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Lamb with Green Mango (Kacha Aam ka Gosht)

by Suneeta Vaswani

Serves 6-8

Green mangoes are a summer treat in India. They are very hard, unripe and sour. In North America, they are now available in Asian markets almost year-round.


2 tbsp    Indian poppy seeds (see Tip, page 219) 25 mL
1⁄2 cup   granulated sugar   75 mL
11⁄2 lbs  green mangoes, peeled and cut into    750 mL
1⁄4-inch (0.5 cm) thick slices (approx.)
3 tbsp    oil, divided  45 mL
1 tbsp    cashews   15 mL
1 tbsp    slivered almonds   15 mL
1 tbsp    dried coconut flakes (see Tip, left)  15 mL
8    whole cloves  8
12   green cardamom pods, cracked open 12
3    sticks cinnamon, each about 2 inches (5 cm) long     3
3    bay leaves    3
2 lbs     boneless lamb, preferably leg or shoulder, 1 kg
cut into 11⁄2-inch (4 cm) pieces
2 tbsp    dry unsweetened coconut powder    25 mL
(see Tip, page 228)
2 tsp     salt or to taste   10 mL
11⁄2 tsp  cayenne pepper     7 mL
1⁄2 tsp   turmeric  2 mL


1.   In a smooth mortar, soak poppy seeds in 2 tbsp (25 mL) water for 15 minutes. Grind to a paste with pestle. Set aside.

2.   In a saucepan, melt sugar in 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) water over medium heat. Add mangoes and cook gently for 3 minutes. Set aside.

3.   In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat. Add cashews, almonds and coconut flakes and sauté until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

4.   Add remaining oil to saucepan and return to medium-high heat. Add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves and sauté until fragrant, for 30 seconds. Add lamb and sauté until brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

5.   Add poppy seed paste and coconut powder. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture is dark brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt, cayenne and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes.

6.   Add 2 cups (500 mL) water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring periodically, until lamb is fork-tender, about 1 to 11⁄2 hours.

7.   Stir mangoes with syrup into meat and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with fried nut mixture.


Dried coconut flakes are available in packages in Indian stores or in bulk bins in health food stores and specialty markets. The flakes are about 3⁄4-by 1⁄2-inch (2 by 1 cm) pieces.

Lamb with Green Mango and Spinach: Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in a skillet. Sauté 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) cumin seeds until fragrant for 30 seconds. Add 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) fenugreek seeds and sauté for 15 seconds. Add 8 cups (2 L) loosely packed baby spinach leaves and sauté until just wilted. Place in a serving dish and spoon lamb over top without covering spinach entirely.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Complete Book of Indian Cooking, by Suneeta Vaswani, Robert Rose Inc., 2007.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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