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Bhuna Gosht

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You are going to love this authentic bhuna gosht recipe!

This bhuna gosht recipe was given to me by a friend from the Punjab region in northern India. He’d never cooked bhuna gosht and had to phone his mother in India for the recipe.

She explained it to him in detail and I cooked as he told me what to do. This bhuna gosht was a huge success and one you need to try soon. 

Although you could just jump to the recipe, please be sure to check out the step by step photos I took for you so that your bhuna gosht turns out as amazing as mine was. 

Bhuna Gosht in a serving bowl.

What is bhuna gosht?

‘Bhuna’ is a style of cooking where you cook spices in oil first and then add the veg and meat. Gosht is the Hindi word for meat.

After the meat browns, you add just a little water so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. You continue adding just a little water regularly for about an hour until the meat is melt in your mouth tender.

So little water is added each time that you really can’t leave the curry while cooking. You have to stand there adding just a bit more water until the curry is ready. It’s worth it!

What you get is a rather dry curry that has amazing flavour. That’s bhuna gosht! It’s perfect for dipping chapatis and naans into until it’s all gone.

Could you just add a lot of water and let the meat stew?

You could but it wouldn’t be a bhuna gosht. It would just be a tasty meat curry with a lot more sauce.

To make a proper bhuna gosht, you only want a little water in the pan at any one time. As it cooks down, you add a little more and keep doing so for at least an hour or until the meat is tender.

Doing this, you end up with the most delicious, thick sauce you will ever try in a curry. I promise. 

Is Bhuna gosht difficult to make?

As curries go, bhuna gosht is more difficult than most but it really is not hard to prepare.

Due to the way the liquid is added, you really need to watch it. 

With most curries, you can just let them stew away until ready. Bhuna gosht needs to cook in just a little liquid. If you don’t watch it carefully, you will burn it. Be careful and attentive.

Your work will be nicely rewarded. 

Which meat is best?

That depends on your preference. In India, mutton which is usually goat meat is used most often. This is a very good option.

You could also use lamb or beef though beef is more common in Pakistan as the consumption of beef is illegal in many parts of India and highly regulated even where it is legal.

Often, buffalo meat is used in a bhuna gosht but for the most authentic flavour, use goat or mutton meat cut into small pieces on the bone.

Shoulder vs Leg Meat

In this recipe, I use leg of mutton on the bone and cut into bite sized pieces. 

I like to use leg meat for a bhuna gosht as it becomes tender, faster. Shoulder meat is also very good but takes a bit longer to cook.

Working ahead.

As with most curries, bhuna gosht can be made one or two days ahead of serving. 

In fact, as the flavours develop, your bhuna gosht will get even better. If you are cooking for a small or large group, I highly recommend making this bhuna gosht in advance. 

Doing this, you can simply heat it up just before serving.

How long can you keep bhuna gosht in the fridge?

This depends on the freshness of your ingredient but you should be able to keep it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can you freeze the leftovers?

Yes and they freeze really well. To serve, just let the bhuna gosht defrost completely and then heat it up in a pan over a medium heat until heated through.

What is meat masala?

This is a new addition to my recipe. Meat powder is used at restaurant all over India and the UK. You use it like you would a curry powder and though it is optional, I highly recommend picking some up.

I have always made my own spice blends but as so little is needed for this recipe, shop-bought meat masala is fine.

Do you have to use mustard oil in this recipe?

If you want it to taste authentic then yes but you could use a neutral vegetable oil or ghee instead.

Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for the curry.

Get all your ingredients prepared and at the ready before you start cooking.

Adding oil and mustard seeds to the pan over a medium high heat.

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and add the mustard seeds.

Adding the other whole spices to the hot oil.

When the mustard seeds begin to crackle in the hot oil, Stir in the other whole spices and let them infuse into the oil for about a minute.

Frying the onions in the pan.

Now add the chopped onions and fry until translucent and soft. They will turn a light yellow colour from the mustard oil.

Stirring the garlic and ginger paste into the frying onions.

Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds

Adding the ground spices to the pan.

Stir in the ground spices. you want to coat the onions with the spices but be careful not to burn the spices.

Adding the meat to the pan.

Add the meat and stir it around to coat with the other ingredients in the pan.

Adding the chopped tomatoes.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes which will release some moisture into the sauce.

Adding water to the pan.

Pour in about 125ml (1/2 cup) water.

The curry before simmering for an hour.

Your curry should look a bit like this at this stage.

Covering the pan to simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered for 5 minutes.

The pan with more liquid in it due to the meat and tomatoes releasing moisture.

After 5 minutes, you will see that more moisture has been released from the meat and tomatoes. More liquid than you need.

The sauce simmering.

Continue for another 50 minutes or so, adding no more than 70ml (1/4 cup) water at a time. Simmer covered, stirring often and checking for signs of burning too.

Adding yoghurt and salt to finish off the bhuna.

Once the meat is tender, add 1 tbsp yoghurt and stir it in well. Season with salt to taste.

Bhuna gosht

The meat becomes so juicy and tender cooked in this way.

Bhuna gosht.

