A recipe from one of my Kashmir visits for the saffron project. The few times I have been there in the course of my projects, I built up a treasure of recipes for myself. I am passionate about ingredients and saffron is one of them which has a special place in my kitchen! It is a joy to share some of my most loved recipes here. This is a mild but very flavourful lamb with sauce. The same recipe can be adapted to chicken too. For best results, slow cooking is the golden rule for this recipe and the choice of a good mild red chilli powder for robust colour. If Kashmiri chilli is unavailable, Bedgi ( in India) and Spanish or Hungarian chilli powders are good substitutes.

For 4- 1 tsp=5ml/1 Tbsp=15ml/1 cup=225ml


750 g lamb chops /shoulder cut in 3-4 cm cubes retain the bones for extra taste
1 cup thick yoghurt / quark
1 tsp each salt, Kashmiri chili powder/ any mild, bright red chili powder & garam masala
1 tbsp finely grated or pounded ginger
a pinch of saffron crumbled & soaked in 1 tbsp hot milk
Whisk together all the ingredients & marinate the chops/cubes in it for min. 1 hour
2 tbsp ghee/ butter
2 large pieces cinnamon- 4-5 cms each/ broken in two & 4 green cardamom
6- 8 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
5-6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
100g /2 onions- in fine dice
2 green chilies- slit open vertically (the sauce should be mild, not spicy, chillies are for flavouring)
¾ cup peeled almonds- powdered in a blender or almond powder (make a smooth almond paste in the blender by adding some water)
¼ tsp /generous pinch of saffron soaked in ¼ cup hot milk
2 tsp ghee for finishing


1.Pre-heat oven at 175⁰C/ 325⁰ F ( if you wish to )+ ovenproof casserole or heavy -based pan with a fitting llid if you are cooking on the stoveid
2.Heat the pan of your choice as given above, & add the ghee or butter.
3.If using butter, let it foam/ when ghee is hot then add the whole spices & garlic cloves.
4.Fry for a few seconds till the spices release the aromas and the garlic takes on some colour.
5.Reduce heat, add the onions & fry them on medium heat, till lightly caramelized.
6.Add the green chilies & the lamb, without the marinade.
7.Sear to brown the lamb chops on each side/ Stir-fry till the lamb cubes change colour and the meat is sealed.
8.Add the marinade, saffron infusion, and almond paste.
9.Add the marinade, 2nd saffron infusion, and almond paste.
10.Add ½ cup water for a sauce-like consistency.
11.Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and set it in a pre-heated oven, or simmer on the stove for 40-60 mins till done. If cooking on the stove, use a heat-diffuser ring
12.check midway to make sure the sauce does not burn. Add ¼ cup hot water if needed.
13.At end of cooking add 1-2 tsp ghee to finish. Garnish with fresh mint and serve warm with Turkish bread or a Pilaf.
14.Tip: Remove the whole spices as much as possible before serving for the appearance of the dish.