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March 2, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 2:34 am

Nepalese goat curry 

For many years now, James has been telling me stories about how his father, a security guard at Aldershot Army Base, gets goat meat from the gurka’s staying there. Apparently these guys buy whole dead animals from the local farmers and then butcher them up themselves for curry. These stories always intrigued me and I wanted to try curry goat myself.

My experience of Nepalese food has been limited to a single restaurant on the Uxbridge Road in Shepherds Bush. It certainly is good and, while I lived near it, I would visit it on almost a weekly basis after late night  rehearsals. The cuisine is very similar to North Indian cuisine, with some curries that are mild and creamy and some so hot they’d strip your tongue of tastebuds! I was always rather disappointed that goat curry was never on the menu.

It wasn’t until Franka at Can Cook must Cook mentioned Trinidadian curry goat that I suddenly realised I had a hope of finding goat meat in London. Franka pointed me in the direction of Shepherds Bush market so, on my first free Saturday, I wandered over. It didn’t take me long to find a small butchers advertising curry goat in the window for a mere £2.99 per kilo. There were other interesting looking things there too, including whole oxtails and a sheep’s head. I made a mental note to come back from some of the goat leg (again cheap at £1,89 per kilo) and the oxtail.

Even though goat meat is very rarely eaten in Britain it is an extremely popular meat in some other areas of the world. Despite this, I seemed to find it difficult to get some good information about cooking it. The best I could find, was one line in a Wikipedia article stating that the meat should be cooked long and slow. After doing a bit of research on the spices involved I came up with this plan:

  1. Fry off some finely diced onions, garlic and red chilli, add ground cumin and coriander, garam masala, minced garlic, ginger and fennel seed.
  2. Brown the goat in the spices, cover with water and leave to simmer gently for three hours.
  3. Shortly before the goat has cooked, roast some more coriander and cumin seed and make a curry powder of these and fennel seed.
  4. Remove goat from liquid and keep warm. Boil the liquid repidly to reduce it. 
  5. Fry some more onion, garlic and ginger. Add curry powder, more garam masala, a little tomato and chopped coriander. Add reduced goat stock, simmer for a bit, taste and adjust seasoning. Stir the meat in, warm through, top with sliced spring onion and serve over boiled rice  with a vegetable curry and lentils.

That is pretty much how it worked in the end, except that, on tasting it, I decided it needed a touch of cream, to make it like the lamb curry I had in the last nepalese restaurant I visited. I’m not sure how authentic that was but it made a big difference to my curry.

curried goat in pot

The pieces of meat labeled ‘curry goat are obviously the spare bits as they had a fair bit of bone in them and a little gristle but the meat itself was gorgeous. The flavour was very much like mutton but much more rich. The three hour simmer had done it good and the meat melted in the mouth.

Curry goat meal

I decided to make an aubergine, chilli and tomato concoction to accompany my goat and also some tarka dahl and plain boiled basmati rice. It’s definitely a dish i’ll ake again, although I think Trinidadian curry goat has to be tried first. 


  1. Sue has long been an advocate of goat curry, and has cooked it for me on numerous occasions. I find it’s a meat that works really well as it has the perfect texture for stewing, while also having a nice strong independent flavour which complements the spices.

    I was under the impression that she got her goat from Borough market, although I’m not certain about this. I do remember her saying something about meat that is labelled as “mutton” often being goat rather than sheep, so maybe this is something worth discussing with the butchers?

    Comment by Dale — March 2, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  2. That curry looks lovely. I’ve never eaten goat, well, not knowingly. I’m not opposed, I’ve just never seen it to buy or on a menu or been offered it. I like the idea of it in a curry.

    You’re so adventurous!

    How’s the PhD going? My mother in law’s finishing hers and I’m reading her introduction for her now. Brings back memories of mine…


    Comment by Kathryn — March 3, 2007 @ 11:31 am

  3. i got the goat meat from joe a local jamicam pied piper of aldershot and it was 1o pounds for a lot of meat

    Comment by kirsten — March 3, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  4. Kirsten tells me that this acquaintance of hers, “Jamaican Joe”, obtains his goat meat from somewhere in Brixton. All the best places have it!

    Comment by James — March 3, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

  5. I’ve always been brought up to believe that curry goat is just the Caribbean term for curried mutton. Are you sure that it’s goat that you’ve been eating. They serve mutton in my local Caribbean restaurants and my brother’s girlfriend is Trinidadan and what we generally get in London is mutton.

    Comment by Trig — March 4, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  6. I’ve always wanted to try goat and that looks just delicious. Good job.

