Lamb curry is a yummy tasty dish that is quite popular worldwide. If you like Indian subcontinent style food and like non-vegetarian food we are sure you must have tried it in quite a lot of places. Lamb curry recipe is moderately difficult but quite easily be a star of your house party.
Lamb Curry is often confused with Mutton Curry and Rogan Josh which are separate dishes. This is sometimes due to the nature of meat used in preparation and mostly due to difference in preparation style.
The difference between Lamb curry and Mutton curry has faded over the years and now many use refer them as same dishes.
As it should be obvious by its name, this dish is prepared using Lamb meat (young sheep). In countries like India, goat meat is quite popular and hence mutton curry which is prepared in similar way is quite popular.
In this article we will cover Lamb curry which is mostly popular in Western countries though it won’t be moderated to suite western flavour. Usually western restaurants scale down the spicy flavour of Indian dishes but this mostly ruins the entire experience.
While scaling down some spices is fine, it is great to enjoy spicy dishes with their best combos. If you prefer to experience the spicy version of dishes, you can choose suitable sides like sweets, yogurt or Raita.
Raita are quite popular side dishes that go with spicy dishes like this one purely because it balances out the spicy effect. If things go crazy have yogurt to cool it down.
Now without much delays let’s start and learn how to make Lamb curry at home.
Preparation For Lamb Curry
Before you can start making this dish there are few preparation steps that you should do.
To make this dish we used diced Lamb shoulder (boneless) but you can choose to have as per your preference. Most people prefer with bone and bigger pieces as compared to small/medium boneless lamb. Having bigger pieces may require a little more cook time so if you are cooking for the first time prefer small/medium diced lamb.
First you should thoroughly wash Lamb pieces and drain water. For better taste buy fresh cut lamb from the market and ensure to clean it properly. Wash it a couple of times and drain access water.
Now let us chop onions and tomatoes. You need good quantity of chopped onion and tomatoes to make thicker gravy. Many people prefer not to use tomatoes while cooking this curry and use only onion, ginger and garlic.
It is more a matter of personal choice but we find that adding tomato just adds to the flavour and helps in making richer gravy.
For more authentic flavour you can choose not to use tomatoes. In such case use more onion, ginger and garlic to make the lamb curry masala.
You need to ensure that you use good amount of ginger and garlic to go along with onion to get best flavour. It is the key to a great, tasty and awesome lamb curry.
Now, finely chop green chillies, garlic cloves and grate ginger. In some variations of lamb curry recipe people prefer to dice ginger as it gives the peppery and somewhat sweet ginger flavour while eating. Usually with grated ginger you won’t find this experience.
In many hilly regions of northern India this is the preferred way of cooking this dish. Ginger is one of the key ingredients in lamb curry and also while cooking other meat dishes.
Use 1 small/medium potato to make thick gravy. Again, in some variations of this dish people prefer to use corn-starch to make thick curry. Based on our personal experience this may spoil the great taste of the dish. If you are using potato, it will mash up by the time dish is ready.
Do not add too much potato else it will ruin your curry experience. If you prefer to use potato then wash, peal and dice it into small pieces. Now you are all set to cook the dish, so let us move to next section of how to make lamb curry.
How To Make Lamb Curry
To cook great authentic Indian lamb curry you should invest some time in buying good quality of spices. Also, it is better to have some whole spices do a great taste.
While there are many readymade Lamb curry spices and sauces in the market, fresh spices take your curry experience to a whole new level. Try it and you will know what we want to tell you.
Now-days there are many lamb curry spices and sauces available in the market but there are only few companies who we can say invest time and effort in bringing the right taste to their caonsumers. M.D.H Spices is one such company we can vouch for that brings authentic flavour to its consumers.
There are a couple of more companies who invest and have great line of spices but M.D.H is one of our favourites. Good spices are key to your curry experience and therefore choose the best for great experience.
To cook this dish we have used few whole spices and M.D.H meat masala along with few whole spices. Also, we used pressure cooker to reduce the time for cooking lamb curry.
Since we now understand the role of great spices let’s start cooking.
First we will prepare lamb curry masala curry. To make Lamb curry first switch on the gas flame and take Vegetable oil in a deep pan or pressure cooker.
Once the oil is hot, add whole red chillies, black cardamom, whole black pepper, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon sticks to it.
Let them saute for 30 sec and add a pinch of Asafoetida (Hing, as per taste) to it. Now, add chopped onions to it and saute them until onions turn golden brown in colour. If the onions are not cooked properly it will make your lamb curry sweeter rather than spicy.
