Category Archives: India/Pakistan

Shami Kebab

Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



  • 500g  mince meat
  • 1 tsp   ground or crushed garlic
  • 2 pinches  red chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsps   split gram (split chickpeas soaked overnight)
  • ¼ tsp   cumin (toasted)
  • ¼ tsp   ginger paste
  • 1 tsp    garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  •  salt to taste
  •  3    eggs
  •  cooking oil for frying
  • 1  small onion
  • 4  green chillies
  •  add salt to taste
  • 1    handful of fresh coriander leaves.


  •  In a pan put in the minced meat, the split chick peas, garam masala powder, garlic, ginger, red chillies, cumin, fennel and salt and cover just enough water so that the split chickpeas or ‘dhal’ becomes soft but not mushy. By this time the mince will also become tender. 
  • Next, in a grinder put in the onion, the green chilli and 1 small egg, the coriander and lastly put into the mince mixture and grind till it is a smooth mixture.  When done remove and make small flat patties out of the mixture. Whisk one egg and keep aside. 
  • In a large frying pan heat some oil for shallow frying and then dip the patties in egg and fry in oil four at a time. When dark golden brown remove and serve immediately.



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Filed under India/Pakistan, Sides and Snacks

Mughlai Chana Gosht (Chickpea and Lamb curry)

channa dhal with meat

As always you will find my curries in larger quantites than many other sites. There are 3 people in my household and i like to ‘eat one and freeze one’ and this freezes very well.

Mughlai simply refers to where the inspiration comes from – this dish is very typical South Asian.


      •  250  split chickpeas (chana)
      •  1 kg boneless lamb, 1  1/2″cubes
      •  6 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
      • 2 medium onions finely diced
      • 1 tbsp ginger powder or small piece of fresh ginger
      •  2 tsp garam masala
      • 6 cloves of garlic
      • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
      • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
      • 4 or 6 chopped green chillies
      • 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes
      • 1 piece of cinnamon
      • juice of 1 lemon
      • salt to taste
      • chopped coriander to garnish


      • Wash Chana Dal 3-4 times with water then enough water to cover the daal. Soak for at least 3 hours.
      • Pre cook the meat in a little salt and boil for about 15/20 minutes until almost tender then remove from the heat and set aside but dont discard any liquid as we will use this later..
      • Boil the daal with salt in 500ml of water, cinnamon and ginger in a pressure cooker till the daal is soft but not broken. 15/20 minutes on medium heat.
      • In seperate pan, heat 6 tbsp of ghee and fry the onions till golden brown then add the ginger and garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes.
      • Add the salt, tinned tomatoes, remaining chillies and stir for 2/3 minutes before adding the dry spices.Continue to fry this mixtrure for 3/4 minutes.
      • Add the meat and on a low heat stir fry the meat, browning it and sealing in the flavour for about 5 minutes. Do not let it catch the bottom. If you find it needs some moisture add 2 tbls of the liquid set aside at a time. Fry until the oil seperates from the sauce.
      • Add 500ml of boiling water (including the set aside juices) and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the meat is tender.
      • Add the daal and lemon juice to this mix, stir and simmer for another 5/ 10  minutes.
      • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan or roti.
      • Serves 6

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Pakistani sheeps trotters (Paya)


Paya means ‘Feet’  Paya Curry (Curried trotters) is one of the most popular Dish in the Punjab and would you believe are usually eaten at breakfast. I suppose, being a very hot climate and workers having to go out for the whole day, its a good and hearty start to their day and will see them though till their evening meal. For us Europeans its not the most healthiest of dishes but it certainly is one you must try now and again. Forget the calories!

Before i had even tried this curry (30 years ago) i just did not like the idea of eating feet ughh! One day when i was visiting friends this is all they had cooked and i didn’t want to be rude so i forced myself to dip my chapatti in the juice. As i was eating i thought, this is not bad, could do with a bit more flavour but without the jelly of the feet i thought ‘i can do this’. I asked for the recipie and adapted it to my liking and now its one of my favourites.

I always make a larger quantity that you would normally find in recipies around the net because it takes so long to cook and it freezes very well, it makes sense.


  • 10 sheep’s feet cut into 3 pieces per leg (1 1/2 kg)
  • 500g finely chopped Onion
  • 5 tbsp of rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of cinnemon bark
  • 1 tsp fenagreek
  • 4 tsp good quality curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 heaped tbsp of fresh corriander
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 6/8 green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp of garam masala
  • Salt to taste,( start off with 1 tsp)
  • 1 bay leaf

Serves 6 to 8 people

Wash the legs under running water . They should have already been cleaned and any hair burnt off before you bought them.
Put them in a pressure cooker  along with salt , 800 ml of water, half the garlic and the ginger. Cook for 1 hour or 1 1/2 if the feet are thick to save on the simmer time.
In a seperate saucepan add  5 tablespoons of oil with the chopped onion and fry until light golden. Add the remaining garlic, crushed and fry until brown and the onions have caramalised.

fried onion and garlic

Add the tomatoes and the remaining dry spices and stir fry for about 5 minutes, mashing up the lumps of tomato (I hate lumps of anything in my gravy unless its meat :-).  Add a little water if the paste starts sticking to your pan. Now add the part cooked feet to this and stir fry for about 10 minutes to brown the feet a little.


