Try this recipe for lamb shank and chestnut curry, then check out our braised lamb shanks, lamb shank rogan josh and lamb shank nihari.


  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces root ginger, to serve
  • 10 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 6 small lamb shanks, bones cleaned
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 35 whole cooked chestnuts
  • a small bunch coriander, chopped to serve

parsnip mash

  • 600g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 400g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 7 tbsp double cream
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a deep wide pan large enough to fit the shanks in a single layer. Add the whole spices and cook for 20 seconds until sizzling. Add the onions and cook until softened and browned at the edges, stirring often.
    Meanwhile, make a fine paste of the ginger and garlic using a blender and a splash of water. Put to one side then purée the tomatoes with the yoghurt in the same blender (no need to wash).

  • STEP 2

    Add the lamb to the onions and stir to brown a little on all sides. Add the puréed ginger and garlic and continue stirring until all the moisture has been absorbed. Stir in the chilli and coriander along with ½ tsp salt.

  • STEP 3

    Add the puréed tomatoes, mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the flame, cover and cook gently until it has all dried off. Now add enough water to cover the meat by three quarters. Cover and cook over a gentle flame for another 1-1½ hours until tender.

  • STEP 4

    To make the mash, bring a large pot of water to the boil. You can boil the vegetables separately as they take slightly different times to cook. Leave them in a strainer until the potatoes are soft, another 10 minutes or so depending on size.

  • STEP 5

    Purée the parsnips only with the cream, milk, a pinch of salt and cinnamon until smooth. Mash the potatoes until smooth then add the parsnip mixture, mix with a light hand and check seasoning.

  • STEP 6

    Once the lamb is cooked, uncover and reduce the liquid in the pan over a high flame to a creamy consistency. This reducing process browns the meat and gravy and you need to stir the pot often while it is reducing. The gravy will take on a richer flavour and colour.
    It is important to make sure it isn’t watery. Stir in the garam masala and chestnuts. Simmer for another 5 minutes so the flavours can marry.

  • STEP 7

    Heat a little oil in a small pan and stir-fry the ginger shreds until golden. Use to top the lamb, along with the coriander. Serve with the mash and some spinach cooked in butter.


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