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by Neil Clifton

Emma and I had our wedding breakfast at Grafton Manor. The head chef, the son of the family who owned the house had travelled through India in his early years and so once a year they hosted curry buffets, which we attended.

These were not buffets as you would imagine at an all you can eat affair. This was high crafted food, with complex flavours and I remember it was unlike many dishes you would see on an Indian restaurant menu. I spent 12 years trying to find the the right mix of herbs that recreated the flavour.

WINE SUGGESTION: This is a  wine from the South French wine from the  Rhone area, it is  very earthy  with plenty of black fruit that compliments the peppery and spicy undertones of the curry.


4 tbsp natural yogurt

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

4 lamb shanks

2 tbsp sunflower oil

4 onions, sliced

4 tbsp curry powder

8 garlic cloves, grated or crushed

Thumb-sized piece ginger, grated

220g tin chopped tomatoes

300ml chicken/ lamb stock

3 red chillies


1. Combine yogurt, cumin, tumeric and rub onto the lamb. Leave for a min of 2 hrs

2. Sear the lamb in  a frying pan with some oil.

3. Remove lamb once lightly browned add onions and a tablespoon of water to deglaze the pan. 

4. Add curry powder to onions, stir for 2 mins.

5. Add garlic and ginger and cook slowly for another 3 mins.

6. Add lamb shanks and tomatoes to the onions and curry powder. Cover with stock and add the chillies.

7. Cook on gas mark six for 3 hours covered up, then remove the lid for the last hour to evaporate liquid. (to your requirement)


I like to use Xacuti curry powder from Seasoned Pioneers.

For best results, slow smoke the lamb for 2 hours after it has rested in the marinade. Then continue to step 3.



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