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Indian Lamb Curry by Veena Azmanov

This authentic Indian lamb curry is made with lamb shoulder. It's simmered with fragrant spices, caramelized onions, and Greek yogurt until fork-tender. Served over Indian bread or basmati rice, this is a meal on its own.

KristaSheep lamb fan contributor of this recipe: Kirk D. "Here is our favourite recipe. We also use the ground lamb on pub style nachos"


  • 2 lb (900 g) Lamb (leg or shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces)

  • 1 tablespoon Oil (Cooking or Olive oil )

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (or oil)

  • 2 tablespoon Garlic (4 large garlic cloves minced)

  •  2 tablespoon Ginger (3-inch fresh ginger grated)

  • 3 cups Onions (red or brown finely chopped)

  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) Yogurt (Greek, plain)

  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon Black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 Cinnamon stick

  • 8 Cloves

  • 8 Green cardamoms

  • 2 Black cardamoms

  • 3 Bay leaves

  • 1 Mace ((optional))

Spice Mix

  • 2 tablespoon Coriander powder

  • ¾ tablespoon Cumin powder

  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder

  • 1 tablespoon Cayenne (hot)

  • 1 tablespoon Paprika (sweet)

  • 1 tablespoon Fenugreek leaves ((optional))

  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala powder


  1. In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet, add the oil, ghee, and whole spices.Pro tip - if possible use a Dutch oven as it retains heat evenly and will cook without losing too much liquid. if not, use a heavy bottom skillet with a tight lid.     1 tablespoon Oil,1 tablespoon Ghee,2 Cinnamon stick,8 Cloves,8 Green cardamoms,2 Black cardamoms,  3 Bay leaves,1 Mace

  2. Then, add onions and saute until caramelized, almost brown - about 10 minutes (see video).Pro tip - depending on the heat it may take 10 to 15 minutes to caramelize the onions. Do not cook on high as it will burn the onions not caramelize.     3 cups Onions

  3. Next, add the ginger and garlic - saute for another minute. Add the lamb pieces, saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the lamb is no longer pink.Pro tip - ginger and garlic can burn easily so keep the heat on medium. Then turn the heat a little higher to sear the lamb on all sides.      2 tablespoon Garlic,2 tablespoon Ginger,2 lb Lamb

  4. Then, add the ground spices and chopped tomatoes. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.     2 tablespoon Coriander powder,¾ tablespoon Cumin powder,¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder,1 tablespoon Cayenne,1 tablespoon Paprika,1 tablespoon Fenugreek leaves,½ teaspoon Garam masala powder,1 cup Tomatoes

  5. Next, add the yogurt. Combine it then add ½ cup water. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.Pro tip - stir the yogurt separately in a small bowl to ensure there are no lumps before you add it to the lamb otherwise you will have lumps in the curry.    ¾ cup Yogurt,½ teaspoon Black pepper,1 teaspoon Kosher salt,1 tablespoon Lemon juice

  6. Continue to simmer it on the stovetop on medium-low heat stirring frequently until meat is cooked through and becomes fork-tender - about 1 to 1 ½ hour adding water if necessary.Pro tip - Always ensure you have enough water so the meat has enough moisture to cook. If necessary add ¼ to ½ cup more.

  7. When cooked to fork-tender, taste and adjust seasoning. Adjust gravy by adding a bit more water depending on how you going to serve it.Pro tip - If you serve it with chapati, naan, or roti - keep it thick. If you serve with rice, add a little water to make a gravy.

  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Recipe Notes & Tips from Vena Azmaonov:

  • Use lamb cuts such as lamb shoulder, leg of lamb, or stew meat when making curry. 

  • Today, I am using boneless but lamb with bones is ideal for making curry as the marrow in the bones adds more flavor. 

  • Cut the lamb into small pieces about 2 to 3-inches each. Large pieces will take longer to cook 

  • Cook the onions until caramelized and cook on low to avoid burning. There is a huge difference in flavor when you cook the lamb with just sauteed onions compared to caramelized onions. 

  • Do not skip the cooking time after adding each ingredient. Indian curry is about adding layers of flavor so don't make haste. 

  • I prefer to use Greek yogurt because it is thicker. If you use regular yogurt you may need to reduce some of the cooking liquid. 

  • If you use a Dutch oven you will not need any extra cooking liquid. For other pans, you may need to add ¼ to ½ cup of water every time you stir to prevent burning   See ingredients and substitutes above if you don't have the spices. 

  • Pressure cooking- Instead of using a dutch oven, saute in the stovetop pressure cooker or instant pot.

    • Once you have sauteed all the ingredients. Pressure cook on medium heat for 40 to 45 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker.

    • Instant pot - set the instant pot to manual. Saute then pressure cook on high for 25 minutes, then use manual release.

What is YOUR favourite Nova Scotia Lamb Meat... nurtured naturally, with care recipe?
brad channing august 13 2016cropped_edit

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