lamb recipes

Take it easy….Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks

Yudhika's Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks....

Yudhika’s Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks….

The weekend is here again and I have a action packed one ahead of me! I will be cooking up an absolute storm at the Grand Design Live show at the Coca Cola Dome. If you are popping in, come over to the Curry Me Home stand where we will be hosting quick and easy cooking demos with AMC Cookware…the best part is the tasting! The revised and limited edition of my second recipe book, Curry Me Home, Again will be on sale!

Some people have been commenting and asking, ‘Where is Winter’? I say it is here already…most mornings I look like the Oros Man with layers of flannel and fleece not to mention those chunky socks. As the temperature takes a nose dive, my food cravings rocket and there is a whole lot of cooking going on at Holi Cow! Having my mom around means that I get home cooked goodness everyday. My kids and I are super lucky to have her around.

Every now and then we take a curry break…we love love love our Indian food but a change is as good as a holiday….and I was dreaming of a Greek holiday when I prepared this recipe. Comfort food is always popular and a slow cooked lamb shank is the perfect fit! I often read through recipes and have to remind myself that not every recipe needs a myriad of spices. Perhaps, it is preparing Asian food that uses many spice combinations…my fingers itch to reach into my spice box.

This is a simple recipe and remember to cook the shanks slowly which brings out the flavour of the meat and also improves the texture. You can toss in a few green chillies to spice it up if you like! I gave in to my spice obsession and added two tablespoons of Magic Masala to the shanks…Magic Masala is one of my special blends and the Rolls Royce spice of the Curry Me Home range. This is not a curry spice but a ‘global blend’…whether you are cooking Moroccan, Greek, Middle Eastern or Indian…a little Magic Masala goes a long way…the combination of cumin, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon make this blend hard to live without…it is best described as ‘bottled gold’.

Get the shanks on and kick back to enjoy your weekend…serve the shanks with a heap of buttery mashed potato!

Leave a comment so I know you popped past my blog!

Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks


4 lamb shanks, each weighing about 400g
60ml sunflower
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
30ml tomato paste
250ml wine, white or red
2 stock cubes
250ml water
400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
Salt, to season
Black pepper, to season
30ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala
Fresh rosemary, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat a large AMC pot and pour in the sunflower oil.
Seal the lamb shanks in a single layer until golden brown.
Remove the shanks from the oil, then add the onion and saute until pale golden in colour.
Add the carrot, celery and saute until the vegetables soften.
Stir in the garlic and fresh thyme.
Saute until fragrant, add the tomato paste, wine, stock cubes and water.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Simmer on a low heat for 3 – 5 minutes, then place the lamb shanks into the pan in a single layer.
Cook on a low heat until the lamb is tender – this should take about 2 hours on a low heat setting.
Add more water if necessary.
Remove the shanks from the pan and leave aside.
Pass the sauce through a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the liquid.
Return the shanks to the pan with the strained sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Check the season and add salt only if necessary.
Season with black pepper.
Garnish with fresh rosemary.


Meatball Heaven…

Yudhika's Lamb Meatballs or Koftas

Yudhika’s Lamb Meatballs or Koftas

I celebrated Spring with my family over the weekend…beautiful sunny days are here again. And what does a spring celebration call for…a few traditional South African braais! Well, after a week of grilled meat and salad, I have just about had enough. I am a spicy, saucy sort of cook and that is just what I was craving last night….a bit of spice and a lot of sauciness….I am talking about meatballs!

Meatballs are called koftas in India and the home-made ones are packed with flavour. A heavy sprinkling of fresh herbs like coriander and spring onion makes them explode with sensational aromas…the hint of green chilli tempts the taste buds and gets everyone asking for more!

This sauce can be served with burgers, or as a cook in sauce for eggs, fish, prawns and chicken. For a little bit of convenience you can prepare this in advance and the koftas are even tastier when they are left to marinate in the sauce for a while!

If you want to tickle some taste buds, this is just the recipe for you! I am heading straight to the kitchen to hunt for leftovers…a little bit of kofta can go a long way!

Lamb Koftas

1kg lamb mince
7,5ml fine salt
60ml finely chopped coriander
4 spring onions, finely chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
10ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
15ml red chilli powder
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
1 egg yolk
Sunflower oil, to fry koftas

For the sauce:
60ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
5ml crushed ginger
5ml crushed garlic
2 sprigs curry leaves
30ml Nan’s Lazy Day Masala
2 x 400g tins whole peeled tomatoes
Pinch of sugar, optional
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Place the lamb mince in a mixing bowl.
Season the mince with salt and then add the remaining ingredients.
Mix the mince well and then shape into koftas.
Heat an AMC Chef’s pan on medium and pour in a little oil.
Fry the koftas in batches until firm on the outside – do not fully cook them.
Remove from the pan and leave the cooked koftas aside.

