Tag Archives: Lamb and mutton

Lamb Pasanda the REAL Moghul McCoy!


SAM_3432Walk into any high street Curry House and one of the stock bulk standard Daag dishes you will find on the menu is a popular North Indian and Pakistani Pasanda, originating from a dish served in the Courts of the Moghul Emperors. The word is derived from  Urdu word “pasande,” or “the favorite one,” which refers to the prime cut of meat traditionally used within, and the fact that everyone loves this dish it is a catch all so this is a true no risk curry creamy that is  low’ish on the chilli heat front, so if your looking for the hot and the dangerous I suggest you go elsewhere, as this is a dish of subtleties and flavour variations and is truly delicious, and does not require the fiery heat of chilli to make it memorable….

Pasanda was originally made with the steaks cut from the  leg of lamb, then beaten to tenderise it  flattened into strips and marinated before  cooking. In the present day, in most restaurants the Pasanda comes as fish, chicken, prawn or any other protein that can make the restaurant a shilling or two; make no mistake though this is a princely dish and one that traditionally uses the finest cut of lamb so being the lover of tradition that I am if it was good enough for the moghuls its good enough for me.

There’s a fair few ingredients but the essence of this dish is the marinade once that is assembled and together its all easy from there

The first and most important element is of course the marinade and this can really be anything that is the essence of what you like to taste in my particular example I like the sweet and the sour so my marinade reflects that. I have also used Coconut cream but you can just as easily use yoghurt or sour cream, feel free to flex you creative muscle here as the end result is really about the Lamb that if you follow the cookout will be soft melt in the mouth succulent surrounded by an unctuous sauce that you will want to cook time and time again.

1 Tomato

6 dried apricots

1 small onion

3 cloves garlic

2 green chilli inc seeds

1inch fresh ginger

150ml coconut cream

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1tsp turmeric

1 tsp amchoor

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder…..

Assemble that little lot in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste…..this will make enough marinade for at least 2 persons

Now for the meat you should have some nice leg steaks here to place them between some sheets of clingfilm and flatten to about 10 mmm thickness using a steak mallet or a rolling pin.

when that’s done coat the steaks in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for no less that a couple of hours, overnight is probably best!

the only other Ingredients your going to need is

1 heaped tablespoon of Ghee

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom

1 tsp whole Coriander

1 tsp garam masala

Now for the cooking, you have a couple of options but essentially you need a pan that you can seal, traditionally a karahi with a lid that you seal with a dough paste made of flour and water…. too much hassle/

then use a large heavy based saucepan with a tight fitting lid that you can further seal with a tin foil cover over the pan before you put the lid on……..

melt the ghee in the pan and add the Cinnamon, Cardamoms, Coriander and fry for a few moments before adding the meat and all the marinade spread the meat out over the base of the pan cover as tightly as you can and cook on a very low heat for One hour. Five minutes before you serve sprinkle in the teaspoon of Garam Masala then all that’s left to do is dish it up, and gobble it down! SAM_3433SAM_3434


…….Have a Go{}at Masala….


SAM_3023I have got to say it my experience with goat is limited. I have probably eaten it two or three times in my life and cooked with it even less. Traditionally it isn’t something that seems to crop up on the average Indian restaurant menu, with Lamb or mutton being the meat of choice. If you look around on the internet again there is not much to be seen on the recipe front, and the ones that are there are for the Caribbean version…., surprised I am!

My thoughts and I admit they could be very wrong but goat is something that I thought of as perhaps more common in India than lamb, so why no recipes …………uh hu not so clever clogs, India is one of the largest producers of lamb and mutton on the planet not far behind Australia so I am told.

I kid you not if you will excuse the goat based joke.Boerbok Categorie:Afbeelding geit

Goat is of course a top meat and one that you find in a lot of  Asian, and eastern cultures that’s not of course forgetting the home of the goat curry the Afro Caribbean islands where goat curry is part of the everyday food, and often shares a table with that great chilli dish Jerk chicken, featuring that chilli of choice the hottest of the lot “Scotch Bonnet” handle with care.

That said goat can also be found on the table of the African and Arab nations although it is rarely if ever found on the average English or western table as a meat of favour, preference or choice. Lamb seems to hold that position in the nations affections but knowing what I do we are missing something that is delicious and healthy, well as healthy as meat gets!

