Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Lamb Rus Chawal

Lamb Rus Chawal

A family favourite of over a century, rus chawal is commonly referred to as a comfort food. Varying from serving it light and almost soup like (and is hence called soup chawal at times), to making it richer and thicker with a flavourful gravy called Rus, this recipe is sure to please. 
The meat makes up for 90% of the taste and substituting the bone-in lamb, goat or mutton for anything else is less than ideal. 
The slow cooking creates the rich gravy and turns the water into a thick broth. Best to give yourself a 2 hour window while cooking; Simmering it for as long as you can.

Bone-in lamb and potatoes, cooked to a rich thick gravy, served with caramelsed brown rice and kuchumbar

Serves 6 persons


3/4 kg pieces of meat bone in; lamb or goat
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 cup of crushed fried onions
2 whole green chillies slit
6-9 pieces cloves
1 long cinnamon stick
6-9 black peppercorns
1 cardamom pod a little bruised
2 crushed fresh tomatoes
4 cups water
6-8 pcs of potatoes

In a pan heat a tsp of oil and add the meat. Brown all over and add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, and salt. Give it a stir and add the fried onion, green chillies, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cardamom. Stir and allow to cook for a minute as this brings all the aromas back to life. Now add the tomatoes and water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and check for level of water. If you need to add another cup, do it at this stage and add hot water so as to allow the cooking to continue. Cook for another 30 to 45 minutes. Check that the meat is cooked and very tender. 
Serve with Caramelised Brown Rice, kuchumbar ~ a salsa like salad, lemon wedges, pickled beetroot and a gajar mewa nu achar.


1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 large tbsp of finely chopped fresh corriander
1 tsp of fresh mint
3 sprigs curry leaves

And add any or all of the above ingredients for a twist.They are wonderful! 

Not everyone enjoys pieces of vegetable 'floating' in their Rus Chawal. If your family prefers a smooth gravy the ingredients in my Tips section is  not recommended.

Once it is all cooked, add a little tamarind paste or fresh lemon or lime juice. It needs the slight tangy flavour to enhance it.
Best served with a kuchumbar ( salsa like salad of finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers sprinkled with salt and a dash of vinegar ) and some pickled beetroot.

Omitting the red chillie powder and tomatoes, halving the onions, will turn it into a light ''soup chawal''.

Meat in this recipe relates to pieces of leg of lamb or leg of goat and not beef, nor chicken nor boneless meat. It is the bones that give the actual flavour. If one must substitute bone-in veal may be the best.

For more recipes and an introduction to the Parsi Food repertoire read

Readers Comments
Dinner tonight Rus Chawal. Recipe courtesy Niloufer's Kitchen. They were delicious, exactly like I remember my mum making them. Thanks Niloufer.

Jaloo Canteenwalla Niloufer I made rus chawal on sunday came out very good.My grand children liked it very much .without tomatoes. Thanks

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