Cook the Book: Maharashtran Lamb Curry

Cook the Book: Maharashtran Lamb Curry

When choosing Anjum Anand's Anjum's New Indian for this week's Cook the Book, I had my heart set on her wonderful winter curries. Rich and saucy, they warm you through their heat with all those layers of spices. This Maharashtran Lamb Curry was exactly what I was hoping for.

This really lamby curry is a sweet-savory-sour mix of coconut, caramelized onions, tamarind, and a blend of spices known as Black Masala. Sometimes referred to as Goda Masala, it combines a laundry list of spices as well as ground, toasted coconut and sesame seeds. The sweetness of the coconut and the sour tamarind paste make a gorgeous, rich sauce to coat the lamb chunks.

While the recipe calls for lamb neck filet, a cut that can be cooked quickly, I chose to go with lamb stew meat. The stew meat required additional cooking time, about an hour of simmering, and cooked down in the sauce to fork-tender deliciousness.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Anjum's New Inidan to give away this week.

Adapted from Anjum's New Indian. Copyright © 2010. Published by WIley. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:4 to 6


  • 1 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons white poppy seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  • 1 pound lamb, neck fillet, cut into 1in pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure red chile powder, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons black masala powder, or to taste
  • 8 tablespoons coconut milk, or to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons tamarind paste, or to taste
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves to garnish 


  1. 1.

    Using a blender, make a smooth paste of the ginger and garlic with a little water.

  2. 2.

    Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan, add the onion and cook until golden. Remove half and reserve. Add the poppy seeds and unsweetened dried coconut flakes to the pan and continue cooking until golden. Scrape into a blender and blend to a fine paste, adding a little water to help, then set aside.

  3. 3.

    Spoon the reserved onions back into the pan, reheat and add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook until golden brown, around 2–3 minutes. Add the lamb and brown evenly, stirring often, around 4 minutes. Stir in the salt and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  4. 4.

    Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and the onion and poppy seed paste along with a good splash of water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. The gravy should be creamy, not too thick or thin. Taste and adjust the seasoning, stir in the cilantro and serve.