Anjum’s Gujarati lamb curry

My children are carnivores so when they (now grown-up) visit, meat is a treat.

Cheaply produced meat means people can eat it every day as a cheap takeaway.

But eating meat daily is neither good for the health of the animals, consumers or planet.

Some people need to eat meat, while others argue our soils need  manure for soil-strength.

We just don’t need to be mass-producing meat on an industrial scale.

So it’s about trying to get a balance. There’s a spontaneous revival of the traditional way of eating:  have a feast of (well-reared) meat once a week and live on the leftovers.

Join the Feastarians, Weekend Carnivore or Paul McCartney on a Meat-free Monday.

Which leads me to this delicious lamb curry.

Quadrille Books had offered – on Twitter – a free copy of Anjum’s New Indian.

Canny New Media marketing device, eh? I like – and copied it for my own books!

So I contacted Quadrille on Twitter and the big beautiful hardback copy signed-by-Anjum arrived by post.

Its subtitle is Indian Food Made Easy.

Sadly, not easy enough for me. The ingredients list looked too long. The pages too big and glossy.

I felt daunted.

For simplified Indian dishes, I rate Quick Indian Cooking.

However after months of free-book-on-Twitter-guilt, I finally tackled a recipe.

Gujarati lamb and dumpling stew – it was bloody delicious.

But I did simplify it. I left out the dumplings for a start.

Note: I substituted raw ginger for horseradish because Middle Child cannot stand ginger and takes it Very Personally if I cook with it.

Horseradish works incredibly well. Grate it raw, cover with white wine vinegar and it keeps in a jar in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Here’s my version: 

Ask the butcher for lamb for stewing – or mutton. Mutton is cheaper because it is  a grown-up animal. Stewing will soften the tough older meat of mutton.

Unlike pigs and poultry, it is harder to farm sheep intensively – sheep continue to roam freely and eat grass. So if you are going to eat non-organic meat, lamb is your best bet.  

I bought about 400g of organic lamb (about £4) which fed 4. I cut up the pieces quite small.

Then I browned the lamb pieces in a pan to seal the taste, then removed them.

Add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and when they pop, add the sliced onions and fry until brown.

My gratitude to Anjum grew – I don’t know what to do with mustard seeds and now I was using them like a pro.

Meanwhile, in a blender (I used the grinder attachment), make a paste of 20g of ginger – or raw grated horseradish – and 5 large peeled garlic.

This paste is a great discovery. I use it for spicy vegetarian dishes too.

Add the paste to the onions until it gently colours, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste (I omitted the 1 tsp. of sugar), 1 Tbs of ground coriander and 1 Tbs of ground cumin; 1/2 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of chilli powder. Cook for 20 seconds.

Add about 100 ml water (I omitted the 3 pureed tomatoes) and cook gently until completely reduced, then fry the paste for 5 mins until the oil comes out.

These instructions were brill as I tend to overcook spices and not get the ratio of water-to-spices right (too watery or too dry). This worked! Thanks, Anjum.

I added a quarter of a block of coconut, not the recipe’s can of coconut milk. I also forgot the 1-2 tsp of lemon juice. I didn’t measure the water but Anjum said 200ml (for 600g of lamb).

I forgot the sweet potato but that would have been a wonderful addition.

I chose this recipe because of the chickpeas. I can’t eat a lot of meat – although I do love its rich gravy flavours – so I was happy to have meat-bits with my beloved chickpeas.

I had already soaked 200g of the raw chickpeas overnight and cooked them for an hour (or, as Anjum says, use a can).

I served it with organic curly kale and brown rice.

And it went down a treat with the carnivores.

18 responses to “Anjum’s Gujarati lamb curry

  1. Pingback: Valuable Internet Information » Anjum’s Gujarati lamb curry

  2. Pingback: Few essential steps to take for finding out right Indian takeaway restaurants | Cooking Tips

  3. :))))) i don’t know about Anjum’s, but your recipe write up is definitely entertaining!


