Best Lamb Curry Ever!

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Moderate

Every time I make this curry I always get asked what I added and how I made it, so I thought I would write it down and add it to my recipe collection. This is a great recipe to really turn up the heat, or if you prefer to keep it milder then add a little coconut cream at the end.


  • 750 g lamb, I prefer shoulder on the bone, cut into overly large chunks (I’d get your butcher to do this)
  • 2 tablespoons thick plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inches root ginger, peeled and cut into juliennes
  • 4 green chillies, finely slice 3 of then, and stab the last one with a knife
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped


1.    Firstly marinade the lamb. In a large bowl mix together the yogurt and turmeric. Add the lamb and rub all over massaging it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight (if you have time).

2.    Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while you start the masala. Gently heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and add the fenugreek seeds, cloves, green cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and dried red chillies.

3.    In a pestle & mortar slightly grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds.

4.    Keep an eye on the masala in the pan and once they start sizzling add the coarsely crushed seeds.

5.    Once they begin to sizzle add the onions. Stir well and allow to cook until they have turned soft and are starting to change colour to light golden brown.

6.    Add the garlic, ginger and all the chillies and allow to cook for a further minute.

7.    Stir in the coriander powder, fennel powder and chilli powder (if using) and add a few tablespoons of water to prevent the spices from burning.

8.    Allow the masala to cook, leaving the spices to release their essential oils and aromas. This will take a few minutes and you will start to see a little oil rising to the surface. Stir often until it looks like all the masala has released most of its oils, adding a little more water if it starts to stick.

9.    Add the marinated lamb.

10.    Stir well and add the chopped tomatoes and sugar.

11.    Top with enough water so it is just below the lamb. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, stir the masala to ensure nothing is sticking to the base of the pan.

12.    Once the essential oils have risen to the surface, stir through the coriander.

13.    Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar.

14.    Serve with more fresh coriander sprinkled on top, and with some pilau rice.

Anjali’s Tip: The longer the masala cooks with the lamb, the better, and because you are using lamb shoulder it will remain tender even if you cook it for longer than 30 minutes.

JohnC| January 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

And now I’m very hungry indeed. Discovered this site thanks to @TheCurryGuy on Twitter. Bookmarked. I’ll be back.

Ruari| January 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm

This looks delicious! Off to try and make it! Thanks for the tips :)

Gandi| October 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Made this curry the other night, it was fantastic, no need to eat out in a curry house now!!

Sharika| November 29, 2012 at 1:46 am

I love cooking and I love your recipes. I’ve tried this one sooo many times now, and it comes out perfect every single time. Thank you. Ps- please post a chicken Biryani n lamb Biryani recipe.

Joe| October 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Just wanted to say that this is the best Lamb curry I have every made. Brilliant receipe, thank you

Bev| June 7, 2015 at 8:44 am

We made this curry. It was so delicious it’s become our favourite.

Graham Swift| October 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Made this curry a few times now for friends and family. Absolutely love it. Just as good as a restaurant curry. I make it a bit hotter though.

Sa| July 15, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Really lovely. I melded it with a palak gosht recipe, and made it some yours, some his and some mine. Mainly, your use of the yogurt tumeric marinade and all the individual spices included instead of simply relying on garam, coriander and chile powder, were what I leaned on here. Thank you.

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