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August 3, 2023

Achari Lamb


Recipe Provided By
"Nik Sharma"
Prep Time


Cook Time


Total Time

-- min


4 - 6

Achari Lamb in serving bowl


  • 2 teaspoons black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon nigella
  • 2 large yellow or white onions, (diced)
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder (see Notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon ground garlic
  • 2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1.5 lb. American lamb shoulder with bone
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a small dry saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, fennel, fenugreek, and cumin. Roast the spices until fragrant and light brown, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove and transfer to a plate or bowl to cool. Grind the spices to a fine powder using a spice grinder, coffee mill, mortar, and pestle.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the remaining mustard, nigella, and fry for 30 to 45 seconds until the seeds pop and sizzle. Add the ground spices and fry for 30 seconds. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions turn soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the chili and turmeric, and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomato paste and cook until it starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Trim and discard the excess fat from the American Lamb. Add the lamb shoulder with 1 teaspoon of salt to the Dutch oven. Cover the lamb with enough water to cover the lamb by 1 inch / 2.5 cm, about 5 1/2 to 6 cups/ 1.3 to 1.4L of water. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and place in the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the lamb is tender and falling apart. The liquid should reduce to about 1/2. Remove from the oven. Taste and season with additional salt if needed. If desired, skim and discard the excess fat that collects at the surface of the stew.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot or warm with rice or flatbread like roti or naan. Leftovers can be stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


The choice of chili powder depends on how hot you want this. I use Kashmiri chili powder for a mild flavor and bright red heat. You can also use 3/4 teaspoon ground smoke sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne as a Kashmiri chili substitute. Guajillo and ancho chili powders also work nicely here.

This stew gets better with time. You can make this a day ahead of time and refrigerate. This will also help remove excess fat that collects at the surface; the fat will harden and be easier to pull off.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

Roasting spices
Achari Lamb cooking in a pot
thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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