Aloo Gosht (Mutton/Lamb and Potato Curry)
Here’s a recipe for a homestyle, just-like-mom’s Aloo Gosht – Mutton/Lamb and Potato Curry. This is a traditional, one-pot recipe that’s simple, easy-to-make, and gives the most satisfying results! Make this recipe with lamb or goat over stovetop or Instant Pot. Tested to perfection!
“Izzah, as a Karachiite myself and having had Aloo Gosht pretty much my entire life, I have to say that this IP version was delicious! It was very close to the stovetop version, but having the flexibility of whipping it up in the IP is just awesome! I didn’t make any changes to your recipe and followed it to a T, it came out flavorful and delicious and I served it with fresh hot naan. A keeper recipe for sure! Great job!”Nazish
Five years ago when I first started this blog, I published an old-school Aloo Gosht recipe, pressure-cooker and all. Since then, I may have graduated from the pressure cooker to an Instant Pot, but I haven’t stopped making good ol’ Aloo Gosht.
Recently, I’ve gotten many requests for goat and lamb recipes, so I thought why not bring back this old favorite. Whenever I make Aloo Gosht, my husband has a bounce in his step, my kids finish their plates, and I feel good about feeding my family a hearty, homey desi-style dinner.
What You’ll Love About this Recipe
- It’s hard to mess up.
- Though it takes time to cook the meat, it’s a hands-off recipe. You don’t even have to brown the onions!
- You can use goat meat (what I use), lamb meat (more popular in the West), or even beef (see FAQ).
- It includes Stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.
- As always, it’s simple, easy-to-follow, and tested to perfection!
What is Aloo Gosht?
Aloo Gosht is a Pakistani and North-Indian style curry made with meat (gosht) and potatoes (aloo). Unlike restaurant-famous mutton recipes like Rogan Josh or Lamb/Goat Korma, this is a cozy, warming comfort food you’ll find in many South Asian homes.
Fun Fact: In Pakistan and India, mutton usually refers to goat meat. Here in America, mutton means older lamb meat. Goat meat isn’t as popular here, so you’ll often see Aloo Gosht made with lamb and even beef.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Besides lamb or goat meat, most of the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store:
- Oil: A thin layer of oil on the finished dish is a distinct feature of authentic curry. Plus, you need the oil to sear the meat before and after cooking it. I’ve used 1/4 cup, which is enough to make it look and taste like home.
- Ghee: Not essential but I use a small amount for the subtle taste. You can also substitute with butter.
- Goat or Lamb: Aloo Gosht is typically made with bone-in goat or lamb cut up into around 2″ pieces. Goat is especially hard to find at most supermarkets, but can easily be found pre-cut at Halal meat markets.
- Cut of Meat: I usually buy the ‘mixed’ cut made from various parts. If you prefer meatier pieces, go for leg or shoulder.
For thinner, soupy curries, I often use a food processor to help get the right consistency.
- For the onions: Use the pulse function to very finely chop them. Make sure not to blend them or else they’ll release water and it’ll be harder to brown them.
- For the tomatoes: A rough tomato purée will help them meld into the curry. I’m not super picky about not having bits of tomato skin in the curry, but feel free to blend it even further if you want. Some people prefer to put them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes to peel the tomato skins.
Don’t have a food processor? Just use your knife to finely chop the onions and tomatoes.
- Green Chili Peppers: Used for subtle heat and flavor. Use a small Thai/bird’s eye chili pepper or half of a Serrano.
- Spices: This recipe uses a few whole spices – cumin seeds, cloves, and cardamom pods. You can also experiment with adding other whole spices such as dried bay leaves, black peppercorns, or a cinnamon stick. You’ll also need standard ground spices that you likely already have on hand.
- Kosher salt: I like to use kosher salt, but you can use whatever salt you have on hand. If using table salt, you’ll need a tad less than what’s called for in the recipe. Since this is a soupy curry, a good amount of salt is essential to adequately flavor it.
- Plain, whole-milk yogurt: I’ve used yogurt for taste and to thicken the curry. Feel free to omit to make it dairy-free.
- Potatoes: I use russet potatoes for their taste and quicker cooking time. If you use another type, you may have to add them earlier to prevent overcooking the meat.
