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Mughlai Lamb Shanks with Turnips

(recipe, Rich and Jess Bernstein)


by Madhur Jaffrey


  1. 10 small turnips, approx. 1.5 lbs- cut into large cubes if big
  2. 2 t salt
  3. 8 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  4. 2¼ lb. stewing lamb (shanks), cut off the bone into 1½" cubes
  5. 10 oz. plain yogurt
  6. 1 -inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  7. ½ t turmeric
  8. ½ t cayenne
  9. 1 Tbsp. coriander
  10. 4 pt. water
  11. ½ t garam masala


  1. Peel the turnips and prick them with a fork. Put them in a bowl and rub with ¾ t salt. Set aside for 1½ - 2 hrs.
  2. Cut the onions in half, lengthwise, and then crosswise into very thin slices.
  3. Put the oil in a large, wide, preferably nonstick pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions. Stir and fry for about 12 minutes until the onions are a reddish brown color. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the oil as you can. Spread the cooked onions on a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the lamb into the same pot along with the ginger, yogurt, and 1 t salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat up high. You should, at this stage, have a fair amount of thin sauce. Cook on high heat, stirring every now and then, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is fairly thick and you just begin to see the oil. Turn the heat down a bit to medium-high and continue to stir and fry for 5-7 minutes or until the meat is lightly browned and the sauce has disappeared. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the turmeric, cayenne, and coriander. Stir a minute.
  5. Now put in the water and 1 t. salt. Drain the turnips and add them as well. Bring the pan to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until you have less than a third of the liquid left. Stir the pot several times during the cooking period.
  6. Put in the browned onions and the garam masala. Stir gently to mix and turn heat to low. Cook gently, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Stir a few times, taking care not to break the turnips.
  7. 7. Spoon off the oil that floats to the top and serve.