Lamb pasanda hariyali

Lamb pasanda hariyali

Spice Kitchen
Jana Liebenstein

Most Indian meat curries are cooked on the bone for the added concentrated flavour that it gives to the meat. But there are some exceptions. Pasanda (from the word pasand, which means ‘liked by everyone’) is a special, tender cut of meat – lamb or goat is used in India – that is usually taken from the top of the leg and flattened. However, this recipe uses the backstrap of lamb or lamb loin fillets – thin but extra-tender cuts of meat. Once the 4–8 hours of marinating is done, this really is a very quick, fresh-tasting dish to make. Serve it with Naan, Chapattis or Parathas and a Raita.


Quantity Ingredient
800g lamb backstraps or lamb loin fillet
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
30g Ghee
or 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, sliced
red chilli, sliced, to garnish
s lemon or lime wedges, dipped in crushed chillies, to garnish (see note)

Green Masala

Quantity Ingredient
200g english spinach, washed thoroughly and roughly chopped
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
4 green chillies
small handful mint leaves
large handful coriander leaves

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
or Chapattis
or Parathas
Cucumber raita
or Prawn raita
or Boondi raita


  1. To make the green masala, blanch the spinach in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, allow to cool a little, then transfer to a food processor. Add the spring onion, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, chillies, mint and coriander and process to make a smooth purée.
  2. Clean the lamb backstraps or lamb loin fillets. Cut each backstrap or fillet into eight pieces, then flatten to about 1 cm thick with a meat mallet or the flat edge of a large knife or cleaver. Put the lamb in a shallow dish and coat thoroughly with the green masala. Cover and put in the refrigerator to marinate for 4–8 hours.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the lamb with the marinade and cook for 1 minute on each side to seal the meat.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. Put a metal plate slightly smaller than the frying pan on top of the meat and weigh it down with something heavy (such as food cans) to stop the meat from curling up. Cook for a further 5–7 minutes. Remove from the heat and rest the lamb for 5 minutes.
  5. Meawhile, in a separate large frying pan, heat the ghee or oil over a high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Mix the onion with the rested lamb to combine thoroughly, then serve immediately garnished with sliced red chilli and lemon wedges.


  • To make the garnish, using a mortar and pestle grind 1 tablespoon of crushed chillies to a coarse powder. Transfer to a plate and dip the lemon or lime wedges in the powder to coat them. The wedges will absorb a little of the heat from the chillies and add an extra kick when squeezed over the lamb.
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