New-style Bunny Chow

Reza's take on a South African classic with lamb in pickling spices and brioche.

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time40 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium
500g lean lamb cut into 5cm cubes
1 tsp turmeric
25ml mustard oil (optional)
100g ghee or vegetable oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
4–6 dried red chillies
6 cloves
3 black cardamom pods
4 green cardamom pods
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
5cm piece of root ginger, grated
1 tsp chilli powder
1-2 tbsp gur (sugar molasses, optional)
Juice of 1 lime
4 brioche buns, to serve

Put the meat into a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, skim any scum from the surface, then add salt to taste and the turmeric. Cover, reduce the heat, then simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the meat is tender; this will take 45 minutes to one hour. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, reserving any remaining liquid.

In a separate pan, heat the mustard oil, if using, with the ghee or oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the onions and fry until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Add the whole dried chillies to the remaining oil in the pan and fry until they blacken, then remove the pan from the heat and discard the chillies. Return the oil to the heat once again, then add the cloves and both types of cardamom pods, allowing them to sizzle for a few seconds. Now add the mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds and the asafoetida. Once the seeds begin to crackle and pop, add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the cooked meat with the chilli powder and sugar molasses, if using. Stir-fry for a further few minutes, adding the leftover meat stock, if there is any.

Add the lime juice with 2 tbsp water and simmer over a low heat until all the moisture has evaporated and only the ghee remains on top.

Serve in a hollowed out brioche bun, sprinkled with the fried onions. Or, if you prefer, leave out the brioche buns and serve with chapattis.

Recipe courtesy of Reza’s Indian Spice by Reza Mahammad, published by Quadrille (£17.99, hardback). Photos © Martin Poole.

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