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January 19, 2022

Lamb Dopiaza


Recipe Provided By
Nik Sharma
lamb dopiaza


  • 2 pounds /910 grams large or extra-large onions, (Dice 1 ¾  quantity of the onions and the remaining ¼ slice thinly into rings. Reserve the onion rings for the garnish).
  • 1/4 cup/60ml ghee, extra-virgin olive oil, or neutral oil such as grapeseed
  • 2 pounds boneless shoulder of American lamb, (excess fat trimmed and discarded, cut into 2 inch/5 cm cubes)
  • 10 garlic cloves, (grated)
  • 3 tablespoon fresh ginger, (peeled and grated)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chili powder or (¾ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne)
  • 1 1/2  cups/360ml water
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 scallions, (optional) (thinly sliced), (both the white and green parts)
  • Cilantro (for garnish)
  • 10 to 15 threads of saffron (optional) (for garnish)


Heat the ghee in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat (a stockpot will also work). Add the 3/4 quantity of the diced onions, cover with a lid, and cook until they turn golden brown.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning, if they start to stick, reduce the heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.  The amount of time taken for the onions to brown will vary considerably.  Don’t worry about getting the onions too dark, they will continue to cook and turn brown as the dish cooks.

Add the lamb and continue to sauté until it turns brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and chili powder and sauté until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the water, the remaining 1/4 quantity of the diced onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the  heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, loosely cover with a lid and cook until the lamb is completely tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The onions should transform into a very thick sauce.  If it is too runny, simmer uncovered until the liquid reduces in volume, stir often to avoid burning. Taste and season with salt.

Garnish with the onion rings and cilantro, and serve hot or warm with plain rice or flatbread such as roti, naan, or paratha.

Optional Garnish:

Steep 10 to 15 threads of saffron, 2 tablespoons boiling water and pour this over the dish when ready to serve.

Note: The USDA recommends that lamb reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest.

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Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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