Garlicky Lamb with Potatoes

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Recipe by: Uploaded by Drimble Wedge

I made this from a recipe from Raghavan Iyer's excellent book 660 Curries:


Great book, I highly recommend it. No pictures but the recipes have very appetizing names and he writes an introduction to every single recipe, which frankly I value even more than pictures. I love cookbooks that give some context.

The curry is a meat and potatoes deal with an amazing sauce. One of my favorites ever, and I've made a couple dozen curries from this book. I remember it uses powdered fennel seeds as one of the spices, which turned out more subtle than I expected and really added another dimension.

Garlicky lamb with potatoes[edit]

This recipe is called "Garlicky lamb with potatoes." I suppose I can reproduce it here... hopefully Raghavan Iyer won't mind. It is sort of like free advertising; and I can't speak highly enough of this book. Ever since I got it I haven't so much as looked at any of my other Indian cookbooks because I trust this one so much.

And it literally does have 660 Curries, including big, thick chapters on meat recipes, which many Indian cookbooks lack due to the prevalence of vegetarianism in India. I love Indian food but it is about the meat, for me!


  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

For the lamb[edit]

  • 1 pound boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (I think I used lamb shoulder)
  • 8 ounces russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp oil (I always use butter or ghee)
  • 1/4 cup fried onion paste (He gives a recipe for this earlier in the book; basically it is just caramelized onions blended up with a little water)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

As you can imagine, you combine all of the marinade ingredients with the lamb and marinate it. I usually marinate overnight when possible.

Then, heat 2 tbsp of the oil/fat and toss in the potatoes. Just cook until they're browned on the outside, and then remove them.

Then, heat the remaining oil and add the lamb and marinade and cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

At this point, add the fried onion paste and tomato paste and scrape up the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add 1 cup water and stir. Simmer until the lamb is just about done, then add the potatoes back in and simmer until they are done, as well.

Garnish with cilantro.

Sweet-hot basmati rice with jaggery and chilies[edit]

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 dried red Thai chilies
  • 2 tbsp crumbled jaggery
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt

He recommends rinsing and soaking the rice before cooking.

Basically, you heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and cover while they pop, then add the onion and chilies and stir fry the onion until brown. Then, add the rice and stir until it is all mixed up. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water, then add the jaggery and salt. Sometimes I add saffron here too; that turns out very well.

Stir once, and then continue to boil over medium-high heat until water has evaporated and holes are just starting to appear in the top; stir one more time, then cover and reduce heat to very low and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Then turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 more minutes, still covered.

This stuff is so good. :)