    Comment by Vanessa — March 4, 2007 @ 9:51 pm

  7. Slurp!!I love meat.Have never tried nepalese cuisine, but would love to try this out.Emmie

    Comment by Emmie — March 5, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  8. We have one local Nepalese restaurant and it is wonderful, although I don’t know that they serve goat. I dig goat cheese, but don’t know about the meat. However, curry anything is always good for me!

    Comment by Kate — March 5, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

  9. Dale: I’ve seen mutton (definitely sheep) in Borough but not goat yet. Then again, I tend to go on Fridays when not all the stalls are open. I’m going this Saturday so will havea hunt around.

    Hi Kathryn: Goat is very hard to find on menus. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe restaurants think it won’t be popular. The PhD is going OK. Second draft in next Monday and then hopefully there’ll oly be a few corrections before I can submit the blasted thing. There might not be many posts here this week as a result. Thanks for asking.

    Kirsten: I would have thought £10 would buy more than you could carry!

    James: I wouldn’t have thought Brixton was the best place to rear goats. ;)

    Trig: I think the terms goat and mutton are interchangable in some cultures. My dad says the mutton he ate as a child was actually goat meat. I’m fairly sure that this was goat though. It didn’t taste exactly the same as mutton plus the butchers had other goat cuts.

    Vanessa: I can thoroughly recommend it. I’ll get back to you about the Borough meet as soon as I find out when I’m teaching.

    Emmie: Nepalese cuisine is great. If you like curries you can’t go wrong with it (although they are hotter than your average high street curry) .

    Kate: Goats cheese is good, goat curry is good.I’m not sure Gots cheese curry would work though. ;) I’m trying to find time to write that review of leon for you. Fingers crossed it will be done soon.

    Comment by ros — March 5, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  10. Ros, you usurped me and in great style too! I was planning on buying some goat from Graig Farm organics but because of the issues with the bank I couldn’t buy any! I’m excited to read your review of goat though and it does look really delicious! And you’re not really a meat eater either…. ;)

    Comment by Freya — March 5, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

  11. Definitely try the curry goat Roti at Roti hut on Uxbridge Road - the meat is gorgeous!


    Comment by Sajini — March 6, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

  12. Hi - I have goat meat in my freezer whilst I’ve been waiting to find a good recipe. I’ll certainly try yours, it sounds really good.

    Goat meat is readily available from The Black Sheep Meat Company in East Yorkshire www.blacksheepmeatcompany.co.uk who attend my local market and who would supply you by mail order if you telephoned them - the number’s on their website, which is soon to be upgraded

    I’ll let you know how I get on with the curry - thanks for the recipe


    Comment by Pat — January 7, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  13. Thank you! I learned to cook mainly from a book called “How To Cook Without A Book,” but one section it does not have in it is “curries, stews, and other glops.”

    I’ve gotten certain reduced-to-a-pulp onion-based stews down, but I was starting to think, “There have to be other ways of getting stew liquid.”

    You’ve just shown me the other principal way, I think. (Seasonings fried in oil, then add meat & water, then WAIT hours, then REMOVE meat, then reduce. Then fry other stuff SEPARATELY & add the part that got water as a SAUCE.)

    Thank you!

    Comment by Katie — November 23, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  14. I love Goat curry, and now it is so easy to be found being available from just about all the Halal butchers,
    ask him to saw up the meat into cubes as this is a meal best eaten with your hands and pitta.. I like this recipe
    but would leave the cream and use two large cartons of plain yoghurt instead and add all ingredients, yoghurt too after sweating the onions for about 15 minutes.things like ginger can impart a bitter taste if not cooked for a long time and add lots of chillies !!!!!
    Sunday is goat curry day…

    Comment by Anthony — January 2, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

  15. Thanks for the tip, Anthony. I’m more used to using cream but I’ve been meaning to branch out for a while.

    Comment by ros — January 3, 2009 @ 12:44 am

  16. I forgot to add, fry in with the onions 7 or 8 cloves and add a stick of cinnamon.. The neck and ribs make excellent curries, maybe its because they are cooked on the bone.I I think if you were in Nepal this dish would have had curd in rather than cream or yoghurt.I have tried to find ? Its a little elusive..

    Comment by anthony — January 3, 2009 @ 1:56 am

  17. Hi
    This sounds great. I actually found this wonderful sounding recipe ages ago and put it in my favourites but have never made it because Im not sure of the quantities of some items.
    Got any idea of the ratios.



    Comment by Andrew — January 3, 2009 @ 5:29 am

  18. To be honest Andrew, it has been a hile since I last made this and I have a tendency to ‘wing it’ when it comes to recipes. If I manage to make this again soon, I’ll try to remember to keep a note of quantities.

    Comment by ros — January 3, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

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