Kolhapuri Lamb Masala

Kolhapuri Lamb Masala

This dish comes from Maharashtra in western India and is a recipe that works well in the winter because of its robust spice blend consisting of warming (garam) spices. This can be served with plain basmati rice or some plain naans. Image by Monir Ali.


Serves 4

500g stewing lamb

2 tsp crushed garlic

1/4 tsp tamarind concentrate

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

3 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil

2 tbsp Kolhapuri masala (see below)

125ml coconut milk

For the Kolhapuri Spice Blend:

4-6 dried red chillies

1 tbsp dry coconut or desiccated coconut

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

a pinch of poppy seeds (optional)

1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 bay leaf (optional)

7-8 cloves

1/4 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp chilli powder

a pinch of nutmeg (optional)


First, place the lamb (or your choice of meat) in a bowl, add half of the crushed garlic, tamarind concentrate, salt and turmeric, mix well and set aside to let the flavours infuse.

Then for the Kolhapuri Masala spice blend, Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, add all the spices except for the nutmeg, Dry fry the spices for a couple of minutes, this will warm up the spices and allow them to release their full flavour. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, before placing them in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and blend to a medium to fine powder. Mix in the nutmeg, if using.

With your spices ready, heat the pan with a little olive oil, sauté the remaining garlic until slightly brown, tip in the Kolhapuri masala and mix well. Add the marinated lamb, let the meat brown all over, stir in the coconut milk, then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.

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