Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Recipe

Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Curry Recipe

Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Curry Recipe

Achari Gosht, a beautiful, braised meat dish with pickling spices and beautifully slow-cooked lamb or mutton shoulder. Luxurious, well spiced and sour. For a beautiful, traditional curry bowl, you’ll find just the thing right here! (The previous was an affiliate link for which I earn a commission per purchase.)

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Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Recipe
Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Recipe

Introduction

Achari Gosht is one of those recipes that really stands out when you see it on a takeaway or restaurant menu. The idea of essentially a pickled curry is a fascinating, very alluring one.

After all, are those of us who appreciate a good curry not usually fans of big, potent flavours? And what more big and potent flavours can there possibly be than the sour flavour of good pickle?

The reality, of course, is not a dish made with pickle. But one made with the very same spices that you might find in a lime pickle or something of that nature. And the end result is a curry with a deliciously subtle hint of pickle flavour, rather than the obnoxious and intense flavour it might have held.

A little citrus or vinegar brings out those flavours wonderfully. And the whole thing works perfectly with beautiful, slow-cooked pieces of meat. The wonderful fatty cuts melt down into perfect pieces of meat all wrapped up in a perfectly unctuous sauce.

It's a common misconception that "gosht" means lamb. It actually refers to the technique of slowly braising the meat.
A real, authentic Pork pandi would be a little darker in colour, thanks to the addition of Kachampuli, a blackened vinegar created by the Coorgi people of India.

About this dish – Achari Gosht

To recreate this dish, we’re going to be using the very same spices you’ll find in a good Indian pickle. With spices like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onion seeds and fennel, the dish has lots of powerful, even pungent flavours. And plenty of others!

Those flavours are further intensified through the use of mustard oil instead of the more commonly used cooking oils. It isn’t the end of the world if you don’t have access to mustard oil, but it does help to bring out that characteristic Achari Gosht flavour.

I’ve used lamb shoulder, because it has lots and lots of flavour and enough fat to stay nice and juicy when it’s braised. You could use lamb or mutton for this recipe.

You may even want to trim a little bit of the fat before you cook. Or go the other way and throw in some really big, fatty chunks of meat. Something that will be really satisfying to bite into.

In this dish, I’ve crushed the spices into a fine powder. You can do the same or you can leave them whole. I actually really like the explosions of flavour you get from whole spices. But in this instance, I thought it more important to get a nice, smooth, consistent sauce. And to distribute the flavour evenly throughout it.

And finally, a little splash of citrus or even vinegar will help to sour up the dish and, combined with those incredible spices, create that perfect pickled flavour.

"Achari" refers to the spices used in this dish, the same used when making various pickles.
Mustard seeds, fennel and cumin are all fantastic flavours to compliment this delicious meat.

A quick guide – Easy Lamb / Mutton Recipe

So, the first thing we’re going to do is dice up the meat and brown it all over in a super-hot pan with a good whack of mustard oil and a little seasoning. Then we can set that aside and save it until we’re ready to braise.

Some recipes will ask you to put the meat in as you cook the spices. You can. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I find it easier to do that part first. That way you’re not worrying about burning those fragile spices while the meat takes its time to colour.

Next up, we’ll prep our other ingredients. We’ll start by dicing up an onion and setting it aside. And then by peeling and dicing up our garlic and ginger and grinding them into a paste, which we’ll also set aside.

For the powder, the first thing to do is toast mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and onion seeds in a hot, unoiled pan until you can smell the scent lifting up from the pan. But be careful not to burn them.

Once that’s done, grind them into a fine powder in a pestle and mortar and combine them with fenugreek, red chilli and asafoetida, a fantastic, pungent spice that wonderfully brings out both the pickle flavour of the other spices and the fattiness of the lamb or mutton.

And then we cook.

First off, we caramelise the onions, long and slow, until they turn soft, brown, translucent and generally wonderful. Then the spices go in, followed by the paste.

Next we’ll add our tomato paste, our pre-seared meat, a bay leaf and some water. Then we’ll reduce everything down over a couple of hours until the lamb is soft and melty and incredible.

Finally, we finish, season and garnish. A little yogurt, a little lemon juice, any additional salt and whatever you’d like to sprinkle on top. Within reason of course!

A little yogurt makes an otherwise tart dish a little creamier.
A little yogurt makes an otherwise tart dish a little creamier.

A few final things to remember

  • These spices are pretty specific to this recipe. That’s not to say they’re not used in other recipes, but that this exact composition really does make a big difference. If you don’t have anything, I would never say you can’t go ahead and make a fantastic, delicious curry. But I would say, in this instance, you might not quite replicate that signature Achari Gosht flavour!
  • Lamb or mutton. Mutton or lamb. Your choice of meat is up to you really. Lamb and mutton both have a fantastic fatty quality to them. Even the leaner cuts of meat seem to bring an unctuousness to a a dish that helps to carry flavour all the way to your palate. But if you wanted to use chicken or even beef, there’d be no reason at all not to. Just adjust the cooking times and the liquid quantity a little and you’re there.
  • Lemon, lime, vinegar or tamarind. There’s a whole world of souring flavours out there for you to choose from. I’ve used lemon juice because I love the freshness of citrus flavours. But if you don’t have any or prefer something else, by all means make the dish your own.
  • The cooking times are a guide. Different hobs, pans and ovens all cook differently. So you’ll want to keep an eye on it as it cooks. And if necessary, top up the water to keep the meal moist. But don’t go too far. You want soft, tender meat, yes, but you also want a nice, thick sauce that coats every single mouthful.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


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Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Recipe

Achari Gosht | Easy Lamb / Mutton Recipe

Ed Chef
Achari Gosht, a beautiful, braised meat dish with pickling spices and beautifully slow-cooked lamb or mutton shoulder. Luxurious, well spiced and sour.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g Lamb shoulder or otherwise
  • Mustard Oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 inches Fresh Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 lrg White Onion
  • 1-2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp Yogurt full fat
  • Lemon Juice or lime juice, vinegar or tamarind
  • Fresh Coriander

Instructions
 

Prep

  • First, dice up the meat and brown it all over in a very hot pan with a generous amount of mustard oil. Season with a little salt and set aside. Deglaze the pan with 2/3 pint water and set that aside separately.
  • Peel and finely dice an onion and set it aside. Then peel and dice the garlic and ginger and grind them into a paste. Set them aside separately.
  • In a very hot, dry pan, toast the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and onion seeds, then grind them into a fine powder in a pestle and mortar and combine them with fenugreek, red chilli and asafoetida.

Cook

  • Caramelise the onions on a low heat in a pan with some more mustard oil for about 10 minutes, then add the dry spices and after another minute or two the fresh paste. Stir regularly as you cook. You want everything to taste a bit of direct heat from the pan.
  • After a further minute or two, add the tomato paste, pre-seared meat, a bay leaf and the water we set aside, then simmer slowly over a couple of hours until the meat reaches the desired tenderness and the sauce the desired consistency.
  • Finally, add a little yogurt, lemon juice and some extra salt if necessary, then stir it all together and serve with fresh coriander.
Keyword achari, achari gosht, Curry, gosht, Lamb, Lamb Curry, mutton, mutton curry

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