• 1/2 fresh coconut (flesh removed and cut into thin 2″ long strips)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds/khus khus
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 kg. lamb (cut into 2″ chunks)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 onions (chopped fine)
  • 2 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 3 large tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • 3″ piece of cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. vegetable, canola, or sunflower cooking oil
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • Salt to taste


1. Heat a griddle or flat pan on medium heat. Add the whole spices (cumin, poppy and fennel seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns). Roast till spices get slightly darker and aromatic.

2. Remove from heat and keep aside for 10 minutes. Grind to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.

3. Put the coconut slivers, garlic and ginger pastes, cumin and red chili powders, and the above-mixed spice powder into a food processor. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water and grind to a smooth paste.

4. Heat the cooking oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Add the onion to it when hot. Fry till almost golden.

5. Add the above masala (spice paste) and reduce heat slightly (just below medium heat). Fry, stirring often until the oil begins to separate from the spice paste. You may need to sprinkle water occasionally to keep the masala from burning and sticking to the pan.

6. Add the meat and fry till it starts to brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, and 1 cup of hot water. Season with salt to taste and stir well. Cook until the meat is soft. There should be a fair amount of thick gravy at this stage. If required, add hot water to maintain the amount of gravy as you cook.

7. When the meat is done, turn off the heat and serve immediately.


Recipe by: The Spruce Eats

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