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Masala Lamb Shanks

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These lamb shanks are melt in the mouth gorgeous!

Lamb shanks

Don’t rush this one. The lamb is so nice cooked slowly in the wine.

Personally I love cooking lamb in wine. A nice red wine adds so much flavour that is absent in a lot of Indian recipes. So I decided to experiment with this one.

Knowing that India is now producing some very nice wines, I don’t think many people will mind.

I made this recipe this evening for my wife Caroline. We served it with a nice helping of masala mash potatoes and a simple salad. What a nice way to finish the day.


Slow cooked lamb shanks with a nice and spicy difference


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Lamb Shanks With A Spicy Garam Masala Sauce

Lamb Shanks With A Spicy Garam Masala Sauce


  • 8 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cassia or cinnamon stick – about one inch long
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger puree
  • 400ml chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre chicken, lamb or veal stock
  • 1 bottle red wine such as Merlot
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander


  1. Heat four tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan and brown each of the lamb shanks for about five minutes.
  2. When browned, remove to rest.
  3. Now add the remaining oil to the saucepan.
  4. When hot but not yet smoking, throw in the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves and cassia.
  5. Stir the spices around in the oil for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn the spices.
  6. Add the chopped onions and garam masala and fry in the oil for about three minutes until lightly browned, translucent and soft.
  7. Scoop in the garlic and ginger purees and stir to combine before adding chopped tomatoes.
  8. Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a rolling simmer.
  9. Now add the lamb shanks, mint leaves and bay leaves, lower the heat to medium, cover the pan and braise for about an hour to an hour and a half until the meat is fall of the bone tender. Don’t rush this.
  10. When the meat is tender to your liking, remove the lamb shanks from the and set aside.
  11. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and then return the strained sauce to the pan.
  12. Reduce until only about 500ml of sauce remains and it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  13. Return the lamb shanks to the pan and simmer for about two minutes until nice and hot.
  14. Place one lamb shank on four heated plates and drizzle the sauce over the top.
  15. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander to serve.
  16. This dish goes nicely with masala mashed potatoes.

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Sunday 1st of March 2020

What can I use to substitute for wine in the recipe? Many thanks

Dan Toombs

Thursday 5th of March 2020

Sure. Just use water or stock. :-)

Thanks, Dan

Spice Kitchen UK

Wednesday 30th of October 2013

We cooked this recipe today and have to say it was incredible. Adapted it slightly, added more spice, halfed the wine and stock and only cooked 2 large lamb shanks. Also after braising and making the sauce we put into a tagine and cooked on 170 for 2 and half hours.

Reduced the remaining sauce and served with bombay potatoes and steamed baby carrots and beans.

Result was incredible, probably as far to say some of the best lamb I have tasted. Thanks to the author and to the site!

Dan Toombs

Saturday 2nd of November 2013

Thank you very much for that. It's one of my favourite recipes. :-) Sounds like your version would be amazing.


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