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Slow Cooker lamb shanks and lentils.jpg

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks + Lentils

I never liked masoor/lentils as a child, however I ate them a lot during my first pregnancy when my iron levels were low.  The GPKid#2 had never had lentils before so I thought I’d make an Parsi style lentil (masoor) dish with added flavour from delicious lamb shanks. It was a hit with the kids, my hubby and my sister in law who took home a bowl as she had a taste and loved it! This recipe is written for a slow cooker. Stove top recipe to follow shortly.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 15 minutes + Overnight soaking / Cooking Time: 6 – 8 hours


  • 375g green lentils
  • Hot water, for soaking
  • 1 tbl salt, for soaking
  • 2 tbl oil or ghee, for frying
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup tomato passata
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic and ginger paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 30 curry leaves
  • 2 small green chillies (optional – omit if making this for kids)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt (depending on how salty your stock is)
  • 4 large lamb shanks (approx. 2kg)


  1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a large bowl. Pour in hot water until water level is 2 inches above lentils. Add the salt and stir gently to dissolve. Leave lentils to soak overnight.
  2. Once soaked, rinse thoroughly with water in a colander and set aside to drain.
  3. Heat a wok on medium heat, add oil, onions and fry for 5 minutes until onion is golden brown and caramelised.
  4. Add the passata, stir and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
  5. Add garlic and ginger paste, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. Shut heat.
  6. Add lentils to curry mix and gently mix to coat lentils as evenly as possible.
  7. Pour lentil mix into a 6L slow cooker. Add chicken stock and salt to taste.
  8. Push the lamb shanks into the lentils and stock.
  9. Cover with lid and cook on medium heat setting for 6 hours, or until lentils are thoroughly soft and lamb is falling off the bone. NOTE - If mixture looks too thick around 3 hours, add one more cup of stock. The lamb and lentils will not cook thoroughly if there is not enough liquid.
  10. Shut off cooker and leave to let it cool slightly for 15 minutes and so lentils absorb any excess liquid to form a nice thick consistency. NOTE -  If lentils and lamb are cooked but dish looks too watery, remove lid, and boil for 30 minutes on high heat setting on pressure cooker.
  11. Remove lamb from the bones, and lightly break apart with two forks.

Serve with basmati rice, or with chapatti/bread. Enjoy! GPW