Minced lamb in yogurt sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

Both minced lamb and chicken are used in India to make kebabs, spicy fillings, or cooked with rice to make quick-and-easy pilaus. In this dish, Dahi Ka Kheema, minced lamb is flavoured with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.


  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 brown cardamom pods, bruised
  • 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm/1 in fresh root ginger, grated, or10ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 10ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 675 g/lb lean minced (ground) lamb
  • 200 ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup whole-milk natural (plain) yogurt
  • 10 ml/2 tsp gram flour (besan)
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5–5ml/½–1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 whole fresh green chillies
  • 2 whole fresh red chillies
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp garam masala
  • sprigs of fresh mint, to garnish
  • warm Indian bread, to serve


  1. Heat the oil over a low heat in a heavy frying pan. Add the cinnamon, both types of cardamom pods and the cloves.

  2. Let the spices sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the chopped onion. Increase the heat to medium and fry, stirring frequently, until the onion is just beginning to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to fry for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and lightly browned.

  3. Add the minced lamb and increase the heat slightly. Stir and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes, until the meat is brown and most of the cooking juices have evaporated.

  4. Blend the yogurt and gram flour together in a small bowl, then stir in the cumin, turmeric and chilli powder.

  5. Add to the mince and stir for 1 minute, then pour in 175ml/6fl oz/¾ cup hot water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

  6. Add the whole chillies and cook for 3–4 minutes, then stir in the garam masala. Garnish with mint and serve with warm Indian bread.

Per portion Energy 460kcal/1914kJ; Protein 39g; Carbohydrate 11g, of which sugars 8g; Fat 30g, of which saturates 3g; Cholesterol147mg; Calcium 141mg; Fibre 1.2g; Sodium 47mg.