Remember you can cook the meat on or off the bone or a little of both.

Bhuna gosht

Garnish with the chillies, ginger and yoghurt to taste and enjoy.

If you like this bhuna gosht recipe, you might like to try some of these Indian favourites too. 

Beef Biryani
Chicken Biryani
Chickpea Biryani
Chicken Karahi
Lamb Korma
Shami Kebab
Aloo Gobi
Lamb Nihari
Chapli Kebabs
Lamb Seekh Kebabs
Staff Chicken Curry
Butter Chicken
Chicken Haleem
Tarka Dal
Pilau Rice
Chicken Tikka Masala
Grilled Lamb Chops
Lamb Tikka
Spicy Kashmiri Lamb Chops


Have you tried this bhuna gosht recipe?

If so, please give it a star rating in the comments below and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

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Yield: 6

How to Make Bhuna Gosht - A Spicy Lamb Curry

Bhuna Gosht in a serving bowl.

This is an authentic bhuna gosht recipe prepared with lamb. You could also use beef, mutton or goat and the cooking process will be about the same though tougher meats will take slightly longer to become tender.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 70ml (1/4 cup) mustard oil (you could also use vegetable oil but you will lose some flavour)
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 5 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3 black cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 3cm/1 1/4 inch long)
  • 3 indian bay leaves (cassia leaves) optional
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp meat masala (optional but delicious)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1kg (2 lbs.) lamb leg meat - cut into bite sized pieces on or off the bone
  • 400g chopped tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • green chillies, finely chopped and to taste
  • ginger, julienned and to taste
  • 3 tbsp plain yoghurt, more or less to taste


  1. Heat the mustard oil in a large heavy bottomed pan or wok that has a lid.
  2. When the oil is hot and beginning to shimmer, stir in the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle in the hot oil, stir in the remaining whole spices and let them infuse into the oil for about a minute.
  3. Now add the chopped onions and fry until translucent and soft. They will turn a light yellow colour from the mustard oil. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the ground spices, followed by the chopped tomatoes and meat.
  5. Continue stirring until the meat is completely coated with the other ingredients in the pan and then add about 125ml (1/2 cup) water.
  6. Cover the pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. After about five minutes, lift the lid and you will see that the meat has already begun to release water and there will be more liquid in the pan than is required.
  7. Continue simmering and checkin/stirring ever couple of minutes to thicken some. You only want a little moisture in the pan so that nothing burns to the bottom.
  8. You will need to continue cooking in this way for about 45 minutes to an hour. Only add water as needed. During the hour I cooked my bhuna, I only added about 700ml (scant 3 cups) the whole time. You just need to add about 70ml (1/4 cup) at a time and watch for signs of burning while cooking with the lid on.
  9. After about an hour of stirring and adding small amounts of water, you meat will be fall off the bone tender and the sauce will be so good and thick, literally clinging to the meat.
  10. Season with salt to taste and then stir in about 1 tablespoon of plain natural yoghurt.
  11. Serve hot with chapattis or naans, garnished with the chillies, ginger and a little more yoghurt if you like.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 51g

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Friday 30th of June 2023

Just trying this, couldn't get mustard oil or black cardamom, but while cooking tastes lovely, one question when adding water it doesn't seem to be thickening, I've left lid slightly ajar to see if that helps, only put in the first 100ml of water, been simmering now for about half an hour, tastes lovely tho, having it tomorrow so would I reheat and add yoghurt, thanks for these recipes I'm sure I will be trying a few, Steve


Tuesday 25th of July 2023

@Dan Toombshad it next day and did use more water,, loved it, I'm doing again this weekend and gonna give your keema nans a go, thanks again

Dan Toombs

Sunday 9th of July 2023

Thanks for letting me know, just add slightly less water if it’s not thick enough for you. Dan


Saturday 3rd of September 2022

Thanks Dan, this is one of my go to Bhuna recipes, I have made it many times for family and friends and all have loved it. I have also made it with your pre cooked lamb as I like the meat very tender. Goes great with baked onion bhajis or potato and mushroom bhaji.(or both) You are "THE" Curry Guy....

Dan Toombs

Sunday 4th of September 2022

All really good to hear. Thanks very much. Dan

Jamie Lynch

Saturday 26th of September 2020

Hi Dan, Having an Indian night tonight with friends and I'm attempting this recipe however, I can't get mustard oil, brown mustard seeds or black cardamom pods locally. But, ill manage as best I can. My question for you is....can I use a slow cooker to do this recipe?

Dan Toombs

Sunday 27th of September 2020

Hi Jamie Yes you could use a slow cooker. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Hi dan,

I can't wait to try making this curry - it looks amazing.

I have one question about the cinnamon stick. Do you put that in with the whole spices at the start and then remove it at the end?

Dan Toombs

Friday 25th of September 2020

Hi Paul Thanks for checking, yes that's right. Dan


Tuesday 21st of November 2017

Hi, i have 6 pounds of lamb meat is it equal or equivalent to 750g of lamb meat that recipe is calling for?

Dan Toombs

Monday 5th of February 2018

That's a lot more. 450g = 1lb.


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