lamb mysore

This is one of the many acclaimed Singaporean recipes listed in cookbooks and websites that named the 50 best local recipes in commemoration of Singapore’s 50th birthday, celebrated August 2nd, 2015.   Singapore became independent when it pulled away from Malaysia in 1965.

If you are not a fan of lamb because of its gamey flavor, this is the dish for you.  Yes, you heard right.  The ingredients in which the lamb cooks are deeply infused into the meat, removing most of the “lamby” flavor and the result are pieces of meat that are melt-in-your-mouth epic, so tender and juicy that chewing isn’t necessary.

Ensure you are adding each ingredient one at a time, following the directions and you are paying close attention so that they don’t burn – so do this over med/low fire.  This isn’t a difficult dish to prepare, just a bit time consuming and when attentiveness is observed the results are truly glorious.

1 cinnamon stick

1 piece of star anise

2 TSP of fennel seeds

8 cardamom pods – slightly crushed to release seeds

4 pieces of star anise


Place these spices in some warm water and soak for about 10 minutes, reserving the water


1 TSP each – cumin, fenugreek and fennel seeds

1 TSP turmeric powder

2 TBSP of Garlic/Ginger paste

20 curry leaves – you can use dried or fresh – (fresh is always better but hard to find)

5 large shallots – finely chopped

1 large chopped onion

2 TBSP of lemongrass paste (sold at any regular supermarket – or white part of lemongrass stalk chopped)

2 TSP fried chili paste

½ cup of plain yogurt

2 TBSP tomato paste

½ TSP of sugar

3 TBSP ground cumin

1 TBSP curry powder – mild

1 TBSP ground coriander

2 bay leaves

2 handfuls of fresh mint – chopped

2 handfuls of fresh cilantro – chopped

4 medium sized potatoes – medium diced

3 large tomatoes – skins removed and chopped

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 TBSP vegetable oil and 1 TBSP ghee

3 cups of warm water

2 TSP of salt

1 LB of boneless cubed lamb – washed and patted dry


In a large Dutch oven heat up about 2 TBSP of vegetable and 1 TBSP ghee.  Add the shallots and chopped onions and sweat for about 4-5 minutes.   Add the soaked spices and cook for a few minutes.  Add the ginger/garlic paste and lemongrass paste.  (Make sure that you are adding each ingredient one at a time, sautéing to infuse the oil with all the flavors).  Incorporate the chili and tomato paste, spice powders, salt and reserved spice water – sauté for a few minutes and add the cubed lamb, mixing well with all the sautéed ingredients to coat the meat pieces.

Add 2 ½ cups of water and stir well to mix everything.  Simmer half covered for about 30-40 minutes.  Add the potatoes, fresh tomatoes, mint and cilantro and simmer for an additional 30 minutes – if the liquid has become too thick add a bit more water.  Fifteen minutes before cook time is done, incorporate the yogurt and stir well a few times to ensure that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.   Serve over white rice with additional fresh mint and coriander for garnish and mango chutney on the side.

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