To prepare the sauce:
Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to splitter, add the chopped onion.
Sprinkle in the salt and saute until the onions turn a light golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
Add the Nan’s Lazy Day masala and stir for a few seconds.
Pour in the tinned tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to break down the large pieces.
Simmer until the tomatoes break down completely and the sauce thickens.
Check the seasoning and sprinkle in the sugar if necessary.
Add the browned koftas to the sauce and then pour in 200ml boiling water.
Simmer on a low heat until the koftas are cooked through.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

When frying the koftas, take care not to over cook them. They should be firm to the touch so they do not break when simmered in the sauce.
Use 6 large fresh tomatoes instead of two tins of whole peeled tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes should be grated for this recipe.
This is best cooked in advance – the koftas taste better once they have been left in the sauce for a few hours.

Ready…Set…Spice – Feast of Eid

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

The second season of Sugar ‘n Spice kicks off tomorrow. This time its a little different with the recipes themed around Eid. ‘Time Travel’ is the best description for the weeks leading up to the shoot…at first, I was a little overwhelmed….wouldn’t you be? The Muslim ladies in our neighbourhood were more than good cooks…they were outstanding! A trip down memory lane was just the right place to start…and for me…all good things start in my hometown…a little town, just south of Durban called Isipingo!

Eid was a huge celebration – it did not matter if you were Muslim or not because our neighbours were just simply happy to share…it was not about religion…it was about sharing your traditions with the community.

Aunty Meymoona and Shayda would pop around and teach my very stressed mother how to make samoosa pur or a layered breyani. These ladies were not just good cooks…they were incredibly confident too and happy to share their knowledge!

Back to Sugar ‘n Spice…I was absolutely delighted to part of this project and once again, it’s the team that makes the show come alive. The Ochre production crew took over my home for two days and behind the scenes we were powered by Coca Cola (how do I love my Coke Light???), AMC cookware – (Chris Koekemoer, Nariman Parker and the lovely Kaye Cox) who put the fire into Sugar ‘n Spice and Chantelle I’Ons from Kenwood SA who kept the ‘wheels’ in my kitchen turning! Log onto the competitions link and find out how you can enter to win a cookware from AMC (a must have in my world) and also a Kenwood Kmix!

Here are the playout times for the Sugar ‘n Spice on DSTV’s Channel 195!

Saturday 27th July –Eps 1 & 2 at 3pm….repeat at 8pm

Sunday 28th – Eps 3, 4 and 5 at 1pm …Eps 6 & 7 at 2pm – music break in between…repeats at 6pm and 6.30pm

Daily from Monday 29th at 7.30 pm…2 eps back to back…repeats daily at 8am, 12pm and 4pm.

In episode one, I prepare a Parda Lamb Breyani….Parda means a ‘veil’! I did a food tour around Mumbai a few years ago and this is when I first got a tantalising taste of this style of Breyani. A breyani pot arrived at the table with a knife…the waiter then ‘saws’ through the crispy ‘lid’ to release the aromatic steam! It was certainly quite theatrical and I quite enjoy that from time to time.

This breyani is highly aromatic and the secret is the steam that is trapped in my trusted AMC gourmet unit. The ‘parda’ or ‘veil’ is made from a simple dough and it works wonders…in short, it’s a show stopper….

AMC gourmet unit...sealed with parda dough

AMC gourmet unit…sealed with parda dough

Here is the recipe:

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

Serves 10 – 12 people


2,5kg lamb knuckles
8 medium-sized Up to Date potatoes
2 onions, finely sliced
Spar sunflower oil, for frying
100ml sunflower oil
2 large cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
10ml cumin seeds
2 large onion, finely chopped
15ml coarse salt
30ml crushed garlic
30ml crushed ginger
45ml red chilli powder
20ml ground coriander
10ml ground cumin
15ml garam masala
5ml turmeric
400g chopped tomatoes
250ml fresh cream
3 x 400g Spar tinned lentils, drained
2500ml par cooked basmati rice
125ml extra virgin olive oil
Strands of saffron
500ml boiling water
Few drops of egg yellow food colouring
Fresh coriander and curry leaves, to garnish

For the ‘Parda’ dough:

400g cake flour
100g butter
5ml sugar
150ml cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Here’s how:
Peel the potatoes and slice them into thick rounds.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until tender.
Remove from the oil and leave to drain.
Gently dab the excess oil with absorbent paper towel.
Fry the onion slices until light golden brown.
Remove the onion from the oil and leave in a colander to drain.
Spread the onion slices over absorbent paper towel.

