Meals of memory

Feasting on lamb



800g mutton/lamb

4 onions

2 one-inch gingers

8 garlic cloves

½ coriander leaves

8 whole red chillies 

1 tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp nigella seeds

5 cloves

½ cup mustard oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

2 tbsp lemon juice


Roast red chillies, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, onion seeds, and cloves separately, and grind together coarsely. Heat mustard oil in a thick bottomed pan until it starts to smoke. Cool and then re-heat oil and fry onions till brown. Add chopped ginger-garlic, and mix well. Add coarsely ground masala powder. Cook for a minute, while stirring constantly. Add mutton and cook on high heat till pieces are light brown. Add turmeric and red chilli powder and salt, and mix well. Cook till oil separates. Add two cups of water, bring to a boil and cover. Cook till mutton is almost done. Stir in lemon juice. Adjust seasoning and serve hot. Garnish with coriander leaves.



800g lamb/mutton

4 tbsp ghee

1¼ asafoetida

2 cinnamon

6-8 cloves

5-6 black pepper corn

4 large cardamom

2 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

2 tbsp fennel powder

1 tbsp ginger powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 cup yoghurt


Cut the lamb/mutton into medium sized pieces. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add asafoetida, cinnamon stick, cloves, black pepper corn, and large cardamoms. Sauté for half a minute. Add lamb pieces and cook on medium flame, stirring constantly till the meat gets a nice reddish-brown colour.

Sprinkle a little water and repeat cooking of the meat for 12-15 minutes on low flame. Add red chilli powder, fennel powder, ginger powder, coriander powder, and salt. Add beaten yoghurt and two cups of water. Cook covered till meat is tender. Stir occasionally. Serve with steaming hot boiled rice.



12-15 lamb chops

2 onions

2 one-inch gingers

6-8 garlic cloves

2 one-inch raw papayas

1 cup yoghurt

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1½ tsp cumin seeds

4-6 cloves

2 black cardamoms

1 blade of mace

10-12 pepper corn

2 red chillies

Salt to taste

 ¼ cup oil

1½ Kashmiri red chilli powder


Tie yoghurt in a Muslin cloth and hang it for half an hour to drain out the whey. Dry roast cumin and coriander seeds, cloves, black cardamoms, mace, pepper corn, and red chillies. Cool and then into make powder. Transfer the hung yoghurt to a bowl and mix in raw papaya paste and salt. Marinate lamb chops in this yoghurt mixture for about 2 hours. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until it turns light golden brown.

Add ginger, garlic paste, and stir-fry briefly. Mix in prepared spice powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add marinated lamb chops along with the marinade and one cup of water and bring it to boil.

Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or till mutton chops are completely cooked. Ensure that the gravy is thick. Add fresh cream on the top before serving, if desired.



1kg mutton leg, or shoulder

100g dry coconut

5 medium sized onions

1½ inch ginger

15 garlic cloves

4 medium tomatoes

3 tbsp oil (to deep fry)

Salt to taste

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp green cardamom powder

1 tsp garam masala powder


Cut the mutton into one and half inch pieces. Grate coconut and dry roast on a hot tava until light golden brown. Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan, and deep fry sliced onions till golden brown. Drain onto an absorbent paper and cool.

Grind fried onions and roasted coconut with a little warm water to a fine paste. Rub salt and turmeric powder on mutton pieces. Pressure cook with two and half cups of water or boil with sufficient water till mutton is almost cooked.

Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add chopped onions and cook till golden brown. Stir in ginger-garlic paste. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add red chilli powder and coconut and onion paste. Cook on high heat till oil separates.

Add boiled mutton and salt and stir constantly and cook for 10 minutes till the consistency of the gravy is thick and mutton pieces are well coated with masala.

Sprinkle green cardamom powder and garam masala powder and serve hot.




500g boneless mutton

2 onions

1 one-inch ginger

7-8 garlic cloves

½ cup yoghurt

4 tbsp ghee

¼ cup cashew nuts

4-5 green cardamoms

2 one-inch cinnamon sticks

½ blade of mace

4-5 cloves

 ¼ tsp nutmeg powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1½ tsp red chilli powder

½ cup fresh cream

Salt to taste


Cut boneless mutton into one-inch cubes. Soak cashew nuts in water for half an hour and grind to a fine paste. Beat yoghurt till smooth. Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed pan and add green cardamoms, cinnamon, mace and cloves. When they start to crackle, add chopped onions and sauté till light pink. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add mutton cubes and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly.

Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add beaten yoghurt and 3 cups of water. When it starts to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook till mutton is tender. Add cashew nut paste and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in nutmeg powder, and garam masala powder. Cook for 5 more minutes on medium heat and finish off with fresh cream. Simmer for ten minutes. Garnish shahi korma with raisin, chopped almonds and cashew nuts to make it extra rich.




800g mutton

2 onions

1 2-inch ginger

12-15 garlic cloves

3-4 green chillies

3 tomatoes

10 curry leaves

½ cup oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

4-5 whole red chillies

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

2 one-inch cinnamon stick

4-6 green cardamoms

6-8 cloves

2 bay leaves

¾ cup coconut scraped

2 tbsp poppy seeds

10-12 pepper corn

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste


Cut the mutton into one and half inch pieces. Grind ginger, garlic, and green chillies into a paste. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chillies, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves and stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add coconut, poppy seeds, pepper corns, and cook till the coconut changes its colour slightly. Remove from heat and grind into a fine paste. Heat remaining oil and add mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Add onions and sauté till golden brown. Add mutton pieces and ginger-garlic-green chilli paste.

Cook on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and tomatoes. Cook till oil leaves the masala. Add 4 cups of water and bring it to boil. Cover and simmer for at least half an hour, or till mutton is fully cooked. Add prepared masala paste and salt. Mix well.

Add more water if required. Simmer for ten more minutes, and serve hot.


Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed


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