comes on top until you don't see those fried onions anymore. Add chopped fresh cilantro to garnish and enjoy with rotis (flat bread), naan or rice. 


Kashmiri Chilli powder - Kashmiri chilli is a mild form of chilli which gives colour and flavour to the dish and not much heat. You can get the MDH brand of Kashmiri chilli powder from any indian grocery store.  I haven't found any other brands here. Or the other best alternative would be to soak the kashmiri chillies in water and grind them into a paste. Though this is a lengthy process, it is fresh and more flavourful. 

Black Cardamoms - Another variety of cardamoms. They are big and black and have a smoky flavour. All asian grocery stores carry it. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Barbequed lamb chops

I had pickled garlic and figs at home and so I tried to use them in the marinade for the chops. It not only enhanced the barbecued flavor but also kicked it up a notch and was just so delicious!!

We got so busy enjoying the chops that I forgot to take a few shots for my blog. Here's the recipe:


Lamb chops - 6-8 pcs (1kg)

Marinade 1
Pickled garlic - 6 small size
Pickled red chillies - 4
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tspa
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs

Marinade 2
Pickled figs 
Italian parsley
Garlic and red chillies pickled in vinegar

1. Clean, wash and dry the lamb chops with paper towels.
2. Grind together all the ingredients of marinade1 to a fine paste.
3. Rub the chops with salt. Then rub them well with the ground paste mixed with vegetable oil and leave to marinate for 3 - 4 hours. 
4. Barbecue the marinated chops on a medium hot grill for a few mins on both the sides till they are golden brown.
5. Grind together all the ingredients of marinade 2 to a fine paste and brush this rub at the final stage of barbecuing the chops. Keep basting with oil from time to time. 
6. Remove the chops quickly from the grill while they are still moist with the marinade. 
7. Brush more if there's any leftover marinade while they are still hot.
8. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and serve them hot. Enjoy the delicious lamb chops.


To pickle garlic, red chillies, figs etc just put them in a clean bottle and add salt, chilly powder (optional)  and vinegar, then cover the mouth of the bottle with cling wrap and leave it in the sun for a few days till they are soft, juicy and tender. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lamb Suthriyan (Indian Pasta)

Suthriyan is a traditional muslim pasta dish made by the muslim community in Chennai. It is mostly made with lamb or shrimp and coconut milk. Whenever I make it here in Canada, it brings back to me vivid memories of my past of how we enjoyed eating Suthriyan at our family get togethers and picnics,  how we would all sit together around the pot of Suthriyan, heap up our plates and eat to our heart's content till we wiped off  the pot all clean. Oh, so delicious indeed were the lip smacking Suthriyan with the chunks of lamb melting in your mouth!

Suthriyan (indian pasta) are made with white flour and are available in the stores in Chennai. There is another kind of suthriyan made with chappati flour (finely ground wheat flour) which are made at home by rolling out flat breads, cutting them into diamond shapes and then drying them on a piece of clean cloth spread on the table or in the sun. These are a bit chewy and not as soft as the white suthriyan which melt in the mouth. 

Suthriyan should be first cooked in boiling water to which coconut milk is added before mixing in the gravy. This cooking technique not only enhances their flavour but also keeps them separate (does not make them stick  together in clusters) and helps them cook faster as well. If you add them directly to the gravy to cook them, they will not cook evenly and you will be left with some cooked and some half cooked ones. So it is sometimes better not to take short cuts.

The cut of lamb that you choose is also important. It is preferable to add a few pieces of lamb breast along with the lamb shoulder with the bones for this recipe. The excessive fat on the top should be trimmed off leaving the thick wedge of edible fat (which is hard and doesn't peel off) under which is the layer of soft meat on the bone and it should be cut into single short rib pieces. The soft and succulent shoulder pieces blend with the softness of the suthriyan pasta and melt in the mouth. The lamb breast is also soft and chewy and it adds more meaty flavor and taste. So delicious and yummy!

 Here's the recipe.

Lamb Shoulder  1.5 kg (Shoulder meat plus some pieces of lamb breast)
Suthriyan - 1 kg
Vegetable oil - 1 cup
Onions - 5 large (1lb) thinly sliced
Tomatoes - 4 large (400gm) quartered.
Mint leaves - 1/4 cup
Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 6 whole
Fresh Lemon - 1/2
Ginger garlic paste - 200 gm
Yoghurt - 1 cup (3.5%) or home made from whole milk. 
Coconut milk - 2 cans ("Real Thai Coconut milk" or extract milk from 1 fresh coconut).
2 litres of Water for boiling Suthriyan
Cloves - 10
Green cardamom - 10
Cinnamon sticks - 2
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste.
1 small sliced onion to sauté for garnish
Ghee (Clarified butter) - 2 tsp

1. Remove the skin, trim the fat, clean and wash the lamb pieces well and set aside.

2. In a pot heat the vegetable oil, add the whole spices - cloves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks to the oil followed after a few seconds by the sliced onions. Fry them on medium heat.

3. When the onions turn golden brown add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chilly powders.
Mix the spices then add the lamb pieces and roast them in the masala till they turn opaque and harden a bit.

4. Now add the quartered tomatoes, whole green chillies, salt followed by thick whisked yoghurt, mint leaves and chopped cilantro. Mix well and pressure cook for 15 mins or cook on low medium heat for 45mins - 1 hr till the lamb is soft and tender. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon after the lamb is cooked and let it simmer.