Heat 100ml sunflower oil in a large 30cm AMC gourmet unit (with metal handles).
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaves until fragrant.
Add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is light golden brown.
Add crushed garlic and ginger.
Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.
Stir well and add the lamb knuckles.
Mix the knuckles in the chilli paste and continue stirring until the meat begins to stick.
Lower the heat and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.
When the spices on the bottom of the pot start to brown, add the tomatoes and pour in boiling water to cover the knuckles.
Simmer the knuckles on a low heat, adding more water if necessary.
When the knuckles are 90 % cooked and the sauce has reduced, layer the fried potatoes over the lamb.
Pour the fresh cream over and then layer half the lentils over the potatoes.
Layer the cooked basmati rice over the lentils and scatter the remaining lentils on top.
Drizzle olive oil over the rice.
Heat the saffron strands in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Leave to cool lightly and then lightly crush the strands with your fingertips.
Pour the boiling water over the crushed saffron strands and leave to infuse.
Pour the saffron infusion over the pot and pour a few drops of egg yellow food colouring over the rice.
Sprinkle the fried onion slices over the rice and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
Make the parda dough by rubbing the butter into cake flour. Add the sugar and pour in the water.
Use the Kenwood dough hook attachment to work it into soft dough.
Roll the dough into a large round.
Make a thick paste with flour and cold water. This should resemble thick glue.
Spoon the paste over the edges of the round and use the back of a teaspoon to spread it evenly.
Drape the round over the pot, then press and pleat the dough to stick it down firmly under the lip of the gourmet unit.
Brush the dough with beaten egg.
Place the breyani in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 – 60 minutes or until the pastry cover is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Use a sharp knife to cut through the crispy dough to let out the steam.
Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use cold rice when making breyani as this prevents the rice from getting sticky.
The rice should be par boiled and seasoned for this recipe.
The potatoes can be par-cooked by boiling.
Chicken pieces can be used instead of lamb in this recipe.
I prefer using fresh cream but low-fat yoghurt can be used instead.
Adjust the red chilli powder if you would like to make this dish milder or hotter

A note about Spar branded tinned lentils – I have tried various brands and this one works for me…the lentils are not too small and mushy which I have found with some other brands….its also been a stone free experience for me so far! Please use the brands, you are most comfortable with!

Moroccan Magic

Sugar 'n Spice - Moroccan Lamb

Sugar ‘n Spice – Moroccan Lamb

As the Winter  chill starts to set in, the craving for deliciously spicy stews, casseroles and curries sets in.  I love comfort food and this is one of my favourites.  It is easy to make and does not require a list of exotic spices.  The Curry Me Home Magic Masala is a must must for this recipe!  During the filming of Sugar ‘ n Spice, I prepared this dish with lamb shanks – for me, sometimes I prefer shanks and sometimes knuckles…it just depends on who is coming to dinner!

I use the Spar tinned lentils and chickpeas – they are my standard store cupboard favourites.  All I can say is that all tinned products are not created equal!

Moroccan Lamb

1kg lamb knuckles

50ml sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

5ml cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

15ml ginger, crushed

15ml garlic, crushed

30ml red chilli powder or paprika

1 x 400g tins Spar whole peeled tomatoes, chopped

1 x 400g tin Spar lentils, drained

1 x 400g tin Spar chickpeas, drained

30ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala

Thinly sliced lemon, to garnish

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.

Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and sauté until fragrant.

Add the cumin seeds.

Stir in the chopped onion and salt when the seeds begin to pop.

Add the crushed ginger and garlic.

Saute until the moisture evaporates and garlic is fragrant.

Add the red chilli powder and stir for a few seconds.

Add the lamb knuckles and then cover with boiling water.

Simmer until the knuckles are tender.

Add the chopped tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes have softened, add the lentils and chickpeas.

Add more water to thin out the sauce if necessary.

Sprinkle the magic masala over and simmer for a minute.

Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon slices.

Yudhika’s Tips

Curry Me Home spices are stocked in select Superspars around Gauteng.

We also offer a mail order service – email me at for more details.