North Indian lamb curry

North Indian lamb curry

Indian Food Made Easy
Vanessa Courtier

This is a typical, warming dish from Punjab and we have been making it at home for as long as I can remember. The whole spices added at the beginning of the recipe bring a wonderful depth and roundness to the flavour of the curry but if you don’t have any, don’t worry – the curry is delicious regardless. The coriander adds a lightness and freshness to the dish, making it so much more than just a garnish. Eat the lamb with roti or rice pilaff or, as we sometimes did, in a hot, buttered baguette – truly delicious.


Quantity Ingredient
25g fresh ginger, peeled
30g garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 each black and green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
800g small lamb cubes, with bone in
1-2 green chillies, whole (optional)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
4 medium tomatoes, pureed
500ml water
good handful fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped


  1. Make a paste of the ginger and garlic, adding a little water to help if you are using a blender.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the cardamom pods and bay leaf and stir for 10 seconds before adding the onion. Fry for about 8 minutes until nicely browned. Add the lamb and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic paste, the spices and salt (and green chillies if using). Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until the pan is dry.
  3. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer until the masala has cooked through, around 10–15 minutes. The oil will come out of the masala and there should be no harshness to taste. Add the water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, covered, for 35–45 minutes until the lamb is tender. Stir occasionally and make sure there is always some water in the pan. When cooked, stir in the coriander, turn off the heat and serve.
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