My conclusion is that it’s main problem is that it is not freely available with the large chain supermarkets of the UK not appearing to stock it, and is only available from the local butcher on special order, I find this really strange as 75 percent of the world’s population eats goat meat.It is low in fat, cholesterol, calories, and saturated fat. In fact, goat meat is over 50% lower in fat than beef in some cuts, and is about 40% lower in saturated fat than chicken, even chicken cooked with the skin off, so why no “commercial sources of supply, well you tell me as I have no idea, although I suspect its cooking time is a bit of the answer but more of that later.

So where do you need to go to get this fantastic meat?

Well the Hal Al butcher is the place it is on offer all day everyday, and therein I suspect lies the problem; you will generally only find these gentlemen in their own communities serving their own communities, that’s not to say you can’t go and buy………..Of course you can, it’s just that bit more strange, unless you live in that community. If you don’t know where to find one just check out the local Indian supermarket and ask them, they will be happy to point you in the right direction.

What I can tell you is that the meat you get if you ask for diced goat, is lean and rich in colour , it doesn’t come in a shrink-wrap plastic container  and at Mr Khans cost me about £9.00 per kilo, so great value too…

500 gm was enough for this dish to feed two.

This recipe is one of my creations, that is if any recipe can be claimed as ones own and is included here as an Indian dish in that  it offers much respect to the masala spice mixes, hence the name, I have also thrown in a few mushrooms at the end to make it that bit more interesting but the reality of the recipe is that it is about the goat not the veg, so if you don’t like the fungi don’t put them in…..

There is a long list of ingredients but don’t let that put you off the great majority are spices for the marinade. This is essentially a one pot cookery dish and very simple in its execution once its on the stove its a stir it every twenty minutes job, just to check its not sticking and that’s it….just sit and await the deliciousness, and yes be prepared to wait as goat is not a quick cook, long and slow is a must so don’t be in a rush, patience is a virtue, your efforts will be amply rewarded…..

The Marinade

Combine all the following

Plain Yoghurt

1  onion finely chopped and fried to translucent in a single tablespoon of Coconut oil

In a flat based pan dry roast the following until they offer up the aromas of india …. you know what they smell like?

1 tsp fennel seeds,

1 black cardamom

2 green cardamom

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seedsSAM_3011

1  Kashmiri Dried red

When roasted to their aromatic conclusion no more than a couple of minutes I suggest consign to a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder…..


add the following ground spices

1tsp garam masala,

1 tsp each of turmeric,

.5 tsp Red Chilli powder

large pinch asafoetida

.5 tsp Black salt

finally add the ground spices to the yoghurt… and then add to the spicey marinade

5 cloves garlic, crushed


1.5 inch Ginger, finely sliced, and chopped….

that’s the marinade done so…..

Cover the meat in the marinade, then get your hands in there and massage the marinade into the flesh, then set aside in a fridge to work for a minimum of 4 hours and overnight if you can!

Some hours later…tick tock tick tockSAM_3017

You will need to seal the meat before you go to the main cooking event so when you are ready remove the meat from the marinade and scrape as much of the marinade as you can of it back into the bowl, once done, set the marinade aside for later use….

Roll the meat in a tablespoon  of flour ensuring it is lightly coated, and then fry for a few minutes until you have some colour on the meat, once this is achieved set the meat aside and commence on making the sauce…..

The cooking sauce

1 onion, peeled & sliced

1 small tin chopped tomato

½ tsp salt to taste

1tsp Nigella seeds

1 tsp cumin seedsSAM_3019

10 curry leaves

1 tsp chilli powder

3 tbsp coconut oil

300 ml water/Lamb stock cube

1 tsp tomato paste/Puree

2 Green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped.

1 tbsp Jaggery or Brown sugar

1 cup coriander leaves

Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the curry leaves, cumin and Nigella seeds. Stir with a wooden spoon until the seeds begin to pop and froth

Add the onion and fry until golden brown.

 Add the jaggery after about 5 minutes to help the onion caramelise, until golden brown.

 Add the green chillies and cook for a further minute or two

Then add in the goat meat with all of the marinade.

Cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes.Add the tomato puree and continue stirring,

finally add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, cover, reduce to a low simmer and cook for about two and a half  hours or until the meat is soft and tender. SAM_3022Add more stock or water as you go if you think the sauce is getting too thick or sticking.

10 minutes from the end I threw in a handful of mushrooms as I like mushrooms but they are optional, other than that serve with rice or Naans but above all enjoy…..