lamb shanks

Traditional Lamb Curry….

Traditional lamb curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Traditional lamb curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Ten days to Diwali…the countdown has begun! It’s time to start planning the menu, and to start hauling out those tried and tested recipes. The next ten days are going to be manic in ‘Holiwood’ – the Diwali orders are piling up and so are the recipe requests….the AMC giveaway on the blog has created quite a stir…click here for more, There are two of my supplements out this Wednesday, 15 October in the Post Newspaper so don’t forget to diarise the date and pick up your copy! I just love the buzz and hearing from all of you…thanks for the lovely emails and comments!

I am delighted to say that yesterday’s episode of Mela was the most popular so far. The recipe for Durban Naan bread is the most viewed recipe on the blog and it just goes to show that old is gold! For the longest time, I felt that my food loves were not sophisticated enough…I am a simple eater and old-fashioned food is my best….as someone on twitter said…move over Chip and Dip…it’s time for Raan and Naan….click her to watch the clip from Mela, and here for the recipe:

A word of warning…..I am going to be blogging lots…just so you get some great ideas for your Diwali feast…so fasten your seat belt..this is going to be amazing ‘blog party’…stay tuned for the latest competition…details posted later today!

Lamb curry is one of my favourite curries….you can add potatoes to this if you like. A lamb dish always makes an appearance at our Diwali table…and so does fish, prawn and vegetarian…plus a decadent sweet offering! You can use shoulder, knuckles or leg for this recipe…I used the lamb shanks…I asked Mr Pat at Broadacres Spar butchery to slice each shank into three knuckles! This is one of my favourite cuts and it even works well in Lamb breyani. Leg of lamb is my least favourite cut for curries.

Traditional Lamb Curry

Serves 6 – 8

2kg lamb shanks

75ml sunflower oil

2 x 2.5 inch pieces of cinnamon

1 large bay leaf

2 cardamom pods

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

10ml coarse salt

30ml crushed ginger

15ml crushed garlic

50ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

7ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2,5ml tumeric

3 tomatoes, blanched and chopped

Fresh coriander to garnish

Here’s how I do it:

Cut across each shank into 3 pieces.

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an 30 AMC pot.

Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and cardamom pods.

Fry the whole spices for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the cumin seeds.

Add the onion, then stir in the salt and sauté until golden brown.

Add ginger and garlic paste and stir before add all ground spices.

Place the lamb in the spice paste and stir well to coat the piece.

Remove from heat if necessary while you do this.

Stir the meat ensuring that the spices and lamb do not stick and burn.

When the mixture does begin to stick, add boiled water and leave to simmer for about 60 – 90 minutes or until the meat is tender – I simmer the lamb on a very low heat to make sure it’s meltingly tender!

Add the chopped tomato and simmer until they soften and form a thick sauce.

Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander.

Cumin and Coriander Lamb Shanks

Cumin and Coriander Lamb Shanks

Serves 4


4 lamb shanks, each weighing approx 450g
Salt and black pepper, to season
1 small cinnamon stick
15ml cumin seeds
15ml coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods
10ml chilli flakes
20ml sunflower oil
2 onions, sliced
15ml crushed ginger
15ml crushed garlic
10ml red chilli powder
Juice of 1 lemon
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
250ml boiling water
Chopped coriander, to serve

Here’s how:
Season the lamb shanks with salt and black pepper.
Heat a skillet on medium and roast the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom pods.
Remove the spices from the pan when they become aromatic and fragrant.
Leave the spices aside to cool before grinding them in a coffee grinder.
Add the chilli flakes to the ground spices.
Heat the sunflower oil in a thick bottomed pot and fry the onions until light golden brown.
Remove the onions from the pot and leave aside.
Place the lamb shanks into the same pan and brown the meat on high.
Reduce the heat once the meat is browned and add the roasted spice mix.
Stir in the red chilli powder, crushed giner and garlic.
Mix well to ensure the shanks are evenly coated.
Add the fried onion to the lamb, pour in the lemon juice and then add the tinned tomatoes.
Pour in the boiling water and simmer for 2 hours on a low heat until the lamb is tender.
Garnish with chopped coriander.

Yudhika’s tips
Deboned lamb shoulder can also be used for this recipe.
This is best made in advance and reheated in a hot oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
The spices can also be pounded in a mortar if you don’t have a coffee grinder.
Paprika can be used instead of red chilli powder.