Add 1 1/2 litres of hot water and bring to a boil for a few minutes then turn the heat down to simmer for 4 to 5 hours depending on the thickness of the feet. 1  1/2 litres of water might seem like a lot but dont forget it will be cooking for many hours and you can reduce at the end.

Towards the end of cooking add the chopped corriander.

I like the juice fairly thick and gooy so it holds to the chapatti or naan. I also cook until the meat has completley fallen off the bone so if there looks like there is a little too much water at the end, boil on a high heat to reduce it. I usually have the gravy just about level with the feet in the pan.

P.s As i wanted to take this picture in the daylight i took some Paya from the pan before it was quite ready for my taste. Its still tender but not falling off the bone.

The Curry Guy makes his slightly different than mine and uses goats paya but it sounds delicious and as good or even better than many in a Pakistani home. If you want to make yours in a slow cooker then check his recipie out.


Filed under India/Pakistan, Meat

How to Make the Perfect Tandoori Roast Lamb

I came accross the video on you tube and thought i would share it with you. Its an alternative to your usual roast lamb.

  • Ingredients
    Leg of lamb, approximately 2 kg
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and 2 halved
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons besan (gram) flour (leave out if not available)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • A few strands of saffron, soaked in a tablespoon of warm water
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cardamoms
  • 6-7 black pepper corns
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons good quality oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 small carton of creamy, natural yoghurt
  • Salt to taste

Note: You can replace the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, black pepper corns and cloves with 1 tablespoon of good quality garam masala. Home made is best, as cheap ready made ones are bulked out with other, cheaper spices.

  • MethodMake slits in the leg of lamb, insert a few halved cloves of garlic into a few of the slits, and set lamb aside.
    Optional: Grind the whole spices (see Hints & Tips).
  • Place all ingredients except yoghurt into a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer paste to a bowl, add yoghurt and mix well.
  • Taste and adjust spices. Remember that the spice paste has to give enough flavour to 2 kg of meat, so it has to taste a little over-salted and over-spiced at this stage. Spread the spice paste over the lamb, ensuring that some is worked into the slits.
    Leave to marinade at least overnight. For best results, 24 to 36 hours.
  • Place on a baking tray and cover with aluminium foil.
  • Cook at 375 F, 190C for 1 1/2 hours for pink meat (or 2 hours for well-done meat).
  • Baste from time to time and leave uncovered for last half hour, so that the spices and meat turn brown.

Hints & Tips

•Make sure you use full fat yoghurt for this recipe as low fat yoghurt often splits when heat is applied. Thick Greek-style yoghurt works well.
•If using frozen lamb, defrost thoroughly and drain resulting liquids before applying marinade.
•Instead of buying tiny jars of spices from the supermarket, it’s more economical to buy in slightly larger quantities from Asian grocery shops. However, spices fade over time, so if you don’t use them up quickly, they’ll lose their intensity of flavour. I’d recommend storing a small amount of each one in easy-to-access spice jars, keeping the rest in your freezer and replenishing as and when you need to.
•Fresh ingredients such as ginger, coriander and other key ingredients for Indian cooking are also often cheaper in Asian and other ethnic grocery shops. If you don’t have an Indian or Pakistani shop near you, look in stores specialising in Chinese or Caribbean food, as there are many cross-over ingredients.

•If your food processor or blender is not very powerful, grind the whole spices in a spice or coffee grinder first, before combining them with the other ingredients. If you have a powerful food processor or blender, add the whole spices with the other ingredients and grind in one step.

•You can use this marinade recipe on any meat or fish from larger joints or whole chickens, to smaller cuts such as lamb shanks or individual portions of chicken. It also works well on whole fish, though will need far less marinating time.

Serve with
•We love this tandoori roast lamb with traditional British trimmings – roast potatoes and parsnips, carrot and swede mash, savoy cabbage and gravy. We serve it with either a mint raita or mint jelly. For Christmas, we add chipolatas and stuffing and brussel sprouts for my sister who adores them…
•Of course, the lamb leg also works as the centrepiece for an extravagant Indian feast. I recommend my favourites such as chicken curry, stuffed aubergines, an additional vegetable dish such as cauliflower and potatoes, a daal or red kidney bean curry, some chapatis and rice on the side. To start, maybe pakoras or samosas and afterwards, a vermicelli kheer, similar to rice pudding but made with vermicelli pasta. Recipes for these dishes can be found on my mum’s site, Mamta’s Kitchen.

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