Lamb Dopiaza

I think the thing that I most love about cooking is that no matter how experienced you are, you are never sure what the next new recipe will teach you.

I have made lamb dopiaza many times, going through all the usual steps of cooking off the onions, cooking out the spices, and so on… This recipe however turns all that on its head – all you have to do is put everything into a casserole with a lid, stick it on the stove, and wait.

I found this in ‘Rick Stein’s India’, a book from which I have cooked approaching twenty different dishes, all of them wonderful. As Rick says, when a simple approach pays such dividends as this, you have to wonder whether all the fuss and the ‘correct’ approach is always worth it.


RECIPE serves 4

500g lamb shoulder, cut into approximately 4cm pieces

1 kg onions, peeled and quartered

I whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and finely chopped

50g of grated fresh ginger

500g natural thick yogurt

4 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp cloves

a 10cm piece of cinnamon stick, left whole

10 whole dried Kashmiri chillies

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (from 6-8 cardamom pods)

6 tbsp ghee, or butter

1 1/2 tbsp salt

250ml water


This will be the shortest method you’ll ever read…

Add all the ingredients into a casserole dish, cover with a lid then bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat to the merest blip of a simmer, and cook for around 2 hours, until the lamb is meltingly soft.

Most of the liquid will have been absorbed, this is exactly what you want. Dress with a little fresh coriander leaf and serve alongside plain boiled or steamed rice, and roti or naan bread if you like.

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