Once the onions are sauted properly, add chopped green chillies, garlic cloves and grated or diced ginger to it. Take care that you have used good amount of garlic and ginger and that they are in equal proportion. Saute them again for few minutes.
Now add chopped tomatoes and cook it until they become soft and meshed. If required add 1/4 cup of water to cook and cover it with a lid to speed up the process. If you are going to add potatoes, now is the right time to add them to make Lamb curry masala.
Your tomatoes should be soft by now so it is time to add all the spices and salt to the gravy mixture and cook it for another two minutes.
Add 2 – 3 cups of water and let it cook for 5 minutes. Stir in between if required else let it cook. As the gravy will cook, you will now start getting the aroma of spices and appreciate the smell of fresh spices. If the spices are not good and fresh you will not get the brilliant smell of spices and the taste will be mediocre as well.
The gravy masala should now be ready.
Now it is time to add diced lamb pieces to the gravy.
Add Kasoori methi on top of it and stir the gravy with a spatula. Let the lamb curry cook for 5 minutes and add 2-3 cups water to it.
By now the lamb curry should start boiling and it is time to close the pressure cooker. Close the pressure cooker and let it take 3 – 4 whistles on high flame and 3 – 4 whistle on low flame.
Usually fresh lamb is tender and you may want to check in between if you need these many whistles. Also, number of whistles required to cook lamb curry would also vary between pressure cooker brands. So this where you may have to experiment a little with yours.
If the lamb is not freshly cut or is slightly aged then it may take a little bit more whistles than expected. If you pressure cook too much the meat will become very tender and may in-fact spoil the experience so carefully check your curry at this stage.
For us the above number of whistles worked to get the required texture and since we had cooked it a couple of times so we know this works for us while cooking lamb curry. Now turn down the flame and let the cooker release pressure gradually. Check if lamb curry is in the required texture and is soft and tender.
If the lamb pieces are soft and juicy then your lamb curry is ready to eat.
Your tasty Lamb curry is now ready to be served.
Serving Ideas for Lamb Curry
Lamb curry is a spicy dish and it is best to serve it with Steamed Rice, Jeera Rice or Biryani. It is also an excellent combo with Plain Paratha, Lachha Paratha, Naan or Chapati. You should serve the dish hot along with some yogurt or sides such as Cucumber Raita, Pineapple Raita or Boondi Raita.
To make it more colourful chop some Coriander leaves and garnish the dish. For added flavour top it up with some Clarified butter and serve with Steamed rice (preferably Basmati Rice). If you do not have Clarified butter, then top it up with some unsalted butter. Many people also temper the dish instead of just adding Clarified butter.
For tempering perform the following steps – Take 1/2 tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee) in a ladle and turn on the flame to medium. Put the ladle on fire and let the Clarified butter melt and become hot. Now add few Cumin seeds, 1 whole Red chilli and Red chilli powder. Be cautious as sometimes Clarified butter inside ladle may catch fire. Do not get scared with this as the flame with doze off as you add it to the curry.
The main reason of tempering the dish is to give it rich and spicy texture. If you do not have Clarified butter you can still temper the dish by using cooking oil or butter instead.
How to make Lamb Curry Without A Pressure Cooker – Slow cook method to make lamb curry
As you can see in the above method of preparing lamb curry, Pressure cooker basically is speeding up the cooking process by pressurising the meat. Many people however do not prefer this and may find that slow cooking lamb curry gives better taste.
The main reason for this is that slowly cooking lamb curry basically lets the spices get cooked properly and are absorbed properly by the Lamb. If you have enough of time, it is better to slow cook the meat than use the pressure cooker. Give it a try and you will find the difference.
For more authentic flavour use earthenware pots as this was how Lamb curry was prepared in older times and when cooked this way, lamb curry taste is really awesome.
To make Lamb Curry without pressure cooker you basically need a deep pan or utensil (try earthenware if possible) with a lid. All the steps to cook Lamb curry remain the same before you pressure cook the lamb.
However, once you add lamb to the gravy you would need to add enough of water. At-least 3 – 4 cups water. Now put on the lid to the pan and simmer the flame. This will slow cook lamb curry and give great taste.
Let the lamb cook slowly and stir in between after few minutes. The process may take around 30 mins-45 mins more than what it would take with a pressure cooker. In the meantime, you can prepare raita as side dish so as to serve it with lamb curry and rice. Many places serve Lamb curry with yogurt (curd) or raita – Cucumber Raita or Boondi Raita.
