Kashmiri-style roast lamb shanks with cranberries, pistachios and almonds

4 hours


Dry spice blend

  • 1/4 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin, or regular cumin
  • 1/2 blade of mace
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp of dried rose petals

Lamb and marinade

  • 2 lamb shanks, about 820–840g in total
  • 1 large red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed or finely grated
  • 2 tbsp of blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp of pistachio nuts
  • 2 tbsp of dried cranberries
  • 300g of Greek yoghurt
  • salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp of ghee, or butter
  • 6 tbsp of vegetable oil


In a spice grinder or food processor, grind together the dry spice mix until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl or sealed container and set aside
Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a pan over a high heat then add the red onion slices. Fry until browned all over then remove from the pan and drain any excess oil on kitchen paper
When cool enough to handle, add the fried onions, ginger, garlic, nuts, cranberries, yoghurt, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to a large, deep-sided dish that will accommodate the lamb shanks
Add a pinch of salt to taste and 1 large tablespoon of the spice mix and mix everything thoroughly together to form a marinade – reserve the rest of the spice blend to garnish later
Add the lamb shanks to the marinade, making sure they are fully coated in the mixture. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Heat a large frying pan with the ghee or butter. remove the shanks from the marinade and seal the meat on all sides in the hot pan. Transfer to a large baking dish and pour over the marinade
Cover loosely with foil and cook for 3 hours, removing the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Baste the meat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil during cooking. When cooked, the meat should be falling off the bone – if it's still a little tough, return to the oven and continue to cook until tender
To serve, sprinkle with the reserved spice mix and serve with rice or vegetables as liked