Indian Lamb Curry

Lamb curry with naan and rice.
Stok-Yard Studio / Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Ratings (107)

Simple yet delicious, lamb curry also is an easy and wholesome meal to put together. Some cooks make meat curry with goat meat (also called mutton in India), but the lamb version has a heartier, richer taste. This lamb curry is a masala, meaning that the sauce is made with tomatoes and onions cooked with spices.

Lamb curry is delicious served with plain rice, a salad, and raita. If you thicken the gravy, it tastes just as good with hot, freshly made chapatis

What You'll Need

  • 2.2 pounds/1 kg boneless lamb shoulder (cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks, can substitute lamb stew meat)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions (sliced thinly)
  • 2 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: chopped coriander (cilantro)

How to Make It

  1. Heat the cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, on medium heat.
  2. When hot, add the onions. Sauté till the onions begin to turn a pale golden brown in color. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Turn off heat.
  3. Grind the onions in a food processor into a smooth paste adding very little to no water. Transfer to a separate container and reserve.
  4. Grind the tomatoes, garlic and ginger pastes together in the food processor to a smooth paste. Transfer to a separate container and reserve for later use.
  1. Reheat the oil left over from frying the onions and add the reserved onion paste. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste, coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chili powder, and garam masala powder and mix well.
  3. Sauté the resulting masala (onion-tomato-spice mixture) until the oil begins to separate from it. This can take up to 10 minutes.
  4. Now add the lamb pieces to the masala, season with salt to taste, and stir to fully coat the lamb pieces with the masala. Sauté until the lamb is browned well.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the pan, stir to mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook until the lamb is tender. You will need to keep checking on the lamb as it cooks and adding more water if all the water dries up. Stir often to prevent burning. The dish should have a fairly thick gravy when done.
  6. When the lamb is cooked, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot chapatis (Indian flatbread), naans (tandoor-baked Indian flatbread) or plain boiled rice.


As an alternative, you can use a pressure cooker to cook lamb curry and it will be done in half the time it takes to cook in an open pot.

For a creamy version of the dish, marinate the lamb in a mixture of yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, and cayenne pepper. Place in a zippered plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight to tenderize and flavor the meat. To make the sauce a creamy tikka masala, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to the sauce for the last 10 minutes of simmering.

Serve with basmati rice that has 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric added to make it yellow.

You might also add some peas to the rice and allow them to heat up in the rice pot with the rice for 5 minutes.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 517
Total Fat 33 g
Saturated Fat 14 g
Unsaturated Fat 13 g
Cholesterol 156 mg
Sodium 188 mg
Carbohydrates 10 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 43 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)