Recipes Non-Vegetarian


Serves 6


300g small turnips
400g onions
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2" (4-cm) piece fresh ginger
9oz (250g) tomatoes
About 9oz(250g) tomatoes
About 9oz (250g) lamb bones for stock
1 cinnamon leaf (tej patta)
5 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder (deghimirch)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon fennel powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 black cardamoms
4 green cardamoms
1 1/2-in (4-cm) cinnamon stick
700g boti lamb or mutton


1. Peel the turnips and cut into quarters. Prick each piece several times with a toothpick. Sprinkle with a little salt and run in well. Leave at room temperature to degorge for at least 1 hour, then rinse off the salt and set the turnips aside.

2. Chop the onions, 1 clove of garlic and the ginger. Cut the tomatoes in half and grate, discarding the skin. Alternatively puree the peeled tomatoes in a blender.

3. Make a stock by boiling the lamb bones for 45 minutes in 2 cups of water along with the remaining clove of garlic and the bay leaf, and strain.

4. In a frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of the oil and fry the turnips for about 20 minutes until they are pale gold in colour and beginning to get a crispy skin. Keep turning them around so they become evenly pale gold in colour. Remove the turnips and drain on kitchen paper.

5. Put the oil from the pan into a cooking pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Add the chopped onions and saute for about 10-15 minutes over a low to moderate heat until a golden brown. Make sure the heat is not too high or they will fry unevenly. Then add the chopped ginger and garlic and continue to saute for a further 5 minutes.

6. Add the chilli, paprika, turmeric, fennel and coriander powders, the cardamoms, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons water, the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the lamb, and mix well. Stir-fry the meat for 2 minutes so that it is evenly coated with spices. Cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes until the meat releases moisture which mingles with the spices and is re-absorbed.

7. Remove lid when the meat is almost dry. Then, with a cooking spoon, stir and turn the meat over several times, for 5 minutes. This continuous stirring enables the spice mixture around the meat to come into contact with the heat at the bottom of the pot, and gives the dish its special flavour. It is known as the bhuna process.

8. Season with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, add the pureed tomato and again stir and turn the meat. Pour in the stock, cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes. About 5 minutes before the meat is tender, add the turnips. Turn off the heat when the meat and turnips are tender. If the dish is not to be eaten for some time the turnips will continue to absorb some of the curry. So, when reheating, if more curry is desired just add extra water as required. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if necessary, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove bones before serving.

This curry is deep red in colour but not as hot as it looks. If you want it hotter then increase the quantity of chilli powder.

Duck and turnips are also cooked together in the same way in Kashmir. Instead of turnips you could use potatoes and the dish would be just as nice: you do not need to salt the potatoes.

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