Authentic lamb karahi curry

    1 hour 35 min

    Beautifully tender lamb in a wonderful thick sauce, full of flavour and entwined with chunky onions. I absolutely love lamb, whether it's a slow roasted shoulder, a grilled chop or simply stewed in a curry. This lamb dish is one of my most popular as it's so simple to cook but has a really rich and intense flavour. And it's a dish that can be left to pretty much cook itself and doesn't need much doing to it. It's also slightly different to most curry dishes and the style is fairly close to a balti in that it's given a blast in a caste iron karahi once the meat is soft. It's a bit like cooking backwards because the steps are in the wrong order. The meat is tenderised and infused with ginger and garlic first, the fresh masala sauce is cooked simply from fresh tomatoes and lemony coriander seeds and then the onions are added at the end to give a chunky texture. I also add butter which again adds to the intensity. Lovely stuff.


    Surrey, England, UK
    14 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 600g leg of lamb or lamb neck fillet, trimmed and cubed
    • 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1 tablespoon grated root ginger
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
    • 3 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 2 chillies, chopped finely
    • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
    • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 2 whole chillies, sliced lengthways
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr15min  ›  Ready in:1hr35min 

    1. Place the diced lamb into a pan with garlic, ginger and salt and put the lid on the pan. Leave to cook on the lowest heat setting for 30 to 50 minutes until tender. Please do not worry I promise it will not burn, it will just cook gently in its own juices until it is beautifully soft and has drawn in all the garlic and ginger flavours. Stir occasionally.
    2. In a karahi or wok heat the butter or ghee, add tomatoes and turmeric then fry to create a thick masala paste. Add the chopped chilli, crushed cumin and coriander seeds, red chilli powder and then fry for a few minutes.
    3. Stir in the cooked lamb with all the juice from the meat into the karahi or wok and begin to stir-fry with the tomato masala. After a few minutes add the sliced onions and halved chillies. Stir fry the meat until the sauce thickens and you are left with it clinging to the meat entwined with delicious chunky slices of onion. Sprinkle in the garam masala and a handful of coriander to serve.

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    I have used this recipe twice now and I look forward to using it tonight again. Trust Hari about the slow cooking time of the lamb, it really does make such a difference. I got on with prepping other dishes while it simmered away. Fabulous. Thank you Hari.  -  03 Feb 2018