top of page


Unlike Western cuisine, meat is not usually the basis of a meal in India, but it is eaten in smaller portions at some meals. Lamb and mutton (goat meat) are the most commonly eaten meats in India. 


The majority, of India's over one billion people practice Hinduism, and many but not all Hindus are vegetarians. As you probably know, Hinduism prohibits the eating of beef and Islam in turn prohibits the eating of pork. The Christian minority in India is not subject to religious restrictions on eating, and this is particularly noticeable in Goa where local Christians eat both beef and pork.


Food in Goa was heavily influenced by the Portuguese traders who first brought New World ingredients such as Chilies, Potatoes and Tomatoes to India. The cuisine features Vinegar, hot Chilies and Coconut.


North Indian cuisine, on the other hand, is heavily influenced by Arab and Persian cooking traditions and is referred to as Moghlai cuisine. It uses rich dairy products such as butter, cream and yogurt, as well as Saffron and nuts. Cooking kebabs in tandoors (clay ovens) is also a North Indian cooking method.


Meat, as mentioned, is not the central ingredient in Indian dishes. Indian meat dishes whether bone-in or cubed, are often stewed in gravy or seasoned broth, fried, or made into meatballs and kebabs. Indian cooks have perfected the art of tenderizing meat with marinades and slow braising. To tenderize and season meat, a marinade of yogurt and spices is most often used.


In India, mainly goat meat is used, which is commercially available here as mutton. Since lamb is more readily available in Germany, I have replaced the goat meat recipes with lamb. The meat is traditionally cooked on the bone because the marrow contributes to the texture and flavor of the sauce, but you can also make the meat recipes boneless. 


I use inexpensive cuts of meat like shoulder, neck, or leg for braises because they handle plenty of seasoning well and are suitable for slow braising. Shoulder is the perfect cut of meat for quick kebabs, the meat is so juicy that it tastes great after just a few minutes on the grill or in the pan.

bottom of page