Achari Gosht – Lamb in Pickling Spices

Mallika Basu - Achari Gosht – Lamb in Pickling Spices

Posted 9th March 2008

Out with the old. In with the new.

It was time for QIC to have a little makeover. We have a more slick look. Videos with cooking basics. And photos of me looking like my younger, more glamorous sister.

On the downside, my blog consultant and dear friend Hugh may never speak to me again.

Fresh from the glow of a new beginning, I decided to try something different. I took to the streets of South London, to trial a new neighborhood for supplies.

First stop. Mrs Naila Salim. Owner of Pooja Sweets and Savouries on the bustling Upper Tooting Road. She had not just one but THREE types of samosas. (Thank you, God)

Next, I bought freshly-diced lamb shoulder from a Halal Butcher on Balham Road. He had goat meat too. The stuff we mainly eat in meat curries at home.

This is the cooking Indian equivalent of hitting the jackpot!

Things are hotting up on all fronts. What better than this Achari Gosht, fiery sour lamb curry cooked with pickle masalas, to send a sizzle through my kitchen too?

Feeds 4:

750gm diced lamb shoulder, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp plain Greek yoghurt
4 fat garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger, minced
2 tbsp panch phoron
4 whole red chillies
Half tsp red chilli powder
Half tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp mustard oil
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Half tsp white sugar
Salt to taste


In a medium-sized saucepan or casserole pot, bring the mustard oil to heat over a high flame.

When it is hot throw in the panch phoron, sugar and whole red chillies and, as they splutter, stir in the chopped onions. Fry for five minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.

Then mix in the garlic/ginger and stir the whole lot until it starts turning golden caramel in colour. Now add the turmeric and chilli powders and tomatoes. Stir like a maniac until the tomatoes disintegrate.

You may find that the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. If this happens, just add two tablespoons of water and scrape the masalas off the bottom of the pan.

At this stage, mix in the yoghurt, the lamb chunks and the sunflower oil. Seal the lamb all over, mixing well to coat evenly with the masalas.

Add enough hot water to submerge the lamb, lower the flame to medium high, cover and cook until the lamb literally melts in your mouth. You will need to watch this like a hawk or the dish will simply burn at the bottom. If you don’t fancy watching the curry, you can shove it into the oven to cook for an hour at 190 degree centigrade.

As the dish cooks, its curry will be reduced to a thick, jelly-like consistency. When the lamb is cooked, mix in the garam masala, the lime juice and salt.

Served Achari Gosht with hot, buttered Naans and creamy, plain yoghurt for a spicy treat.

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