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Lamb and lentil curry (dahl gosht)

Written By Reena on 22 Aug 2009 | 16:40

This curry is Gujarati comfort food. The lentils dissolve into the sauce giving it a thick, mellow texture and the lamb melts in the mouth. The "Can do lamb curry" posted previously is a Northern Indian dish and has quite a different flavour. I would be interested to know which dish you prefer.

Serves 4

  • 110g of toor dahl
  • 500g of lamb in 1 inch cubes – I prefer neck fillet but leg or shoulder is fine.
  • 1 medium onion – chopped coarsely
  • 400g of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 3 teaspoons of coriander-cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of light tasting vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 cm square piece of root ginger - peeled and grated
  • 1 litre of water – boiling
  • 2-3 large floury potatoes – peeled and chopped into largish chunks
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander
Note: You’ll probably have to pick up the toor dahl from an Indian grocery shop. It has lots of other names: Split pigeon peas (English), tuver dahl (Gujarati), tuvaram paruppu (Tamil). If you have a choice between oily or un-oily then go for oily but don’t worry too much.

  1. Put the dahl in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Wash the lamb and place in a large stockpot along with the onions, tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder, salt, vegetable oil, garlic and root ginger.
  3. Drain the dahl and add it to the pot. Mix everything together and then cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the boiling water and put the lid on the pot. Let everything simmer until the dahl has melted into the sauce. This will take approximately 60 minutes.
  5. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt or chilli if required.
  6. Add the potatoes and continue to cook the dish until the lamb is tender and the potatoes have a very soft texture – probably another 1.5 hours.  Remove the lid of the pot for the final 30 minutes to make it thicker.  However stir regularly during this time.  If you find that the sauce has thickened enough for your tastes then put the lid back on for the remaining cooking time.
  7. Just before serving add the garam masala and coriander.
  8. Serve with naan bread and salad.

About Reena


  1. I'm confused, on Step 2 do you cover everything in water? Or do you just cook it for 15 minutes like that with only the tablespoon of oil?

  2. Hi Christopher. Apologies for the delay in responding - I have been in Abisko, Sweden for new year and so have had no internet access. You do not need to add water during step 2 - just let it cook with the oil. All the best. Reena

  3. Reena, Can't wait to try this! Sounds like a yummy dish. Glad I stumbled on your site. I'll give it a whirl this weekend.
    A USA friend,

  4. Hi Parri. Thanks for the comment. Let me know whether you enjoy it. All the best. Reena

  5. Week 2: Steve sugegsted this in week 1 but my wife isn't a lamb fan, i think we might have a convert. Not only did she love it she had seconds. This seems to get better and better, what for week 3?

  6. Hi Andrew. A lamb convert? Interesting - I might try this dish on my fussy father-in-law! As for week 3... hmmm how about the yogurt chicken? You need to start prep the day before but it isn't too much effort. Best regards, Reena