This recipe from Kevin O'Toole of Chameleon Restaurant in is warm and comforting with a mild kick

"What a perfect dish for this time of year – rustic, comforting and delicious. This is a proper, traditional Indonesian dish, except it would be made with goat instead of lamb. You can use diced lamb instead. Just make sure to brown the lamb first and don’t add the rendered fat from the browning process into your sauce, as this leaves a fatty taste in the mouth. Alternatively, you could slowly roast a shoulder of lamb in the oven and add your sauce to it at the end. The sauce could be made in advance" - Kevin O'Toole

Yield: Serves 4


  • 50ml cooking oil
  • 4 lamb hind shanks
  • 800ml coconut milk
  • 400ml passata
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Pandan leaves, Asian market, use bay leaves if you can’t find them
  • 400ml water
  • 100ml tamarind concentrate
  • Salt and palm sugar to taste

For the paste

  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds, dry fry and grind in pestle and mortar
  • 6 teaspoons coriander seeds, dry fry and grind in pestle and mortar
  • 1½ teaspoons nutmeg powder
  • 1½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 green chillies, deseeded
  • 3 Thai green chillies, seeds in
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, the bottom third, sliced
  • 30g sliced galangal
  • 30g sliced ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 300g sliced shallots


  1. Blitz the paste ingredients in a food processor and shallow fry in a little oil for 10 – 15 minutes over a low heat. Set aside.
  2. Heat some oil in a heavy based pot and using a tongs, brown all sides of the shanks. Take your time doing this – get a good colour. Set aside.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/gas mark 3.
  4. In a deep roasting tin or earthenware dish, put all the ingredients in, except the shanks and seasoning and stir to combine. Add the lamb and cover tightly with tin foil.
  5. Cook for 2 ½ to four hours, until the meat is super tender.
  6. Remove the shanks and season the sauce, reduce it a little, if necessary. Serve with sweet potato mash or rice.