Margarita's International Recipes



Lamb Cooked in Milk and Yoghurt

Lamb rezala is a specialty of Bengali Muslims, who cook it for special occasions. I hope when they cook it, it turns out better than this recipe did for me.

I followed the original recipe almost exactly, except that after cooking the lamb on the oil-ghee mixture, I dumped some of the fat off. There was so much fat as it was, that I could not imagine consuming it all. I was also unable to find the called for "kewra" water, so I substituted with rose water. I don't think it made much of a difference.

There were several problems with this dish. First of all, it wasn't very tasty. The cardamon taste was too strong and overpowered almost everything else. Cardamon in moderation can be great, but too much of it can make a dish too bitter (as in this case). It was also too salty. If you make it (and I don't think you should), you should probably cut both the cardamon and the salt from this recipe.

Lamb Cooked in Milk and Yoghurt


  • 2 lbs. boneless lamb, cut into chunks
  • 3" fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yoghurt, lightly beaten
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 cardamon pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 10 green chiles, slit at one end
  • 10 dried red chiles, soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 1 tsp. rose water


    Make a paste from the ground ginger and garlic by putting them in a blender with 4 tbsp. of water. Mix the ginger-garlic paste with the yoghurt, bay leaves, cardamon, cloves, mace and nutmeg. Add the lamb and coat well. Cover and let marinade unrefrigerated for 3-4 hours.

    Remove the lamb from the marinade and set marinade aside. Heat the oil and ghee together over high heat. Add the lamb, salt and sugar and stir fry until the lamb is browned. Add the marinade and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Add the chiles and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. Add the rose water, stir and serve.

    Adapted from a Flavors of India.

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