Lamb Shanks and a Spring Vegetable Rogan Josh ….. served with sticky mango & ginger chutney and Saffron rice

By Simon    

March 13, 2014

Beautiful, lamb shanks slow roasted spiced up with a wonderful rogan Josh rich red sauce and using the rogan base to create a gorgeous crunchy vegetable version. A quick and simple mango & ginger chutney, slowly baked saffron rice with toasted, cashew and almonds and sultanas. It's simple with a little advanced planning, great fun to prepare and to cook. So give it a try and bring a piece of India straight into the heart of your kitchen. Wash it all down with cold Indian beer and a gigantic stack of warm, plain and spicy poppadoms.

  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yields: 6


6 Medium Lamb shanks

6 tbsp Natural yogurt

2 tsp Garam masala

1 tsp Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

4 tbsp Oil

4 Cloves Garlic

1 tsp Sugar

500 ml Rich stock

500 ml Water

3 tbsp Tomato puree

300 Grams Chopped plum tomatoes

3 Medium Bay leaves

4 Medium Cardamon pods

1 Medium Cinnamon stick

2 Cloves Garlic

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Ground garam masala

3 tsp Ground chilli

3 tsp Ground coriander

4 tsp Ground fennel

3 tsp Ground ginger

2 tsp Ground cumin

1 Handful Fresh coriander leaves

2 tbsp Natural yogurt

1 Medium Cauliflower

1 Handful Green beans

1 Handful Okra

2 Large White potatoes

100 Grams Chick peas

2 Medium Ripe mangos

1 tbsp Red wine vinegar

4 tbsp Honey

1 Heaped tbsp Ginger

1 tsp Ground chilli

1/2 tsp Garam masala

400 ml Natural yogurt

1 Handful Fresh mint leaves

1/4 Medium Cucumber

1/4 tsp Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1 Pinch Ground chilli

Handful Fresh mint leaves

500 Grams Vine tomato

2 Heaped tbsp Fresh coriander

1 Heaped tbsp Fresh mint leaves

1 Medium Green chilli

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Medium Red onion

1 tbsp Olive oil

1 Medium Lime

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

18 Medium Mixed plain and spicy poppadours

500 Grams Plain basmati rice

4 Medium Saffron threads

500 ml Water

4 Medium Bay leaves

4 Medium Cardamon pods

1 Medium Cinnamon stick

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 Handful Raw cashew nuts

1 Handful Almond flakes

1 Handful Plump sultanas


To get started I always feel it helps to have a read through the recipes and make my tweaks at this time to suit my and my guests taste buds and  to get all my ingredients measured out and ready for each dish individually, especially when preparing a feast to share.

Firstly, marinate the lamb shanks in the yogurt, salt, pepper and half the garam masala coating it all over and pop in a covered dish and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hrs or even overnight.

Pre heat your oven to 130c.  In a large flameproof casserole dish add the oil and over a high heat brown the lamb to a even brown colour, about 4 mins, turning regularly.  Pour in the stock and water, give it all a stir and cook with a lid on slowly for 3 hrs, gently turning the shanks once every hour until tender.

Now is a great time to prepare the vegetables and get all the chopping done for the side dishes as the aromas from the oven start to fill your kitchen.

Wash and rinse the rice.  Place the rice in a large deep sided oven dish, infuse the saffron threads, bay leaves, cardamon, cinnamon and cumin seeds in a litre of boiled water for about 5 minutes.  Pour into the rice,  give it a stir up and cover with a double layer of foil. This will be baked in the oven for up too 2 hrs before you serve and will not need to be touched or checked (so simple!).  In a pan toast the almonds, cashews and sultanas, making sure they do nit burn, set aside.

To make the chutney.  Place into a pan the diced mango, ginger, honey, red wine vinegar, spices and seasoning, bring to a gentle boil turn down the heat and reduce by 1/3rd until soft sticky and yum, cover with foil and keep in a warm place to serve.

To make the sides.

For the yogurt raita - In a small,  hot, pan dry roast the cumin seeds for both the yogurt and tomato sides for 30 seconds.  Remove and bash up in a mortar and pestle.  Stir 1/2 into the yogurt with the mint, cucumber, chilli and seasoning, taste and adjust and place in a nice serving bowl, refrigerating until serving.  For the tomato salad -  Place all the prepared ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine it all together.  Place in a glass serving bowl and pop in the refrigerator (this helps all the lovely fresh flavours to develop until serving).

To make the rich rogan sauce -  Heat a little oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat, add the bay, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds, releasing a burst of aromas into you kitchen.  Add the garlic and continue to fry for a further 30 seconds.  Turn down to gentle heat, add all the ground spices, stir and add 6 tbsp water to make a rich paste.  To the paste add the puree, tomatoes, 500 mls water and the remaining garam masala stirring to create a rich sauce.  Cook for 10 minutes.   Remove the lamb from the oven.   Pour half the tomato sauce into the casserole dish and gently stir it in being careful not to break the lamb from its bone.  Into the remaining  sauce, add the prepared vegetables.  Return both pans to a gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are crunchy yet cooked.

When you rice has reached its cooking time remove from the oven and top with the toasted nuts and sultanas, cover to keep warm.  Warm your poppadoms up in the oven and on warmed serving platters, bowls and dishes serve your Indian feast.  Drizzle with spoonfuls of yogurt and scatter with freshly picked coriander.  So here we have it, tender, melt in your mouth lamb shanks in a rich tomato rogan josh sauce,  a rogan of spring vegetables, saffron infused rice with toasted almond, cashews and sweet sultanas, an amazing spicy mango and ginger sticky chutney, cooling yogurt with mint and cucumber and a zesty fresh tomato salad and warm poppadoms all washed down with a nice little ice cold Indian beer of course.... Happy days !!!!




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