Cashew Curry Lamb Shanks

Recipe Vicki Ravlich-Horan, Images Brydie Thompson

Whenever we have Indian takeaways, my order is predictable—onion bhaji and lamb korma. So this recipe is inspired by korma that uses cashew, not cream, to achieve a creamy yet aromatic curry.  Lamb shanks, which need to be cooked low and slow, create a very rich dish that you’ll love.

4–6 lamb shanks  (we used Ovation lamb shanks from The Greenlea Butcher )
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cardamom
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp ginger, crushed
1 tsp garlic, crushed

For the curry

2 cups cashew nuts soaked in 2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, pureed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
1cm ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
bay leaf
1 cup beef stock
half a lemon


Combine the lamb with all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Cover and allow to marinate for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.

Place the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a blender and process to a puree. Remove and place the cashews in and puree until smooth.

In a Dutch oven or large ovenproof pan, heat the oil, then add the onion mix. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent then add the spices. Cook for a minute or two until the pot is dry and the mixture is aromatic.

Add the lamb and all its marinade into the cooked onions, along with the stock, cashew paste, bay leaf and salt. Cover and place in a low oven (150°C) and cook for 2½ hours or until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice, then check and season to taste. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and some extra chilli. Enjoy with rice and plenty of naan bread to mop up the sauce.

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