Lamb Madras curry

    2 hours 30 min

    This is my all time favourite curry to make; it's pungent flavour wins me over every time. You can use beef if you like, but it often takes a little longer to cook, so just leave it simmering for another 20 minutes or until the meat melts in your mouth. I also suggest that you make this 2 days in advance as the flavours will develop and the curry will become even more delicious!

    158 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • Curry paste
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    • 5 whole dried red chillies
    • 6 fresh curry leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons garlic paste
    • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
    • 1kg lamb meat, cubed
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 8 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), melted
    • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 4 onions, thickly sliced
    • 1 (400ml) tin coconut milk
    • 500ml water, divided
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 3 tablespoons warm water
    • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

    1. Toast the coriander seeds over medium-low heat until they begin to turn brown and pop. Repeat the toasting process with the cumin seeds, then with the dried red chillies. Transfer each ingredient to a food processor or spice grinder as you finish. Add the salt and grind to a fine powder. Mix with the garlic and ginger to form a thick paste.
    2. Sprinkle the turmeric over the lamb, stirring lightly to coat. Toast the fennel seeds as above and set aside.
    3. Heat a casserole over medium heat with the ghee and vegetable oil; cook the onions until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in your curry paste and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the meat and fry for 1 minute more. Pour in 2/3 of the tin of coconut milk and 250ml of water; bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
    4. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and water, along with the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and toasted fennel seeds. Cover partially and return to a simmer, cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the lamb is tender. Stir occasionally and thin with water if the sauce becomes too thick while cooking.
    5. When the lamb is tender, stir in garam masala, sugar and the tamarind paste dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water; cook 5 minutes longer, or until the sauce thickens. Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before serving.


    If you don't have garlic or ginger paste, simply use the same amount of freshly grated garlic or ginger.

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    Reviews in English (55)


    I have made this twice and have enjoyed it both times. I don't usually enjoy curries due to mouth numbing which spoils it for me. This one was medium hot and very tasty, it did numb my mouth but in an enjoyable way. The recipe said for 8 this must be a mistake because we felt it would only feed 3. Good job we had only made it for two with some for the freezer.  -  18 Nov 2012


    This as good as my local Indian Restraunte . never need to buy any more lol  -  14 Mar 2014


    I did deviate a touch to suit what was on my shelves but really good  -  17 Apr 2013