Baked lamb shank curry

September 3, 2009

Nothing like a last minute holiday. Mini Basu tucked into one arm, oversized summer tote draped on the other it was time to terrorise other passengers on a long haul Kolkata flight.

It was all going so well. Until we returned via Dubai. I arrived at the departure gate. Baby intact. Outfit in place. Handbag missing.

Disaster. All those valuables. That lucky lipgloss! The irreplaceable Chanel sunglasses! A brand new, albeit empty, Coccinelle wallet!

Luckily, the man had the passports and boarding cards. We jumped on the flight back to London. Mini Basu played merrily with the crew. While I mourned the loss of my precious belongings.

I wasted no time on my return. I ranted and raved at Dubai airport police. Someone stole my handbag. The sunglasses were like no other. The bag was almost new. And when I stopped for breath, they announced it had been found in the last coffee shop I had visited. All contents intact.

This called for celebration. I remembered seeing a decadent recipe for Nalli Gosht, or lamb shank curry, in an old copy of Indian GQ. Contributed by a hotel chef it had the prerequisite cream, butter et al. In my version, an oven-baked lamb shank curry, you can shove the whole lot into the oven and finish off the curry by running it through a sieve. I ditched the cream, but a small amount of butter really crowned this beauty.

At just over an hour, it’s on my uppermost limit of quick Indian cooking. But I defended my choice by having ample time to make Jeera Pulao, Kulfi and raita for my small dinner party while the lamb did its thing in the oven. You could, of course, cook this on the hob but the shanks will take at least an hour and a half to soften, while you turn them at regular intervals.



Feeds 2:

  • 2 medium lamb shanks
  • 1 pint of tomato sauce or passata
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp natural Greek (thick) yogurt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 50gm butter
  • Salt to taste



Slice the onions and chop the ginger and garlic up finely. Turn the oven on to 190 degree centigrade (170 for fan assisted). Place a casserole dish large enough to hold the two lamb shanks on the hob and bring the oil to heat. When piping hot, throw in the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom. As they sizzle up, mix in the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for 10 minutes until translucent.

Then add all the masala powders, along with the lamb shanks. Vigorously stir them, mixing well with the masalas, until the shanks brown and the pungent aroma of the spices subsides.

Now, pour in the tomato sauce and transfer the casserole dish to the middle shelf of the oven. If you have bought a pack of lamb shanks, it should tell you how long they will need to cook. If not, roast for an hour flipping the shanks over once half way through cooking time.

When the lamb falls off the bone easily when prodded with a fork, remove the casserole dish from the oven and turn it off. Carefully remove the lamb shanks on to a oven safe plate and stick them back in the oven to keep them warm. Then pass the curry in the casserole dish through a sieve, pressing hard with a wooden spoon to get as much of the ingredients, into a small pan.

Cook the curry on a low setting, mixing the yogurt and butter in for about ten minutes until you see oil floating to the top through little pores. Add salt to taste, stir in the garam masala and served spooned over the tender lamb shanks with some Jeera Pulao on the side.

Check out Deeba at Passionate About Baking’s mouth watering version too.



12 Responses to “Baked lamb shank curry”

  1. notyet100 Says:

    September 3rd, 2009 at 7:24 am

    yum it looks,..gonna prepare somethin gud,..will try this,..even i lost my fully loaded handbag in london metro three yrs bag,..but i was not lucky like u,..:-(

  2. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen Says:

    September 3rd, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    How lucky you are that your belongings were recovered! :) Yummy dish, too, Mallika! Can’t go wrong with lamb shanks!

  3. Mallika Says:

    September 4th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    You were in Kolkata Namesake ? I wish we could have met – next time then ?
    Youre lucky your bag was recovered ..

  4. Sudeshna Says:

    September 5th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Even I felt the same of loss and getting it back, though the time span of lost and found was more than 3 months. :)
    The gosht looks awesome, mom doesn’t let me cook lamb at home, so need to prepare on days when mom’s not there :D

  5. Christie @ Fig & Cherry Says:

    September 6th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Ooh I love a happy ending! I guess that lip gloss really is lucky! :)

  6. Thanks shanks | Cosmetic Products Reviewed Says:

    September 6th, 2009 at 11:43 am

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  7. Ann@CookingtheBooks Says:

    September 7th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad you found it! You deserved a celebration and, honestly, I can think of no better treat than your divine-sounding curry!

  8. Pallavi Says:

    September 8th, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Love this site.
    And I am glad you got your bag back.. :)

    Will try this recipe..

  9. Ritika Says:

    September 8th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    hey i almost gave up cooking.. sooo happy to have u back :D and as i head home (kol) for puja, will try this out.

  10. Ann@CookingtheBooks Says:

    September 9th, 2009 at 12:43 am

    BTW, I know Mini Basu is keeping you busy. But I tagged you on my blog, if you have the time for a game of “blue tag!”

  11. mandira Says:

    September 14th, 2009 at 6:55 am

    so cool that you found the bag Mallika. And that curry looks delectable. How was Kolkata? I bet everyone was happy to see Mini Basu :)

  12. Recipe of the Week: Nalli Gosht | Bailey Creek Says:

    February 3rd, 2010 at 11:54 am

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