Coconut lamb curry

Coconut lamb curry

Cooking from the Heart
Mark Roper

When cooked there is not a hint of the lamb in this dry curry. It is best eaten with basmati rice, accompanied by raita, dhania (coriander chutney) and mango chutney. Diced beef or chicken can be substituted for the lamb. If you prefer the curry to be moist, use a 440 ml can of coconut milk and add ¼–½ cup of water.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
1kg diced lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 cm knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 bay leaves
20 curry leaves
2 large onions, finely diced
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut milk

Curry powder

Quantity Ingredient
7 dried chillies
1/2 cup coriander seeds
12 green cardamom pods
2cm cinnamon stick, broken


  1. Heat the rice bran oil in a frying pan over high heat. Brown the lamb for 12–15 minutes on all sides. Reduce the heat to low, and use a heat diffuser if possible. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, or until the lamb releases its juices and fat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Combine the curry powder ingredients in an electric sprice grinder, then grind as finely as possible, into a fine powder. (You can also grind them using a mortar and pestle.)
  3. Tip the curry powder into a small shallow pan and slowly roast over low heat until it is dark brown and fragrant, being careful not to let the spices burn. This should take about 15 minutes.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic and ginger until golden and fragrant. Add the bay leaves and curry leaves and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the onions until well coated in the oil, then sauté until the onions are golden brown. Stir in the roasted curry powder and fry gently for another 3 minutes.
  6. Add the lamb and vinegar and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until most of the vinegar has evaporated.
  7. Add enough boiling water to cover the lamb, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
  8. Stir in the coconut milk. Reduce the heat to very low and cook, partially covered, until the lamb is very tender — depending on your stove and saucepan this may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, keep an eye on the temperature and liquid level to ensure the curry does not dry out and burn.
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