Lamb pasanda (marinated lamb escalopes)

Tender lamb steaks, simmered in spiced yogurt makes Reza Mahammad's recipe an all-round winner
By Reza Mahammad
Lamb pasanda (marinated lamb escalopes)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus one hr marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 g boned leg of lamb
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, each 4cm long
  • 4 black cardamom
  • 100 g ghee
  • 200 g flour, approx
  • 50 ml water, or enough to bind into a slack dough

For the marinade

  • 8 dried figs, soaked in water, to cover
  • 3 tbsp khoya (dried reduced milk), available from ethnic grocers
  • 1 tbsp raisins, soaked in water, to cover
  • 0.5 tsp strands saffron, soaked in 3 tbsp warm water
  • 150 ml plain yogurt
  • 3 onions, sliced and shallow-fried in oil until golden brown
  • 1 piece ginger, (4cm)peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish


Remove all white membranes from the surface of the meat. Using a sharp knife, cut the meat into 5-cm squares, about 1-cm thick. Place these escalopes between sheets of cling film and beat them out with a meat hammer or rolling pin until the lamb has flattened into thin pieces. Tip all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and grind until smooth. Coat the escalopes with the marinade, making sure the meat is completely covered with the masala - set aside for at least an hour. Heat the clarified butter in a heavy-bottomed casserole pan, wide enough to take the meat in one layer. Add the cinnamon sticks and black cardamoms and let them sizzle for a few seconds before adding the marinated meat with its liquid. Cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and seal the edges with a flour and water paste. This helps retain all the flavours in the pot as the meat cooks. Simmer on a very low heat for an hour until the sauce has reduced and the meat is tender.

Remove the lid from the pan, if there's too much liquid, cook the sauce down until there's a thin film of oil on top of the masala. Scatter with chopped coriander and serve straight away with hot naans.

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