Curry Club 3, Series 1: Lamb Bhuna with Butternut Squash

Nov 27, 2012 by


Similar to a mother’s discomfort when asked ‘who is her favorite?’ I feel the same way when asked which of the 4 Curry Club curries is  my favorite. However, when the guilt is put aside and the palate can freely judge, for me it was last weeks ‘Lamb Bhuna’.

Last week was the third Curry Club at Jones Wood Foundry. At this point, the series had become rhythmic. Amongst the solid set of Monday night Jones Wood patrons, there was a subculture evolving around the Curry Club itself some of whom were recreating memories from their time in the U.K. and others who were enticed by the sound of something accessible yet exotic.

Why was this particular dish such a topper? The lamb bhuna is a curry but with the gelatinous qualities of a casserole. It is slow-braised and as it cooks the sauce grips the meat for dear life, making it saucey and jammy leaving the meat heavenly tender. Just when one thought that things couldn’t get any better, the dish was topped off with a classic seasonal vegetable – golden nuggets of butternut squash. Whilst the lamb was unmistakably Indian, some of the technique borrows from the landscape of which it is now a part – ‘Great Britain’.

Walking into the Jones Wood Foundry last Monday with the sweet scent of cardamom and rich aroma of ginger made one feel entitled – entitled to award oneself this luxury.


Recipe For Lamb Bhuna and Butternut Squash


2 lb Lamb shoulder, cut in cubes (with some bone)


1 TBSP. Ginger, minced

1 TSP. Garlic, minced

¾ Tsp. Salt

2 TBSP. Red wine vinegar


1/3 cup cooking oil

1 TSP. cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

4 cloves

1 Black cardamom

3 Green cardamoms

1 ½ onion

1 ½ TBSP. Ginger, minced

1 ½ TSP. garlic, minced

1 green chili

½ tsp. Haldi

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. chili powder/ cayenne pepper

1 TSP. Coriander powder, roasted and crushed

½ TSP. fresh cracked pepper

1 TBSP. Tomato puree

1 can peeled plum tomatoes, crushed (14 oz can)

½ cup plain yoghurt

½ can coconut milk

¼ cup fresh Cilantro

1 cup water (or beer)

1 cup of roasted butternut squash, large dice

Handful of fresh chopped cilantro for garnish




1)   Trim most fat off the lamb

2)   Place lamb in mixing bowl with salt, ginger, garlic and red wine vinegar for 1 hour

3)   Remove from refrigeration and allow to lose chill.


4) Heat a frying pan and batch fry in a film of oil to get a crust, set aside on wire racks

5) Heat oil in a pan, fry cumin seeds, as they turn dark red, add aromatics and sauté for another 30 seconds

6) Add finely diced onions and cook on high heat until they brown and darken at the edges. Add the nutmeg, chili, coriander powder, salt, black pepper and fry another minute

7) Add the ginger, green chili and garlic and allow them to golden and get color

8) Add puree, cook for a couple of minutes to remove raw taste. Add crushed tomatoes. When oil separates add the lamb back in to the pan. Add 1 cup of hot water (or beer), bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Cook on low heat covered for about an hour in total

9) After first 30 mins, lamb should be half done. Cook uncovered to dry off excess moisture. Beat the yoghurt in a mixing bowl, then add to pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk, continue cooking until moisture has turned in to thick sauce that coats the lamb.

10) Add the roasted squash and garnish with cilantro




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