Once it is cooked and ready you will see that the end product – lamb curry would be much more spicy, juicy and delicious. Give it a try and let us know in the comments if slow-cook lamb is better than pressure cooking it.
Lamb curry is a perfect winter dinner dish for large family gatherings and festivals so you may want to give it a try in your next family gathering.
Why not make Lamb curry during Christmas or New year holidays or over a long weekend?
Chef Recommendations for Lamb Curry
- We prefer to use potato to retain flavour but if you like you can use corn-starch as well.
- You can use salted/unsalted butter instead of Clarified butter if it is not readily available
- To get best authentic flavour do not scale down on the spices and use good quality spices.
- We used M.D.H Meat Masala for best flavour. You can use any other Meat Masala available at the near-by store but look out for good quality spices.
- If you do not have pressure cooker, you can use a deep pan with lid to cook the lamb curry. It may take slightly more time 15 min more or so to cook the dish. This is not the slow cooking method but deep pan on high/medium flame.
- If you have more time, the best way to prepare lamb curry is by slow cooking lamb in a deep pan with lid. Prefer to use earthenware if possible.
- Lamb curry requires good amount of onion, garlic and ginger as these are the main ingredients to make gravy.
Yes Lamb Curry is healthy if you eat it in moderation. Lamb is good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Protein is good for muscle development, maintenance and function. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly you should go for high protein diet to maintain muscle mass.
Since Lamb is a type of Red meat, eating it quite often may lead you to health risks such as Heart disease and Cancer. Many people believe the risk of heart disease is due to high Cholesterol and saturated fats which impairs blood lipid profile. However most recent studies suggest that dietary cholesterol is not a risk factor for heart disease.
Cancer risk is due to many cancer causing substances present in red meat such as heterocyclic amines. Heterocyclic amines are mainly formed when meat is exposed to high temperature due to frying, grilling or baking. They are also found in high quantity in overcooked meat. Therefore mildly cooked meat is considered safer and healthy.
Yes. Indian style of making Lamb curry is very hot and spicy. In most asian countries you can easily get spicy hot curry though in western countries the spicy and hotness is lowered down. This is to confirm to the taste of local foodies. If you really like the authentic curry taste go for the hot and spicy version.
In most places the dish is served with yogurt or some kind of yogurt side dish such as – Cucumber Raita, Pineapple Raita etc. This is to soothe the fiery nature of the dish. You can also go for some sweet dessert after the meal.
Yes you can reheat Lamb Curry for a couple of times and keep it refrigerated for few days. However, this also depends on climate conditions and before storing and reheating it is always a good idea to check for curry texture and smell. If something feels odd, probably the dish is spoilt and you should not consume it.
Usually if you cook Lamb curry and keep it for few hours, the dish is more tasty as keeping the dish for sometime allows all the curry masala to be properly absorbed by lamb. Since after cooking the dish contains all the curry masala, keeping it for sometime after cooking and serving is better than marinating the lamb before cooking.
Unless you are planning on baking the dish, marinating is not that much useful.
Yes you can freeze lamb curry for few days however you should also check it when you plan to eat it again. Local climate conditions can easily spoil curry dishes so you should always be careful when planning to reheat the dish.
As per our personal experience you can easily store Lamb curry for at-least a week in a refrigerator.
Mostly Lamb shoulder and legs are best to make Lamb Curry. Also, if you can then preferably go for bone-in Lamb as it tastes better. However, depending on the occasion you may want to go for boneless lamb. While eating boneless lamb curry is less messy but for real authentic flavour and texture you should always go for bone-in lamb.
Bone-in lamb is best for Lamb curry as it tastes better than boneless lamb. To make this dish you should go for Lamb shoulder and legs. While bone-in lamb curry may appear to be a bit messy but when cooked properly the meat will become quite tender and be easy to eat.
For best authentic taste and flavour your should go for bone-in lamb. Many people now-a-days prefer to go for boneless lamb as it is not messy.
Ideally lamb is quite soft and tender however in case you have overcooked the dish it may become chewy. If you think that the lamb you have purchased is not soft, you can try marinating it before cooking.
To marinate you can either use yogurt or simply take some vegetable oil and spices such as red chilli and salt. We do not tend to use yogurt as it will give a different taste.
If you have cooked the dish properly, rather than serving it immediately keep the dish stored for few hours. This enables all the curry masala to be absorbed properly by Lamb and make it more juicy and tasty.
