Lamb Shank Korma – Lucknow style


 This refined, highly aromatic dish comes from Lucknow, a city renowned among India’s Muslims for its elegant way of life.

Lucknow , often called nawabon ka shaher (city of nawabs), could be an ideal tourist destination, but you don’t have to travel that far in order to eat like the nawabs.

Here is the recipe you can prepare and enjoy in your home.



¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


LAMB Shanks (1 lamb shank is two servings)


2-3 teaspoons rose water

vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

1 onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/3 cup raw cashews

chile pepper chopped

2 bay leaves


1-2 teaspoons ground coriander

cayenne pepper to taste

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

¾ teaspoon ground mace

½ teaspoon ground cardamom


juice of 1 lime




 Arm yourself with patience; it takes two - three hours to prepare this delicious dish.





Mix cinnamon, cloves, ground pepper and cardamom.




Lightly crush several threads of saffron and soak in rose water for at least 15 minutes.




Put ¼ oil in Dutch oven and add chile, bay leaves, ginger, garlic, lamb shank, coriander, ½ Garam Masala and salt. Sauté over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring continuously.




Reduce heat to low. Add cayenne and yogurt, stir continuously 3 minutes and simmer until yogurt is absorbed. Add remaining Garam Masala, mace, cardamom and sauté 3 more minutes. Add( 2 cups)water

And bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until lamb shanks are tender.




Separately put oil in skillet and fry sliced onion until medium brown. Add cashews and fry 5 minutes more.




Discard oil and transfer cool onion mixture to food processor. Pure and save for later.




When lamb is done debone and add the onion mixture. Let simmer on low heat until silky brown gravy forms, about 10 more minutes.

Add lime juice and saffron rose water.




 Prepare Jasmine rice about 20 minutes before your dish is ready to serve.

Here I fry a clove of garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil. You can remove the browned garlic if you wish. Add

 Water(1  ½ cup) salt, 1 cup Jasmine rice, and ½ of the saffron rose water mixture for color. Cover tight and let simmer about 20 minutes on low heat.




Serve immediately.





Ripe mangoes and butter cookies are a pleasant finish to this elegant dinner.



If you wonder what nawabs did after such delightful meals you may wish to visit a web page about URDU poetry and its history. Or maybe you wish to listen to Ghazal music. Here is a link to the best Ghazal singers .