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Staff Curry – Chana Gosht

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Going out for a curry? Ask for the staff curry! Or make this delicious chana Gosht!

I enjoyed one of the best chana gosht curries ever at a restaurant called Lahore Kebab House in Shoreditch.

The curry they served me wasn’t the one on the menu but a staff curry that was super spicy and out of this world delicious.

The staff curry is often the best dish you can order. Be sure to ask your waiter. This is usually an authentic meal that only the staff get to eat.

Chana Gosht Indian restaurant style

The staff curry is often the best curry you’ll find at Indian restaurants. Ask for it!



How this staff curry made its way to my blog.

I was at Lahore Kebab House to learn a few of their recipes and they wanted me to try the curry they were eating at break time.

Although I didn’t get the staff curry recipe at the time, I knew it was one I needed.

As I was busy writing my first cookbook full of British Indian restaurant curries at the time, I noted this dish down so that I could get the recipe later when I had time to try cooking it at home.

Then by surprise…

So for that same book, I was developing a recipe for shami kebabs. 

It wasn’t until I tried the mixture I was cooking, before blending it all up for the shamis, that I realised that the flavour was so close to that chana gosht curry I had at Lahore!

If this isn’t their exact chana gosht recipe, it is definitely close. I love it and make it all the time now.

I pan fried the lamb this time but I prefer to grill it outside over the hot coals and recommend you do the same. It adds an amazing smoky and charred flavour.

Pan frying meat for chana gosht

Pan frying the lamb with the dry rub of spices.

Frying onions for the curry sauce.

Frying the onions with the remaining spices.

adding lentils to chana gosht sauce

In go the lentils!

Simmering the curry

Now for the long simmer.

Indian restaurant style chana gosht

Dig in!

Making chana gosht is easy and delicious. As staff curries go, this is right up there with the best I have had. You’ve really got to try this one.

Here are more curry house curry favourites you might like to try!

Chicken Korma
Chicken Madras
Chicken Dhansak
Lamb Rogan Josh
Lamb Vindaloo
Chicken Chilli Garlic
Chicken Patia

Yield: 4 - 6

Channa Gosht

Channa Gosht
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 1 kilo lamb chops on or off the bone
  • 2 large onions - finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies - finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons garlic/ginger paste
  • 400ml chopped tomatoes
  • 150g (scant one cup) channa dhal (soaked for 20 mins)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander


  1. Stir all of the ground spices together.
  2. Mix one tablespoon of the oil with one generous tablespoon of the ground spice mixture and rub this into the meat. For best results, let the meat marinate in the spices for 2 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, Brown the meat for a couple of minutes per side. You may need to do this in batches.
  4. Transfer the meat to a plate and spoon the rest of the oil into the pan.
  5. Fry the onions and chillies over medium high heat until the onion is soft and translucent.
  6. Now add the garlic/ginger paste and the rest of the ground spices.
  7. Stir this all up and add the tomatoes, channa dhal and add just enough water to cover. Add the browned meat.
  8. Simmer the curry until the channa dhal is soft and the meat is tender. This will take about an hour. You may need to add a little water during the cooking process.
  9. This should be quite a dry curry so when your lentils are soft, continue to simmer until you have a thick sauce.
  10. Add salt to taste and sprinkle with the garam masala.
  11. Serve garnished with the fresh coriander.

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I hope you enjoy this chana gosht staff curry recipe. If you do give it a try, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Friday 6th of January 2023

Hi Dan Long time follower and owner of your books…but first time poster! 🙂 I cooked this one and really liked the flavours but wondered if the Chana dal should be soaked for more than the suggested 20 minutes? My dal was still very al dente after a good 90 minutes of simmering. I noticed that many other recipes recommend soaking for anywhere from an hour to overnight!

Dan Toombs

Friday 6th of January 2023

You could definitely try soaking longer but 20 minutes works for me. Try cooking longer too, may be to do with the brand you’re using as it’s never an exact science. Thanks very much for your support anyway. Dan

Terry Wilcox

Friday 20th of November 2020

I'm missing something, you say take the meat out and put it on a plate in step 4, but never say when to put it back in. The next reference is in step 8, where it is supposed to be tender. Its not going to get tender sitting on a ate :-)

Dan Toombs

Thursday 26th of November 2020

Thanks for noticing. Add the browned meat in step 7, I have amended the recipe. Dan


Friday 26th of May 2017

This looks absolutely delicious. My husband and I love lamb curries and I'm partial to a good, spicy heat. Brilliant recipe Pinned.

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 31st of May 2017

Thank you very much Sammie. Much appreciated.


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