Lamb Dhansak

Lamb Dhansak

The other evening Stuart and I caught a bit of Mary Berry Cooks in which she was whipping up a very tasty looking Lamb Dhansak.  Curries are something we like to eat but don’t cook enough off at home, so we thought we would give Mary’s Dhansak a try.  A Dhansak is usually a mild curry, but Stuart likes his a bit hotter than me, so extra chillies where added, that’s the great part of this recipe you can spice it up as much as you like, also its a slow cook, so we just put ours in the oven to cook slowly until ready.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

3 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 kg  diced lamb shoulder or leg, or a mixture of both
2 onions, chopped
25g fresh root ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 red chillies, seeds removed, chopped
10 green cardamom pods
1½ tbsp. ground cumin
1½ tbsp. ground coriander
½ tbsp. ground turmeric
1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
200ml/7fl oz. beef stock
75g/2½oz. red lentils
3 tbsp. honey
salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 3 (130C fan).
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Add the lamb and fry in two batches until browned. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
  • Meanwhile, place the ginger, garlic and chilli into a small food processor and blend until finely chopped.

Chopping the chillis, ginger and garlic

  • Bash the cardamom pods with the end of a rolling pin to split the husks, then remove the seeds and grind them to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.
  • Add to the pan with the remaining spices and the garlic and ginger mixture.

Spice Mix

  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and add the lamb.
  • Bring to the boil, then cover and place in the oven to simmer for 1½-2 hours, or until tender. Check the seasoning

Bubbling on the hob

I served this with fluffy boiled rice, and to make it into a proper weekend night feast we had poppadums’, pakora and naan – the essentials in an Indian meal!