Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

For Easter I decided to do two lamb shanks recipes this one and a second that I will publish later in the week. There are other versions of Rogan Josh Lamb Shanks but this is my version.

To get the best from this recipe you need to slash the lamb shanks a few times to allow the spices to penetrate.

Like all lamb shanks meals this one needs a long cooking time to tenderise the meat.


  • 2″ piece of ginger, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp water
  • vegetable oil
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • ½tsp of peppercorns
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 250 g plain yogurt
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 lamb shanks, depending on how many you are cooking for


  1. Blend together the ginger, garlic and the 4 tablespoons of water.
  2. Put the inner pot on a medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the lamb shanks and brown all over 2 at a time. Then put them to one side while you prepare the sauce to cook them in.
  4. Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorn and cinnamon in the inner pot and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic mixture and stir for 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the yogurt and mix well.
  8. Slowly add the rest of the yogurt and the tin of tomatoes  stirring as it is added. Cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Place the shanks into the sauce making sure that they are cover. If the sauce does not cover them add a little water.
  10. Bring to the boil before turning down to a simmer.
  11. Put on the lid and simmer for 10 minutes before placing the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  12. Shut the lid and thermal cook without power until the shanks are tender. This will be 5 to 6 hours.
  13. Serve with rice and nan bread.

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This recipe is really easy and the ideal meal make when you are on the road. It comes from a very old book that I have, produced by Bisto and uses bisto gravy powder. I have used granules as they are easier and were all I had in the cupboard.


  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped. Use less if you don’t want it too hot
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp of Madras curry powder
  • 500g of lamb shoulder, cut into cubes
  • 3 tsp of Bisto or other gravy powder
  • 500ml of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Put the inner pot on a medium heat and add the oil.
  2. When the oil is up to temperature (not too hot) add the onion, green pepper, chillies and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes until the onion just starts to soften.
  3. Add the curry powder and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring all the time to stop it sticking to the base of the pot.
  4. Add the meat and keep moving it around until it starts to brown.
  5. Mix the Bisto with a little water to make a smooth cream. You won’t have to do this if you are using granules.
  6. Add the rest of the water, tomato puree and lemon juice  to the inner pot and stir well.
  7. Stir in the Bisto and bring to the boil.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  9. Put the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  10. Leave to thermal cook for at least 2 hours. Longer will be better.
  11. Check seasoning and adjust before serving with rice and Nan bread.

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Rice fields in Indonesia

Probably like you, many of the meals I cook, involve serving them with rice. If you own a thermal cooker there are two way to deal with this.
If your thermal cooker has only one inner pot (some thermal cooker have two) I can either put a trivet in the bottom (its legs in the food) and put something like my cake tin containing part boiled rice on the trivet or cook your rice about 30 minutes before I want to eat in a separate saucepan. If you on the other hand have a Mr D’s top pot you can follow the recipe and then put the top pot in the inner pot before placing the inner pot into the outer container.
In the past I have tried many methods of cooking rice. These include Jamie Oliver’s rice cooking method from his book “Ministry of Food” and Madhur Jaffrey’s methods from her book “Illustrated Indian Cookery”. All of these work but take far more time than my method and do not seem to be any better.


  • 1/2 cup of rice per person. I always use Basmati rice except for when I am cooking Thai food. With Thai I prefer Jasmine rice.
  • 1 cup of water for each 1/2 cup of rice.
  • Salt to taste.


  1. Add the water to a saucepan.
  2. Add salt tasting the water until you can taste the salt. Vary the amount to your taste but remember if you can’t taste the salt in the water your rice will tend to be bland.
  3. Bring the water to the boil.
  4. Pour the rice into the boiling water and bring it back to the boil.
  5. Boil it gently (a rolling boil) for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan.
  7. Leave for about 30 minutes and you then will have perfectly cooked rice.
  8. Before serving fluff up with a fork.

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We have always looked upon lamb biriani cooked in a thermal cooker as being our signature dish. It was the first thing I cooked in a thermal cooker and since then have made it many times for parties, evening diners and Sunday lunches. It is always popular with everyone who tries it.
Last June we made a video on how to cook this dish and posted it on You Tube along with a number of others and it has turned out to be the most popular recipe video on Mr D’s Kitchen You Tube Channel. The nearest to it is another great dish Mussaman Duck Curry .
If you are not one of the 1,534 people who have viewed in on You Tube and would like to see it here it is.

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