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Indian Lamb Roast (Thakurdar Nona Gosht)

Indian Lamb Roast (Thakurdar Nona Gosht)
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This is a traditional recipe, which is prepared by the Christian community of West Bengal, India. The preparation for this grand dish begins 15 days before Christmas when the leg of a male goat or lamb is marinated in a rich sauce and then sealed in a clay pot. The sealed clay pot is then buried in a specially dug pit for 15 days. On Christmas day, the mutton leg is dug out and roasted. Thakurda in Bengali means “grandfather”, nona means “salty” and gosht means “meat”. The salty is a reference to the 15 days of curing the meat. Christmas is celebrated in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the capital of West Bengal, with huge pomp and gusto; the streets are all lit up and people bake cakes at home, irrespective of their religion. The cuisine of the Bengali Christian community is what you might describe as “Anglo Indian”, a combination of British and Indian cuisines. Like all the other local cuisines of West Bengal, the use of mustard oil is predominant in this festive dish; it provides a wonderful depth of flavour. You can use any regular vegetable oil if you can’t find mustard oil.


  1. 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) of lamb or mutton leg
  2. 250 ml (1 cup) mustard oil (or any vegetable oil)
  3.  1 cinnamon stick 4 cloves 6 cardamoms ground finely
  4. Marinade and Sauce
  5. 1 large handful coriander leaves (cilantro)
  6. 10 cloves garlic, ground to a paste
  7. 5 cm (2”) ginger, ground to a paste
  8. 60 g (½ cup) of cashew nuts
  9. 75 g (½ cup) of raisins (soaked in water overnight)
  10. 70 g (½ cup) of almonds (soaked overnight, then peeled)
  11.  10 green chillies
  12. 125 ml (½ cup) rum (optional)
  13. 250 ml (½ cup) curd
  14. ¼ cup mustard oil (or any vegetable oil)
  15.  1½ tsp of salt
  16. ½ tsp nutmeg


  1. Place all marinade ingredients into a chopper and chop to a fine paste.
  2. Divide the mixture into two equal halves.
  3. Smear half the mixture on the lamb leg and massage it in for 5 minutes.
  4. Keep the marinated meat in a glass container and cover with cling film.
  5.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  6. Reserve the other half of the mixture for the sauce by putting it in an airtight container and placing it in the fridge overnight.
  7. Next day, take the lamb leg out of the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking to let it come to room temperature.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F).
  9.  Heat ½ a cup of mustard oil in a large pan and fry the mutton leg on medium heat, to brown on all sides. Reserve the oil for preparing the sauce.
  10. Place the mutton leg on a baking tray, and cover it with foil.
  11. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, depending on the size of your lamb leg.
  12. It should be done when the meat is pulling away from the bone.
  13. Insert a knife at the thicker part of the leg and, if the juices run clear, you know it’s done.
  14.  Brush the leg with the reserved oil and bake again, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, turning a couple of times so that the meat is slightly charred on the surface.
  15. This will mimic the flavour and look of cooking it over coals. While the meat is roasting, let’s prepare the sauce. Heat the reserved mustard oil on medium heat and sauté the cinnamon, cloves and whole cardamoms for 1-2 minutes.
  16.  Add the reserved marinade and cook for 5 minutes until there is a clear separation of the oil and the green sauce.
  17. Add about 60 ml (¼ cup) of water and cook for a minute more.

You are looking for a sauce of pouring consistency. Pour the sauce onto a plate and sit the roasted leg on it.



This recipe is a part of Foodies+ Christmas cookbook which contains classy and traditional Christmas recipes from the kitchen around the world ,compiled in a way that they can be easily prepared by people who love to bake and cook for the family ,friends and relatives ..during any festival

The money collected will be going to a charity “Action Against Hunger” http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/
I am happy for the fact that I am part of this collaborative effort, to bring you a gorgeous recipe book written by some dedicated foodies.

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One thought on : Indian Lamb Roast (Thakurdar Nona Gosht)

  • Aju P George
    December 17, 2016 at 7:32 am

    ‘इंडियन रेसिपी के बरे में आप ने लिखा हैं अच्छास लगा और सभी को अपने देश का व्यलजंन पंसद आयेगा , और आप का रेसिपी मुझे पसंद आया

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Indrani Sen