And that is not all folks! Why not compliment lamb curry with some sides and sweets. Shall we take this opportunity to invite you to discover more tasty and yummy recipes in our food wonderland.
- Check some tasty desserts in our Dessert section.
- Check out few tasty non-vegetarian and egg dishes –
- How about some more delicacies –
Best Lamb Curry Recipe | Tasty Lamb Curry
Main Ingredients for Lamb Curry
- 600 g Diced Lamb
- 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 Whole Red Chillies
- 1/2 Cinnamon Stick
- 3 – 4 Bay leaves
- 1 Whole Black Cardamom
- 3 – 4 Cloves
- 7 – 8 Whole Black Pepper
- 1.5 tsp Salt As per taste
- 2.5 tsp Red chillies powder
- 1.5 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 2.5 tsp Meat Masala
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp Kasoori Methi
- Pinch of Asafoetida Hing
- 2 Medium sized Onions
- 3 Small tomatoes
- 6-7 Garlic cloves
- 2 long green chillies
- 2-3 inch ginger
- Few Coriander leaves To Garnish
Optional Ingredients for Lamb Curry
- 1 small Potato
Preparation Steps to make Lamb Curry
- First thoroughly wash Lamb pieces and drain water.600 g Diced Lamb
- Now chop onions, tomatoes, green chillies, garlic cloves and grate ginger. You can also dice ginger if you prefer to do so.2 Medium sized Onions, 3 Small tomatoes, 6-7 Garlic cloves, 2 long green chillies, 2-3 inch ginger
- To make thick gravy you can use 1 small/medium potato. Many prefer to use corn-starch but this may spoil the taste of Lamb curry.1 small Potato
- If you prefer to use potato then wash, peal and dice it into small pieces.
How to make Lamb Curry
- Take Vegetable oil in a deep pan or pressure cooker. Once the oil is hot, add whole red chillies, black cardamom, whole black pepper, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon sticks.4 tbsp Vegetable Oil, 2 Whole Red Chillies, 3 – 4 Bay leaves, 1 Whole Black Cardamom, 3 – 4 Cloves, 7 – 8 Whole Black Pepper, 1/2 Cinnamon Stick
- Saute them for 30 sec and add pinch of Asafoetida (as per taste) to it. Add chopped onions to it and saute them until onions turn golden brown in colour.Pinch of Asafoetida, 2 Medium sized Onions
- Now add chopped green chillies, garlic cloves and grated or diced ginger to it. Take care that the quantity of garlic and ginger is in equal proportion. Saute them for few minutes.6-7 Garlic cloves, 2 long green chillies, 2-3 inch ginger
- Now add chopped tomatoes and cook it until they become soft and meshed. If required add 1/4 cup of water to cook. If required cover it with a lid to speed up the process. If you are going to add potatoes, now is the time to add them.3 Small tomatoes, 1 small Potato
- Add all spices to the gravy mixture and cook it for two minutes. Add 2 – 3 cups of water and let it cook for 5 minutes.1.5 tsp Salt, 2.5 tsp Red chillies powder, 1.5 tsp Turmeric, 2.5 tsp Meat Masala, 2 tsp Garam Masala, 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- Now add diced lamb pieces to the gravy and add Kasoori methi on top of it. Stir it and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add 2-3 cups water to it.600 g Diced Lamb, 2 tsp Kasoori Methi
- Close the pressure cooker and let it take 3 – 4 whistles on high flame and 3 – 4 whistle on low flame. Number of whistles may vary between pressure cooker brands so this you may have to experiment with yours.
- Now turn down the flame and let the cooker release pressure gradually.
- By this time the lamb pieces should be soft and ready to eat.
- Your tasty Lamb curry is ready to be served. Garnish it with chopped Coriander leaves and top it up with some Clarified butter and serve with Steamed rice (preferably Basmati Rice).Few Coriander leaves
- If you do not have Clarified butter, then top it up with Unsalted butter.
- If you want to make much thicker gravy, you can use Corn starch but we prefer to use potato.
- You can use salted/unsalted butter instead of Clarified butter.
- To get best authentic flavour do not scale down on the spices. The more the better it tastes.
- We used M.D.H Meat Masala for best flavour. You can use any other Meat Masala available at the store.
- If you do not have pressure cooker, you can use a deep pan with lid to cook the lamb curry. It may take slightly more time 15 mins more or so to cook the dish.
- If you have time, the best way to prepare lamb curry is by slow cooking in a deep pan with lid
- Lamb curry requires good amount of onion, garlic and ginger as these are the main ingredients to make gravy.