Lamb & Potato Stew

Meat and Potatoes. The universal comfort food. A ritual in my kitchen in the midst of cruel winters especially on days when the chilly winds clatter against the window panes, its grey and cloudy outside and inside my kitchen, meat is slow cooked long enough till it almost falls off the bone, the potatoes absorb all the flavor and the aroma of the spices permeates the atmosphere of house. A dish which evokes nostalgia of my mom’s mutton stew and of our first few years in the States.

My first tasting of lamb came in one of the ornate buffets here in Las Vegas in a mellow stew- crimson colored, cooked with carrots, speckled with herbs & tasting strongly of red wine. Since we do not consume a lot of lamb in India (mutton is more popular), we had only been roasting lamb rack ocassionally, completely oblivious of the fact how this meat would behave with spices. The tasting presented an opportunity to try it in my mum’s mutton & new potato slow cooked stouu , one in which the meat is first seared and then cooked for long good hours, often pushing lunch to evening tea time.

There is little match to the slow cooking method, for the meat slowly gives in to heat, the gelatinous flavor of the bone melts in the sauce lending it an unmatched edge over the rushed one.The key is to start ahead, much before meal time so that the stew does not miss a chance to rest for a couple of hours before serving. This stew is comforting, deeply flavorful & delicious with a earthly taste of starchy potatoes. You should give this a try before the winters go away!


Lamb & Potato Stew

Slow cooked bone in lamb and potato stew with fresh pounded spices and yogurt.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours


  • Dutch Oven


For the Stew

  • 1 lb stewing lamb
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil , substitute with cooking oil that you like to use
  • 1 whole black cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 cup onions thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 inch fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp hot red chilli powder adjust to tolerance
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2-3 small gold potatoes peeled
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

Coarsely pound together

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 twig mace
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves


  • Add the coarsely pounded spices to a bowl. Add the hot and kashmiri red chilli powder. Pour 1/4 cup of warm water, mix the spices into a paste and set aside.
  • In your dutch oven or any heavy bottom pot with lid, add the oil and let warm up for a few minutes until slightly smoky.
  • Add the black cardamom, cinnamom stick and bayleaf to the oil and saute for 10-15 seconds taking care not to burn the spices.
  • Next, add the sliced onions, sprinkle a pinch of sugar and let the onions brown. Keep on cooking them with stirring in between for 7-8 minutes till the onions are dark brown. This is important for color of the stew.
  • Once the onions are browned, add the lamb to the pot. Cook the lamb on medium low heat with onions for 8-9 minutes stirring continously untill you see that the lamb is browned on all sides and the edges are starting to turn dark brown.
  • Add the spice paste next, sprinkle 1 tsp of salt and mix well till the lamb pieces are covered in spices. Let the spices cook with lamb and onions for good 5 minutes. Make sure that they are not sticking to bottom. If you feel so, add a tablespoon or two of water.
  • Slowly you will see that the lamb will release its water and the contents of the pot will be slightly watery. Add 1/4 cup of hot water at this stage and cover the dutch oven.
  • Let the lamb slow cook for a low stove 2-3 hours(time depends on how big or small your pieces are as well as the quality of your meat). You will need to check time to time to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom, if so, add a splash of water.
  • Once the lamb is 90 percent cooked, keeping heat low, add the beaten yogurt and mix well rigrously else the yogurt will curdle. Saute the lamb with yogurt for 5-10 minutes untill you see oil bubbles on the sides of the pot. Check and adjust the salt at this stage. At this stage, lamb will be 95 percent cooked.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot, mix and cover the lid again.Let potatoes cook for 5-8 minutes or untill fork tender.
  • Once the meat and potatoes are done, take off the stove. Add nutmeg and gently mix everything well.
  • Let the stew rest for 2 hours before serving.

26 thoughts on “Lamb & Potato Stew

  1. A Famished Foodie – Food geek, wannabe Parisian, and lover of polka dots. Author of A Famished Foodie and Superior Spider-Talk contributor. Bold wine, sour beer & dessert make me nerd out.
    A Famished Foodie on said:

    Love anything with potatoes in it! This stew sounds delicious.

