My Favourite Lamb Madras Curry

    2 hours

    This is my all time favourite curry to make. It’s adapted from a recipe my Indian friend gave me and the pungent flavour wins me over every time. You can use beef instead of lamb but simmer it for another 20 minutes or until the meat melts in your mouth. This is a great dish to make beforehand because it tastes better after a day or two.

    53 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • the paste
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 5-8 dried red chillies (depending on how hot you want the curry)
    • 6 fresh curry leaves
    • 5- 7 cloves of garlic, chopped or ten teaspoons of garlic paste
    • 2 teaspoons ginger paste or fresh chopped ginger
    • the curry
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1½ teaspoons of turmeric
    • 1 kg of diced lamb
    • 125g of ghee or butter
    • 100 ml vegetable oil
    • 4 medium onions, sliced
    • 1 tin (400ml) of coconut milk
    • 1 cup (250ml) water
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water
    • 1 heaped tsp of Garam Masala

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. Making the curry paste: In a dry frying pan, dry roast the coriander seeds till they start to go brown, then pour into pestle & mortar or a food processor. Repeat this with cumin seeds and dried chillies. Add the salt and the curry leaves to the mortar or food processor and grind them into a fine powder without any lumps. Add the garlic and the ginger and pound or stir to form a thick paste. Leave aside.
    2. Making the curry: dry roast the fennel seeds as you did for the coriander etc, set aside. Sprinkle the turmeric over the diced meat and make sure it’s all coated. Set aside.
    3. Heat the butter and oil and add the onions and fry on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Add the curry paste and fry for 1 minute. Add the meat and fry for 1 minute. Add 2/3 of the tin of coconut milk and the water and bring to the boil. Cook on a medium/high heat for 10 minutes.
    4. Add the remaining coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat right down so the liquid gently bubbles. Stir in the cardamom pods, the cinnamon stick and the fennel seeds.
    5. Cook for 1½ hours with the lid partially on, stirring occasionally to ensure it isn’t sticking. Add little bits of water if it reduces too much.
    6. Add the tamarind, sugar and Garam Masala and cook for 5 more minutes or until the sauce thickens. Scoop out the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick before serving.

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    Reviews in English (55)


    This came out really really great! 3 things to note: 1) do NOT overdo the tamarind paste! I cut the recipe in half, then used a teeny bit more than it called for, and it was too strong at first. It's mellowed, but just be careful 2) it took 2 1/2 hours for my leg of lamb meat (cut into pieces) to get tender, not 1 1/2! 3) you will need to add salt at the end! It doesn't call for it, but you do need it!I know that's probably common sense, but just wanted to make a note. Enjoy!  -  16 Apr 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I added some tomato paste and made this with chicken. It was just as good as chicken madras from an expensive restaurant. We simplified it a bit by adding all the spices at the same time to the chicken as it was cooking... it came out beautifully. It was so good, that we will make it regularly from now on. Thanks so much for this recipe!  -  10 Mar 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This recipe really taste great. I added 2tbl of tomatoe paste,only used an half cup of coconut milk and 2 cups of water. I also added 1tbl of flour when simmering the sauce as well as salt and pepper to taste. I used prepard dried curry powder instead of making the curry paste as well maybe about 3tbl of it. Even with all of these changes this recipe cooked up very nicely. I served it over jasmine rice  -  03 Nov 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)