Mangsho Jhol, or lamb and onion curry

Mangsho jhol, or lamb cooked with onions and potatoes

by rich on January 10, 2010

With the temperature outside struggling to reach the heady heights of -2C, the heat and warmth of a good Indian curry has never felt more appropriate.

Start with 800g to a kilo of cubed lamb or mutton, preferably off the bone, but if you can cope with the fiddliness of a few bones in your curry, you’ll be rewarded with an extra layer of flavour.

Add a teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric, and between a quarter and one teaspoon of chilli powder.  Crush a couple of cloves of garlic to a pulp and grate and mince a tablespoon of fresh, peeled ginger and add these to the meat as well.

Mix everything together thoroughly and set to one side for a few hours so that the spices can work their way into the meat.  The lamb will be all the better if it marinades overnight.

Heat a generous glug of vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of sugar, followed straight away by four onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced.  Stir the onions constantly until they turn a deep brown colour.  Keep the flame medium high, but don’t let them burn, just keep them moving all the time and control the heat to stop them catching.

Next, add the lamb and stir so that it browns gently, about five or ten minutes

Follow this with four large potatoes, peeled and quartered.  Stir and fry for another five minutes, then add just under two teaspoons of salt and half a pint of water.

Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat.  Leave the curry to cook for an hour and ten minutes, stirring it very gently a couple of times during this time.

The onions will dissolve into the gravy, thickening it.  The potatoes will drink in the spices, and should keep their shape, maybe losing their edges a little.

Finish the curry with three quarters of a teaspoon of garam masalla and serve with rice.

The curry is spicy, but not overpoweringly hot, the heat tempered by the potatoes and melting onions.

It’s quite delicious.

This is one of the peerless Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes, from A Taste of India.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

My Man's Belly April 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm

This sounds divine. I've never had a lamb curry. But since I really like lamb and curry…

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CJ Carter April 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Love, love curry. I can't wait to give this one a go.

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Bromography April 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Sounds like the perfect dish for a cold day! Will definitely try!

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WizzyTheStick April 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I have never had lamb curry and reading this I can't think why not. Certainly looks good.

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RedKathy April 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

WOW this sounds wonderful. I love lamb and curry but have never enjoyed the combo!

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Cookin' Canuck April 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

In my opinion, lamb definitely makes the best curry. This looks hearty and flavorful!

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qutins April 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I miss mutton. It's so hard to find it out here. This looks soo yummy, I'm going to make it tomorrow.Ty for tempting me =D

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Bonnie April 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I love curry, sounds great, thanks!

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Caveman Cooking April 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Man, that looks and sounds awesome, Rich!

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Tasty Eats At Home April 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Sounds so delicious. I love a good curry, and I have a freezer full of lamb! This would definitely hit the spot.

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Katie April 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Looks wonderful A perfect winter warmer!

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Lovely winter meal, will have to remember it for when it's cold again here.

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rich April 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm

@qutins – mutton really is excellent for this sort of dish. Anything slow cooked and spicy is a definite contender for using mutton in – the age of the animal at slaughter means that its meat is packed with way more flavour than lamb.

And it's cheaper.

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Ruth April 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Looks amazing!!!

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Carol Egbert April 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Curry is great in all weather. Thanks for the recipe.

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Katja April 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I love that cookbook!

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