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Ramadan recipe - Lamb Dhansak
June 29, 2014, 2:05 pm

A Persian-Indian dish with freshly ground spices that makes it fabulously fragrant, while green lentils give texture and substance. Serve with natural yoghurt and saffron rice for a delicious Ramadan meal.


6 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Seeds from 8 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 piece fresh ginger, approx 5-cm, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon turmeric
500g lean boneless leg of lamb or shoulder, trimmed of visible fat and cut into cubes
600 ml hot reduced-salt lamb or beef stock
220g green lentils
4 tomatoes, quartered
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
pepper to taste


Crush the peppercorns with the cumin and cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar or an electric grinder. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for a further 3 minutes, then add the crushed spices and the cinnamon stick and turmeric. Fry gently for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add the lamb and stir to coat with the spices. Fry gently for about 4 minutes or until the meat is browned all over. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring well, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 1 hour or until the lamb is almost cooked and tender.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain the lentils, then place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Drain the water before adding the lentils and tomatoes to the curry and cook for about 15–20 minutes or until the lamb and lentils are both tender. Stir in the lemon juice and fresh coriander and season with pepper. Serve hot.

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