Rajasthani-style lamb curry

Jaisal Singh's adaptation of Sher Bagh Pasande has a deliciously smoky aroma and is crammed with aromatic spices
By Gary Rhodes
Rajasthani-style lamb curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 250 g ghee, plus 1 tbsp extra for smoking the charcoal
  • 10 green cardamom, split
  • 6-8 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 large red onions, very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-3 tsp chilli powder, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 4 cm ginger, finely grated
  • 1 kg lamb or mutton, cut into thin slices
  • 250 g tomatoes, diced
  • 50-75 g raw papaya, finely grated (optional)
  • 300 ml lamb stock or brown stock
  • 300 ml lamb stock or brown stock
  • 1x 4 cm piece charcoal
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish


1. Heat the ghee in a large and sturdy casserole, and once hot, add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and peppercorns and fry until they start popping and give off a nutty aroma. Add a large pinch of salt followed by the onions and cook, stirring, until they turn golden brown.

2. Mix the ground coriander, turmeric and chilli powder with a little water to form a spice paste. Add this to the pan and stir well.

3. Stir in the garlic and ginger and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add the lamb pieces, one by one (this keeps the oil temperature hot) - stir well to coat all the meat with the spices.

4. Add the tomatoes, papaya and stock, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes if using the papaya, or 45-60 minutes if you're not. Check that the lamb is tender.

4. Once cooked, smoke the dish. Heat a piece of charcoal either in a hot oven (preheated to 220C/gas 7) or over a gas flame. Using tongs (take care), transfer the coal to a small metal dish, which is sitting on top of the curry. Heat the ghee in a small pan, and when hot, pour it over the coal. Immediately seal the pan with aluminium foil and a tight-fitting lid. Leave on one side for 1-2 minutes - the smoky flavour will, by now, have infused the meat.

5. Remove the lid and foil and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve with Indian bread.

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