How To Cut the Potatoes for Aloo Gosht
Large chunks of potatoes hold up well and complement the larger pieces of meat. How you cut the potatoes depends on the size of the potatoes:
- If you’re using 3 small potatoes, you can just quarter them (cut lengthwise, then widthwise).
- For 2 medium potatoes, halve the potato lengthwise, then cut into large (about 2″) cubes.
- For 1 very large potato, quarter lengthwise, then cut into large (~2″) cubes.
How to make Aloo Gosht
Here’s what we’re trying to achieve at each step:
- Step 1: Sauté the goat/lamb meat with some salt so that it sears nicely. This helps build flavor.
Step 2: Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until aromatic. Then stir in most of the remaining ingredients (onion, tomatoes, green chili, whole and ground spices, and the remaining salt). Add water and bring it to a boil. You don’t need too much water here because you’ll be sautéing it down after the meat cooks. Cover and simmer over low heat to help get the meat nice and tender.
Tip: Do not proceed to the next step if your meat isn’t fully tender. You want it to break when pressed with a wooden spoon. If not, continue to cook.
- Step 3: Raise the heat to high and sauté out the remaining water content/moisture. We’re only occasionally stirring so the meat doesn’t break. Once the water has evaporated, continue to sauté (bhunai) for another 5-6 minutes.
Bhunai: Bhunai is an important South Asian cooking technique which can best be described as a blend of sautéing and frying. We’re using bhunai to reduce the onions and tomatoes into a homogenous, cohesive masala while giving the meat intense flavor. Taking the time to cook it down here is why we don’t have to initially brown the onions. At this point, the oil will naturally separate from the masala.
- Step 4: Lastly, stir in the yogurt and add the potatoes and water. Cover and allow the potatoes to cook until fork tender. Once finished cooking, the oil will naturally rise to the top.
- Step 5: That’s it! You’re done. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Try not to scoop up a bite directly from the pan.
Tips For Making Aloo Gosht
- Begin with great meat. Ways to tell if your meat is of good quality:
- Fresh and bright in color.
- Has minimal fat (the white chunks called charbi)
- Is meaty and not just bones.
- If your meat has more bone and less meat, feel free to use up to 1.5 lb of meat.
- At any point, if your masala/curried bits stick to the bottom of your pan, deglaze with a splash of water.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1 – Stovetop: Cook low and slow (aka braise). Low heat breaks down the meat slowly, making it soft and tender while developing a flavorful broth.
2 – Pressure cooking: Cook the meat with enough moisture and allow it to rest after being cooked (naturally pressure release for 10 minutes). You’ll find it’s just as tender as it would be over the stovetop.
To make this with beef, follow all the instructions, but cube them into 1-2″ chunks and increase cooking time. Because beef stew is a tougher meat, it takes longer to cook (~3-4 hours). Keep topping with water as needed until it breaks when pressed with a wooden spoon. Some people also use veal, which comes from calves and is softer than beef.
I know some people are put off by goat meat because of the smell. Here are my tips:
1 – Begin with the best meat. Even in Houston, there are only a few places I’ll buy goat meat, where the smell is minimal and the taste is mild.
2 – Remove any excess fat from the meat.
3 – Marinate the meat in 2-3 tbsp of vinegar, then rinse and use.
To thicken it:
If you’d like it less runny (with less curry or shorba), you can either add less water or sauté it down more after it’s cooked. Keep in mind that it’ll thicken even more once removed from heat.
To thin it out:
Simply add extra water when adding the potatoes.
If doubling recipe, you’ll have to sauté a lot longer at each step. Also, you’ll need to add less water to cook the meat (Step 2). So instead of doubling and adding 2 cups of water, add 1.5 cups of water.
I’ve frozen this before with beautiful results: Freeze after making the masala, right before adding the potatoes (Step 4). When ready to use, cook the frozen meat masala along with the potatoes and water (Step 5). The potatoes will cook while the meat masala thaws.
What To Serve With Aloo Gosht
To add some crunch and freshness, some sliced red onions and lemon would enhance the dish.
Tried this recipe? If you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment & star rating telling me how it was! If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I truly love hearing from you! Thank you!
