Benares Recipes: Punjabi Lamb Shanks
Benares Recipes: these spicy Punjabi Lamb Shanks from Michelin starred Atul Kochhar are bursting with Indian flavours
The traditional Indian spices in this recipe add a flavoursome kick to the lamb.
4 x 400g lamb shanks, trimmed
12 plums, cut in half, stones removed
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
watercress sprigs, to garnish
For the spice paste:
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons Ginger–Garlic Paste
1 tablespoon mild sweet paprika or mild red chilli powder
For the crushed tandoori potatoes
200g Jersey Royal potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
50ml Atul’s Tandoori Marinade for Vegetables
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon very finely chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon chaat masala
For the gravy:
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
5cm piece of cinnamon stick or cassia bark
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 bay leaf
3 onions, thinly sliced
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 green chillies, slit lengthways
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1½ tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
250ml lamb stock or water
For the roasted vegetables:
2 large carrots, peeled, halved and cut into chunks
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
2 courgettes, halved and cut into chunks
To make the spice paste, mix together the oil, the ginger–garlic paste, sweet paprika and salt to taste. Rub this paste liberally over the lamb shanks and leave to marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.
Meanwhile, after about 1 hour, start the potatoes. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 12–15 minutes until tender. Drain well and pat dry. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the finely chopped red onion for 2–3 minutes until softened. Add the potatoes and sauté for 3 minutes to give them a golden brown colour, then transfer to a bowl with the tandoori vegetable marinade and mix together. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.
After the shanks have marinated, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Scrape the excess paste off the shanks and add them to the pan, in batches, if necessary, to sear on all sides until lightly coloured. Drain on kitchen paper to remove the excess oil, then set aside.
To make the gravy, heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaf, and sauté over a medium heat until the spices crackle. Add the onions and continue sautéing for 8–10 minutes until they are light brown in colour. Add the fresh ginger, garlic and green chillies, and sauté for further 2–3 minutes until the garlic is softened. Stir in the tomato purée, ground coriander, chilli powder and turmeric, and sauté for 1–2 minutes until the ingredients are combined. Stir in the lamb stock.
Add the lamb shanks and plums and coriander leaves, and bring to the boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours, turning the shanks once during cooking, or until the lamb is perfectly cooked and almost falling off the bones.
Meanwhile, to roast the vegetables, preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°/Gas 6. Rub the carrots, quartered red onions and courgettes with olive oil. Place the carrots and onions in a roasting tray and roast for 10 minutes. Gently crush the potatoes in the marinade, place them in a roasting tray and roast in the oven. Add the courgettes to the carrots and onions and continue roasting the vegetables for a further 10 minutes, or until they are tender and lightly charred.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice and chaat masala to the potatoes, and keep hot with the other vegetables.
When the lamb shanks are tender, set them aside and remove the cinnamon stick from the gravy. Blitz the gravy in a blender or food processor and pass through a fine sieve. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and stir in the butter to enrich and give a good shine.
Serve the lamb shanks with the gravy spooned over and the potatoes and vegetables alongside. Garnish with watercress sprigs.
Recipe extracted from Benares by Atul Kochhar (Absolute Press, Hardback £30)