Maunika Gowardhan’s lamb fry (Kolhapuri kaala lamb sukka)

Maunika Gowardhan’s lamb fry (Kolhapuri kaala lamb sukka)
  • Serves icon Serves 4 (or 6 as part of a larger spread of dishes)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 25 min, plus 1 hour marinating. Oven time 35-40 min

Maunika Gowardhan shares her recipe for lamb fry, a classic dry curry in Kolhapuri cooking. Serve it as part of a sumptuous Diwali spread.

Maunika says: “In this recipe, a classic in Kolhapuri cooking, kaala means black and sukka means dry-fry. The colour and smoky flavour comes from the charred onions and chillies. There’s also the crucial inclusion of a kaala masala (the black spice blend), with all the fiery warmth coming through. Meat on the bone lends so much more to the dish but you can make this with boneless lamb. If you like, ask your butcher for bone marrow to add while it cooks.”

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
463kcals
Fat
36g (16g saturated)
Protein
22g
Carbohydrates
11g (7.3g sugars)
Fibre
4.3g
Salt
0.2g
Calories
463kcals
Fat
36g (16g saturated)
Protein
22g
Carbohydrates
11g (7.3g sugars)
Fibre
4.3g
Salt
0.2g

Ingredients

  • 820g shoulder of lamb on the bone, cut into bite-size chunks – ask your butcher to do this or see intro
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 heaped tbsp greek yogurt
  • 250g onions (about 2 small onions), halved
  • 4 bird’s eye green chillies
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 120g grated fresh coconut (see tips)

For the sukka

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 250g onions (about 2 small onions), finely chopped
  • Pinch sugar
  • Juice 1 lemon to serve
  • Chapati or rice to serve

For the Kolhapuri kaala masala

  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 5cm long)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tsp sichuan pepper
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

Method

  1. Put the lamb in a large bowl. Put the garlic and yogurt in a blender and whizz to a paste. Mix into the lamb and marinate for 1 hour in the fridge or preferably overnight.
  2. Add the lamb to a large pan and cook without any oil for 40 minutes over a medium heat with a lid on. Stir halfway through. The yogurt and the moisture from the lamb will keep it from drying out. Set aside while you prepare a paste.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Put the halved onions and chillies on a lined baking tray, drizzle with the oil, then roast in the oven for 35 40 minutes. They will begin to colour and go dark brown. Don’t worry if some of the mixture begins to get charred – that’s what gives the sauce its flavour. Take the mixture out of the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Separately, add the coconut to a frying pan and dry-fry over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring continuously. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool. In the same pan, add the kaala masala spices and toast for 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool. Grind the spices to a fine powder in a large pestle and mortar and set aside. In the same pestle and mortar, grind the roasted onions and chillies, the coconut and 120ml water. Grind to a smooth paste, then set aside (Alternatively, whizz the spices, then the onion mixture, in a food processor.)
  5. To make the lamb sukka, heat the 3 tbsp oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves, then as they begin to splutter, add the chopped onions and fry for 10-12 minutes. Stir in the onion and coconut paste and fry for 3 minutes, stirring well. Now add the cooked lamb and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste and add the sugar along with 50ml water. Stir well and simmer over a low heat for 18-20 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Finally, add 2 heaped teaspoons of the Kolhapuri kaala masala and simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste and serve warm with chapati or rice.

delicious. tips

  1. Buy frozen fresh grated coconut at Ocado, or buy fresh coconut chunks in Sainsbury’s and grate them.

    You’ll have lots of Kolhapuri kaala masala (spice mix) left over. Use it to give a wallop of flavour to roast potatoes and other dishes.

  2. Maunika says: “It might seem unusual to include sichuan pepper, as original recipes used to use tirphal, a sour, tangy and spicy berry commonly used in recipes from the western region of India. But sichuan pepper is easier to buy and similar in flavour. Meat on the bone lends so much more to the resulting dish. If you prefer you can cook this boneless and ask your butcher for additional bone marrow to add while the lamb cooks.”

Recipe By

Maunika Gowardhan

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