  4. The style of the write up reminds me of a friend of mine, you see.


  5. I just learned another trick for getting the most out of spices. You grind them, put them in an iron pan on the stove, heat them up, no liquid, dry cook, keep swishing them around the pan, and five minutes later you get this amazing redolent scent arising from the pan! Then you use it in your stews, soups, whatever.
    By the way, does anyone out there know something about jaw pain (TMJ)? I have decided to go on an all liquid diet, to stop masticating for a while. This means possibly buying a food grinder for raw foods – a whole new way of thinking about eating.


  6. I am from India and run a food blog. I discovered your blog only recently (thanks to this post) and find it quite entertaining. As for the “Gujarati” lamb curry, I find it strange that this should emanate from Gujarat, a state which is predominantly vegetarian, and use chickpeas, more a Punjabi staple than Gujarati. There is nothing like this in India for sure!


  7. I am from India and run a food blog. I discovered your blog only recently (thanks to this post) and find it quite entertaining. As for the “Gujarati” lamb curry, I find it strange that this should emanate from Gujarat, a state which is predominantly vegetarian, and use chickpeas, more a Punjabi staple than Gujarati. There is nothing like this in India for sure!


  8. Hi Anoothi – thanks so much for your informed comment. That is great – this is how we learn!

    Re Gujarati. The author of the original recipe, Anjum Anand, wrote in the introduction to the recipe: “Whilst most Hindu Gujaratis are vegetarian, not all Gujarati food is…and Muslim Gujaratis have a wonderful cuisine full of meat curries…”

    As for the chickpeas – interesting that, as you say – they are more of a Punjabi staple.

    I love chickpeas so much, using them mainly for the traditional middle-eastern dish, hoummus (which I eat daily!).

    I just bought some Asian chickpeas – darker and smaller than my usual ones – soaked and now simmering on the stove.

    Thank you for your comment and I look forward to visiting your blog.

    Maninas – thanks so much for your positive feedback. That is so gratifying – I never know how these things will sit with others… Maninas, I would love to know whom the style reminds you of! Do tell!

    Phil – that’s another interesting way to get the most out of spices.

    Re. raw food – certainly, its health properties are well documented because you are getting more nutrients. I love juiced raw organic beetroot, carrot and ginger – just the best pick-me-up ever.

    I personally cannot eat too much raw food – my digestion does not seem up for it. Maybe I am not doing it right? For more information, let me suggest Saskia’s website?

    Love Elisabeth


  9. Hi Anoothi – I hope you will repost your link, as I tried connecting to – and for some reason, it did not work. I will try again too!


  10. Aaaaah, thanks so much! But you are a seasoned pro already. How is the book doing? Good tip on twitter…


  11. Hi Mallika

    who is way-too modest by the way, because, dear visitors, Mallika is the author of Quick Indian Cooking, mentioned in my post above.

    Thanks, my dear. You too will have a book, I predict…

    Was that the online social media tutorial Twitter tip?

    Love Elisabeth


  12. I don’t think you’d know my friend. She doesn’t blog. But she’s maganimous, faboulous, and very funny! 🙂


  13. I am cooking this again, today, and just want to add that the lemon juice is worth adding – yum.

    Hey Maninas, so that was a big compliment you gave me, then?! Thank you.


  14. I don’t know if anyone will see this message, as the last one on here was in 2009, but I hope so…! I’m planning to do this recipe this weekend, following Anjum’s recipe, but I’m wondering if there is a mistake in the timing, and if someone more experienced than I am can help me out. Basically, from what I can see of the original recipe, 600g of lamp rump is lightly browned, then removed from the pan, and only returned to the pan, with the chickpeas, for the final 5-6 minutes of cooking “or until tender”…Surely it will take much longer to cook than a few minutes of browning, plus 5-6 mins at the end??? As I say, I’m not very experienced, but I wonder if someone else can confirm whether I’m right to have my doubts and advise how long pieces of lamb rump should take to be ready? Many thanks in advance! Martin

    Liked by 1 person

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