Lamb Madras Curry

Spicy, delicious and amazing Indian food. As you may have read on my home page the adventure to Oakville was filled with spices and smells. Nothing beats a hangover like Indian food and nothing goes better with Indian food than beer. If you live in NYC, take a bus/path out to Hoboken (Yes scary I know) and go to Karma cafe, some of the best Indian food I have eaten. I decided to please all my American friends and put this recipe in a metric they can understand...ah the usage of the word "cup". I got this recipe from Arivinda's amazing lesson. The recipes are fresh, healthy and do not need much oil and fattening ingredients. What they do need is patience, some time and love. You will see some reference to ghee. This is clarified butter and is used in a lot of India recipe. It's supposed to be a much healthier alternative to butter as its easier to digest among other reasons. To learn how to make Ghee - Ghee Recipe

The ingredient list is very off-putting when making Indian food as it's as LONG as my arm but the good news is you can make a good madras masala mixture of spices and keep it in a container for a year to save having to make over and over (use the instructions below but do not add the vinegar). Also the base of every Indian curry is the same, and Preena and her mother told me they make this base in batch and store it in the freezer, that way it cuts down future curries to around 30 minutes. This recipe will feed 4 people !!


  • 1lb boneless Lamb - Cut into pieces
  • For the Garam Masala mix 1 tbsp Cumin Powder, 1 tbsp Coriander powder, 1 tsp salt to taste, 1 tsp garlic crush to a paste, 1 tsp ginger crushed into a paste, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds finely crushed, 1/2 tsp Chili powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil (You can use a Canola or sunflower oil or any other light oil to avoid strong taste)
  • 1 large spanish onion - Finely chop as small as you can
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup ground or crushed tomatoes canned. I think Ground worked really well
  • 1/2 tap tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp of the Masala mixture about for garnish
  • 1 cup of water
  • Optional some cardamom pods and extra mustard seeds

How to prepare the Garam Masala mix

1) Take all the ingredients and get a pestle and mortar, pestle and mortar is one of my favorite kitchen tools especially when I have had a crazy day at work.

  • Take the peppercorns and mustard seeds and crush them to death
  • Get a bowl and combine with cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, garlic paste, ginger paste, chili powder and turmeric powder. Stir well in the bowl and this will make your Garam Masala.
  • You want to get to a nice paste, combine the Garam Masala with the vinegar until it forms a paste ! This will be the base for your tasty curry.

Take your mix and get ready to make your Lamb Madras Curry

2) In the recipe it says to use a large pot first BUT I think for the first part you should use a good non stick frying pan (You should try to use All-Clad to avoid sticking and you may end up having it on a low heat for a while). Take the oil or ghee (See ghee above) and get it hot (ish) you don't want to discolor it. Turn to a low heat fry the curry leaves for 3-4 minutes. (You can throw in some cardamom seeds and a few mustard seeds that have been crushed as an optional extra).

2) Add the onions, this is the hard part, keep that heat on low and you will need to cook the onions until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. You would be surprised HOW long it takes to really get to looking like the picture below. I never used to have much patience but you will need to call all the strength of the bear to make sure you don't over cook or burn. If there is any black on the onion you will have to start again as it really spoils the taste.

3) Add ground tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes again on a low heat, you want to make sure all the tomato is cooked through so keep stirring the mixture.

4) Get a massive pot with a lid (again should be non stick) on a low heat combine the mixture with the masala paste and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. You should end up with something that looks like below:

5) Now is where things get messy, it's for a good cause !!. Get your meat and you want to add it to the pot, you need to make sure all the meat is covered and well coated with masala. If that means using your hands then so be it !! Cover the lid and let it simmer (low) for 15 minutes. Just keep watching it and storing to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom and the goal is to get it looking like below:

6) Add the sugar and tamarind paste mix well. Now start adding the water slowly, and storing, let it simmer and keep doing this until all the water is added. You may need more than a cup. Cover and simmer on low heat until meat is tender and cooked (15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally.

7) Add salt to taste and you can add in more sugar here depending on the spice level you want OR some more Garam Masala spices powder.

8) Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro and Garam Masala.

I hate to show you a picture of much more than my Lamb Madras Curry but those recipes are coming soon !!!

Enjoy !