  2. spiceinthecity – I am Naina. Born and brought up in Mumbai, I currently live in 'Wonderful' Copenhagen. I am an IT Project Manager, in love with all things creative, particularly cooking & photography. Thanks for being here. This is going to be fun :)
    spiceinthecity on said:

    Gorgeous and comforting! Just perfect for cold weather!

  3. I have never attempted slow cooking any kind of red meat. But your description of how it makes the meat fall off the bones has me drooling. I just must give slow cooking a try!

  4. Betty Bake – Please pop by my blog I love to make food but loathe the dishes. I enjoy photography and other art genres. I love to cook, bake and of course eat! I live in the beautiful city of Cape Town and get inspired by all sorts of things. I hate fish, seafood and annoying people. I don't live in the center of the city but instead by a sleepy little town called Fish Hoek. It is located by the coast where I can walk on the beach and day dream at the sea. We live a gluten free lifestyle and enjoy eating various delicious things despite what people may think about not having bread, pasta and cakes etc... I love my followers and readers and appreciate their comments.
    Betty Bake on said:

    this is gorgeous – great photos 🙂


    Bernice Griffiths F O O D I E , V I S I O N A R Y , H E A L T H & W E L L N E S S , O N L I N E M E D I A MY BLOG: Twitter See more about me here

    Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 16:10:15 +0000 To:

  5. HapaNomNom – Hiya, I'm Kathleen! You may be wondering, what is a hapa? Hapa is a word used to characterize mixed-race people - usually half white and half Asian. In a lifelong search to discover where I belong and what group I identify with, I found that food is the strongest tie that brings us together.
    hapanom on said:

    Wow! Now this is my idea of ‘meat and potatoes’! Lamb is one of my favorite proteins and I absolutely love all of the warm spices in this dish!

  6. I totally agree with you on the slow cooking method. My family enjoy any kind of meat curry, all they want is, it has to be spicy. So, this one is sure something we all will enjoy. Will try this out soon. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Lamb is so underused in my part of the world—the Pacific NW. I had it regularly growing up on a farm.
    This is a wonderful stew with a different flavor hit using lamb instead of the more traditional beef.

  8. Aysegul at – Author, cook and photographer at - A blog full of "Foolproof" recipes, travels and life.
    Aysegul on said:

    What a beautiful looking dish. My husband would love this.

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  10. itsswayam – HI. I’m Swayam, a banker by profession, i am currently a happy ( is there any other kind? )mother of a precocious 2 yr old and the wife of a very precocious 30-something guy. Yup.. You guessed it right. I am funny . NOT. Anyways life was generally very sunny .. going along on its own pace now that I am a stay at home mom.. when I finally decided (after a yr of procrastinating) to do the unthinkable and well.. start this !! After graduation I felt I needed to broaden my horizon hence I went on to do MBA..where more than learning anything of use in the real world , I met the great love of my life, my personal Mr. Big husband. I then got a job and wore gorgeous heels to work every day, ate at the coolest places, danced at the hottest clubs , shopped at all high street stores and treated myself to pedicures on a semi-regular basis. But then life had a different (and more exciting) plan for for me. I followed my hubby from the lovely city of Bangalore to the sandy hot town of Raipur. My days are spent running after my baby, pottering around the house looking for things to do ( which are always aplenty) .. cooking new stuff and making my hubby the guinea pig for all my experiments. And yeah.. Bringing out the Big Gun… that is my DSLR. My absolute must have no matter where I am. I have no idea how I got here…but you know what? I love it. Don’t tell anyone! Here, I write about my transition from a well heeled city girl to my experiences as a domestic goddess ( come on humor me , will you?) And I will I post step-by-step photos of all the yummy dishes I’ve taught myself to cook through the years. There’s butter involved ..and there’s cream... so come on.. lets start this trip shall we??
    itsswayam on said:

    I love mutton curries …yet to get good lamb in India…but my mutton curry is cooked almost the same way u did recipe seldom fails right?? Loved the pics!

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