5. Add 1/2 a can of coconut milk (reserve the other half for later) and leave to simmer on low heat till the sauce thickens a bit and the oil comes to the top (another 10 minutes).

6. Meanwhile bring to boil 2 litres of water in a big pot. Add the Suthriyan slowly little by little while you keep stirring gently to keep them apart. Add 1 tbs of salt and the 2nd can of coconut milk. Cook till just al dente. Switch off the stove.

7.  Now add the cooked lamb with the sauce to the cooked Suthriyan. Simmer on low while stirring  gently from the bottom of the pot to mix well and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Add more chopped cilantro and the reserved 1/2 can of coconut milk, mix well and let it simmer for sometime. Adjust the consistency - simmer longer if too thin and if too thick add a little water. It thickens very fast so avoid cooking on high heat after adding the Suthriyan to the sauce.

8. The final seasoning is done with a tadka or tempering. Sizzle the sliced onion in hot ghee (clarified butter) till golden brown and pour it over the Suthriyan in the serving dish. Garnish with mint and cilantro. Serve hot with some mint chutney on the side. Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Traditional Lamb Kofta Curry

This is a traditional recipe I learnt from my mom and one of my favourite dishes that I enjoyed as a child and still do. Now it is my daughter's favourite dish.
The Koftas are made with meat from the leg portion of the lamb - half of which is cooked with herbs & spices and then mixed with the other half which is uncooked. Then it is made into meat balls and fried and cooked again in an onion based curry sauce. Lamb can be substituted with beef or veal. But I always prefer the lamb koftas to all others for their flavour, taste and texture. Though the beef and veal koftas are good enough, the lamb ones still reign supreme.

Ingredients for the Koftas:
Leg of lamb- 1/2 a kg cut into medium sized cubes
Channa dal (chick pea dal peeled)- 1/2 a cup (standard cup)
Green chillies- 4 med size
Med sized onion- 1/2
Garlic cloves with the peel- 3 or 4
Turmeric powder- 1/4tspn
Cloves- 4
Green Cardamoms- 4
Cilantro: a few sprigs


1. Wash the channa dal 3 or 4 times till the water is clear. Drain well, keep aside.

2. Clean and wash 1/4kg of chunky lamb pieces and add to it the channa dal, onion, garlic, green chillies and turmeric powder in a small pot and cook on medium heat turning over the meat pieces with the dal mixture till the meat is no longer pink.

3. At this stage the dal is a little al dente which is the texture we need. Remove from stove and let it cool to room temperature.

4. Remove the meat pieces, cloves and cardamoms from the dal mixture and keep aside. First grind the dal mixture in a wet grinder or all purpose blender. You may add just a little water if necessary but it should be of chutney consistency and not watery.

5. Once the mixture is like a smooth paste, add the cooked meat pieces a few at a time by pulsing the grinder/blender. We just want to shred the meat pieces and not grind them fine. The meat fibre should be visible and not become a paste. The fibrous texture of the meat makes the koftas taste better.

6. Add fresh chopped coriander, salt, ground cloves & cardamoms and mix well with the dal mixture at low speed till it is of dough consistency. Keep aside.

7. Now finely grind the raw meat, add salt and mix it well with the ground kofta dough. Knead well, then make round koftas by rolling them in between your palms.

6. Heat oil in a dutch oven and when the oil is moderately hot, deep fry them lightly till they are golden brown. Prick them here and there gently with a fork and set aside. Makes 15 - 16 medium sized koftas.

Ingredients for the Curry:

Onions - 2 large
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbs
Red chilly powder - 1tsp * use resham patti red chilly powder for extra flavour or kashmiri mirch. 
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1tsp
Tomatoes - 1 medium to large
Cloves - 4
Green cardamoms - 4
Cinnamon stick - 2 inches long
Yoghurt - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 4 small size
Cilantro - as desired
Vegetable/Canola oil - 1/4 cup
 Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste


1. Finely slice the onions. Set the pot on medium heat. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamoms to the medium hot oil in the pot. When they begin to leave an aroma add the chopped onions and fry them till golden brown.

2.  Add the ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric and red chilly powder followed by chopped tomatoes, green chillies and lastly yoghurt when the tomatoes are a little bit softened.

3. Add 1/2 a cup water, stir well and when it starts bubbling add the fried koftas. Close the lid and cook on medium heat for at least 10 mins till the koftas are soft and juicy.

4. Care should be taken not to stir the curry with a spatula while cooking. Lift the pot with the kitchen mitts and gently give it a swirl on and off. If you shake it too hard the koftas might break.

5. Add coconut milk and simmer for 5 more minutes. The curry should thicken a little bit and the koftas should be soft and juicy.  Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with plain rice and enjoy.


1. Do not soak the chana dal. It should be added to the meat immediately after washing it.

2. The whole spices - cloves and cardamom do not grind well when they are thrown in together with the dal mixture. So they have to be ground  separately. I smash and pound them first using a mortar and pestle before grinding them with the dal mixture.

3. Make a little bouquet garni of the whole spices (cloves and cardamoms) with a cheese cloth and throw them in the pot with the dal and meat instead of spending time looking for them in the dal mixture. This will save up your time as well as give that flavour to the kofta mixture.

4. Pricking the koftas with a tooth pick before dropping them in the curry makes them juicy and soft.

5. Shredding the meat pieces by pulsing gives the koftas a better texture and taste.

6. Freshly ground coconut (1 tbs) can also be added instead of coconut milk. Simmering the kofta curry on low heat till the oil comes to the top makes the koftas juicy and flavourful.