Note: I’ve updated the recipe I originally published 5 years ago to make it truer to the traditional method (one pot). If you’d like the older recipe, please let me know and I’ll be happy to email it to you.
Aloo Gosht (Mutton/Lamb and Potato Curry)
- 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado oil
- 1 tbsp ghee, sub butter
- 1-1.2 lb (~545 g) bone-in goat or lamb meat (mixed pieces – See Note 1), cut up into ~2" pieces, cleaned and excess fat removed, then patted dry
- 1 3/4 tsp kosher salt (use less if using regular/table salt), divided
- 6-7 (~1 tbsp) garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
- 1- inch (~1 tbsp) ginger, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 medium (~225-250 g) yellow onion, finely chopped (See Note 2)
- 2 small (~200 g) tomatoes (I use Roma), roughly puréed in a food processor or finely chopped
- 1-2 small green chili peppers such as Thai chili or 1/2 Serrano, chopped or sliced
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1.5-2 tsp coriander powder, use more if you like punchy flavor, less for mild
- 1/2-1 tsp cumin powder, use more if you like punchy flavor, less for mild
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder, or to taste, sub Kashmiri chili powder for less heat
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp plain whole-milk yogurt, whisked – omit for dairy-free
- 2 (~320-350g ) small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-2” cubes
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
- Dutch Oven or Heavy-bottomed pot
- OR Instant Pot (See Post for How to Make Aloo Gosht in the Instant Pot)
- Heat a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and ghee. Once hot, add goat or lamb meat and 3/4 tsp salt. Sauté for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has changed color and seared on some edges.
- Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute, until no longer raw. Add the onion, tomatoes, green chili pepper, whole and ground spices (except garam masala). Stir in the remaining 1 tsp salt.
- Add 1 to 1 1/4 cups water (the less the better because this will be sautéed out) so that the water covers at least 1/3 of the meat. Bring this mixture to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer (low or low-medium). Cover and cook for 1 hour & 30 minutes (See Note 3), until the meat is fully cooked but not fall-off-the-bone tender. The meat should break when pressed with a wooden spoon. If not, cover and allow to cook for another 15-30 minutes, topping with water if needed.
- Raise the heat to high and stir occasionally to sauté out the remaining water content/moisture (~5-7 minutes). Once the water has evaporated, continue to sauté (bhunai) for another 5-6 minutes. The masala will continue to thicken and reduce, and the oil will separate from the curry.
- Lower the heat to low and stir in the yogurt. Add the potatoes and 2 – 2 ¼ cups water depending on how much curry you’d like.
- Raise the heat to high to bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer (low/medium-low). Cover and cook for another 23-25 minutes, until the meat and potatoes are both fork tender. Taste and adjust salt, if needed.
- Uncover and allow the curry to simmer until the oil rises to the top (~2-3 min). Turn off the heat. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Serve with roti, paratha, naan, or basmati rice.
Instant Pot Method
- Select 'Sauté – More' on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil, ghee, goat or lamb meat, and 3/4 tsp salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has changed color and seared on some edges. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute, until no longer raw. Add the onion, tomatoes, green chili pepper, whole spices, and ground spices (except garam masala). Stir in the remaining remaining 1 tsp salt.
- Add up to 1/4 cup water if needed (the less the better because this will be sautéed out). (The moisture should cover at least 1/3 of the meat. If the onions and tomatoes have enough moisture content, you don't need to add any water.)
- Cancel Sauté. Select 'Pressure Cook – High' and set timer for 20 minutes (or 22 min if using larger or meaty pieces such as shoulder or leg). Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. The meat will be fully cooked but not fall-off-the-bone tender. It should break when pressed with a wooden spoon. If not, pressure cook again for another 3-5 minutes.
- Select 'Sauté – More'. Once hot, stir occasionally to sauté out the remaining water content/moisture (~5-7 minutes). Once the water has evaporated, continue to sauté (bhunai) for another 5-6 minutes. The masala will continue to thicken and reduce, and the oil will separate from the curry.
- Cancel Sauté. Add the yogurt and stir to mix. Add potatoes and 2 – 2 ¼ cups water depending on how much curry/shorba you’d like. 'Pressure Cook – High' for 5-6 minutes, depending on size of potatoes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro.