Indian Lamb Curry

Indian Lamb Curry made in an hour with and easy homemade curry spice mix and creamy tomato sauce, simmered on low heat until fall apart tender.

Indian Recipes have been a HUGE hit on the site including the fan favorites Slow Cooker Butter Chicken, Chicken BiryaniEasy Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Korma.

Indian Lamb Curry
Indian Lamb Curry

Anytime we order in Indian food we stick to our classic options like Chicken Tikka MasalaVegetable Biryani, naan, Saag Paneer and Indian Raita but when we go an Indian restaurant with a lunch buffet my husband makes a bee line for the lamb curry.

Lamb is an interesting protein here in the US. Outside the United States people enjoy lamb dishes far more often, but here it gets the reputation for being really gamey.

What is the gamey taste in meat?

For wild meat, like venison or lamb, you may notice a stronger meat taste. This is due to the difference in diet most wild animals have. Just as cows are fed a mostly corn diet, many wild animals eat different plants and foods which allow for the meat to have a much stronger flavor.

If you find you want the meat to be less flavorful, I recommend trimming as much of the fat as possible as most of the gamey flavor is concentrated in the fat.

Easy Lamb Curry from India

If you’d prefer to make your Indian lamb curry with coconut milk, you can swap out the greek yogurt at the end of the recipe for ½ cup of coconut milk. Then allow it to simmer for an additional five minutes so the sauce can thicken again as the coconut milk is runnier than the greek yogurt.

This Easy Lamb Curry isn’t going to take you all day to prepare or all day to find the ingredients. I avoid some of the more traditional hard to find ingredients like black cardamom or even cinnamon sticks because in testing I found we maintained great flavor with the easier swaps.

If you have these ingredients you’re welcome to use them:

  • swap ground cardamom for one black cardamom pod
  • swap cinnamon for one cinnamon stick

Just be sure you remove these ingredients before serving as they are not palatable to eat. I don’t worry too much about the cloves or the black peppercorns as they sort of melt away into the lamb curry during cooking.

Indian Lamb Curry in the Slow Cooker

You can easily make this recipe in the slow cooker by adding all the ingredients except the greek yogurt into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. Then add in the greek yogurt, stir and cook on high, for 30 more minutes before serving.

The house will smell delicious!

Easy Lamb Curry

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Indian Lamb Curry

Indian Lamb Curry made in an hour with and easy homemade curry spice mix and creamy tomato sauce, simmered on low heat until fall apart tender.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb cut into 1 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • To a large skillet or dutch oven add the oil on medium heat with the bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and onions and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add in the lamb, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, turmeric, coriander and garam masala cooking and stirring for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  • Add in the water and tomato puree and let simmer on medium-low heat for 45 minutes, adding in the yogurt just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 5.6mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3.3mg
Keyword: curry, Indian, Indian Food, Indian Lamb Curry, lamb

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Looked for a lamb curry recipe and this one appeared to fit the bill.

    Although there were a lot of ingredients to include, thoroughly easy to make and all the family gave it the ‘thumbs up’.

    Will definitely cook again.

    1. Hi Mickey! We love this recipe at home so I’m really excited that your family loved it too! Come back and try something new soon!

      Thank you?

  2. I really enjoyed this so much with lamb! I don’t have any left though, could I use the exact same method for but just with chicken

  3. Delicious, was not sure of it, but everyone grabbed seconds. Did not have Greek yogurt and used “lacto” instead but it came out PERFECT.

    1. I would say coconut milk would be a delicious substitute. It will be a little thicker with the cream unless you use lite coconut milk.

  4. This is really good! I was a little worried when it wasn’t very thick, after the medium-low 45 minute simmer. However, letting it go another half hour while making the rice, made it just fine. Also, we used coconut milk instead of greek yogurt, as it’s what we had. And I mistakenly grabbed tomato paste instead of puree, but again, still delicious. Thanks for a yummy recipe!

  5. Delicious and best of all it was husband and kids approved! Definitely adding this dish to my regular lunches! Thank you!

  6. This did not taste like an Indian curry to me. It was flavorful and tender but it is a lamb stew that covers up the wonderful flavor of lamb. It is missing acid and another flavor-perhaps peppers? It was tasty but not the Indian flavor I was looking for. If you added potatoes and carrots, it would be a really wonderful stew.

  7. This is an EXCELLENT recipe! The first time I used regular diced lamb and a block coconut cream from a brand I don’t usually buy. It was ok and worth making again, but tonight I tried with lean diced lamb and a good coconut cream and it was HEAVENLY!!! Just absolutely DELISH and I will definitely make again! Thanks for sharing and don’t hesitate to try this! My only major sub this time was mild curry powder for Garson masala and cumin for coriander just cuz it’s what I had handy. All the other spices I already had because I love to cook Indian food, so that was a bonus as well! Thanks again for this! Cheers!

  8. I have made this curry many times and shared the recipe with several friends. It is easy to follow, and if you can find the ingredients in the bulk section of your local store you can minimize the cost of the spices you may not use frequently. I have tried this with yogurt, coconut milk, or neither we love it either way.

  9. This recipe sounds very good, but for the life of me I can’t understand why you refer to lamb as a “wild animal”

  10. Absolutely amazing recipe! Although the spices are a little difficult to come by and also a little pricey. I did add a little curry powder, increased the garam masala by a teaspoon, and a little more salt. Made Bombay potatoes on the side! My kids who are picky, loved it. Great recipe, looking forward to making it again!!

  11. Sorry Sabrina this is not a curry, a curry without any chilli is not a curry its a soup. You have not recreated an authentic curry you have invented a lamb soup im afraid. Incorrect describing it as a curry, and if people like this then they are liking soup not curry. Anyone expecting an authentic curry will be disappointed with this recipe i think.

    1. Yes; I agree; it did not taste like curry at all, I was very disappointed. It is very tasty however.

    2. You could add your own pepper spice and then it would indeed be a curry. I usually make things without for my children but we add to our own dishes.
      I love this recipe!! Thanks for sharing! ?

  12. Flavorful and versatile sauce. Made it with lamb and chicken but works well as a separately cooked satisfying vegan sauce with chickpeas in a bowl with pickled veggies and a grain.

  13. Great base recipe. Increased the salt and pepper, added 2 t curry powder, extra garlic and 2 squirts of sriracha. We loved it!

  14. Unfortunately this meal was not a hit with my family. We followed the recipe but overall it was found to be very bland and tasted more like a very mild tagine. Disappointing

  15. Great curry. Changed it a little, added a extra onion and increased the garam masala to 3 tsp. Household food critics (kids) loved it. Would add a little chilli powder if you like a little warmer as it is very mild. Also might try it with Cream rather than the coconut cream we used.

    1. I made this today. Wow. It tasted exactly like at the local Indian restaurant I used to frequent before the lockdown.
      Thank you Sabrina.

  16. Love the lamb curry. We had grilled lamb for Easter and I made the curry sauce to go with the leftovers. It’s one of the first curries I’ve made that really tastes like what I would get from our local takeout restaurants. Thank you!

  17. An enthusiastic 5 stars! I was nervous because this was my first time making curry. I’ve now made it twice and I am really pleased with the experiments. The sauce is delicious and flavorful and so comforting. The first time we followed the recipe as written and it was perfect. So tender and perfect with rice and cilantro. This latest time I didn’t have everything quite in order but I wanted to make another batch. I used 26oz of mixed cauliflower and potato instead of meat, slightly watered down sour cream instead of yogurt, and I only had a quarter of an onion. It turned out equally if not more delicious than the first time! I’m so glad to have found this recipe I will be trying with many different base ingredients in the future. The spice mix is perfect and sauce so scrumptious with rice. The recipe is so versatile, don’t be nervous to try something else (less expensive) than lamb. I do recommend tempering the yogurt with a bit of the hot curry before adding it. This would also work great with a non-dairy yogurt or sour cream substitute. Yum! Can’t wait to make more.

  18. Just finished making it, just waiting for the lamb to be done. I did taste the curry and I loved it. The recipe says to use cardamom, but I wasn’t sure it I should use green or black, so I used black cardamom. I took the seeds out of their shells and used my coffee grinder to turn the cardamom seeds into a powder. I hoped that wouldn’t make the curry too pungent and so far it seemed not to. Would you advise otherwise to just use the seeds as they are, or did I make a mistake by doing this? Also, was I supposed to use green or black cardamom seeds? When we go to an Indian restaurant and I have lamb curry, the color and flavor is very different from this one. The color of the lamb curry is more of a dark brick red color and the flavor of the lamb curry is more savory than this one. How can I make a lamb curry that is similar to that, let me know if you have a different recipe for lamb curry that might mimic the one from the restaurant that I go to. The restaurant is Indian Oven and it’s located in Mesa Arizona. Otherwise, thanks for your lamb recipe. It looks like its going to be a winner for tonight’s dinner!

    1. The cardamom should be green for this recipe. It wouldn’t be too much to grind your own either. It’s such a great idea! Glad you love the recipe so much.

  19. This came out wonderfully tasty! Served this over jasmine rice with a parsley garnish, and the entire family loved it.

    I trimmed off the fat and cut some leg of lamb into 1/2 inch pieces, which allowed the meat to cook quickly. Followed the recipe exactly, except added maybe 3 or so cups of puréed Roma tomatoes, cooked everything in a wok, reduced the liquids, and added some coconut milk at the end.

    I find that the palatability of homemade Indian curries is directly related to the type of garam masala being used. I went through a handful before finally finding something that agrees with my family’s taste buds.

  20. Could ground lamb be substituted? And if so, should I assume it should be browned before adding spices? Also, could this be made in a Instant Pot?

    1. Yes, you can use ground lamb and you’ll need to brown it. I haven’t tested it using an instant pot yet, sorry.

  21. Excellent thanks. I did some swaps and additions 🙂

    Mixed meat with Greek yogurt and spices whilst cooking the onions etc.
    Used 4 green cardamom pods crushed in a pestle
    Used a stick of cinnamon
    Used fresh coriander
    Used 3 teaspoons of garam masala instead of 2
    Added 1 fresh long red chilli finely chopped
    Deleted the water and added 200ml coconut milk
    Deleted tomato puree and used crushed tomatoes
    Prepared in a wok and then cooked all in the oven incl coconut milk for 90+ minutes till falling apart and reduced

    Served with green beans and rice
    Yum

  22. I did not like this recipe at all won’t make it again . I had a good recipe but I can’t find it but I will. I will go back to that . This wasn’t good at all thanks .

  23. This recipe was fantastic – we hosted a party on Friday and I made 6 lbs it was all gone! Will try Chicken biryani and Tikka masala recipes next, Thank you!

  24. Will not make this again. Not enough flavor. I had to add a bunch of curry to punch it up a little. Didn’t like the color (which may be bc I used ground cloves). Also sauce never thickened. It tasted ok but I wouldn’t serve to company.

    1. So sorry it wasn’t to your taste 🙁 You can definitely add more spices to your liking, or try some of the swaps/adds I mentioned in the post if you are looking for a punched up flavor.

      1. Fantastic, tasty curry. I made this and a chicken curry for family and hands down favourite was the lamb. I prepared on the stove top and than transferred to a casserole dish and slow cooked at 140 degrees fan forced for more than 3 hours. Meat fell apart.

  25. Hi,

    Ours didn’t go so well.

    After slow cooking for 6 hours we added the 1/2 cup of greek yogurt only for it to instantly curdle and ruin the entire dish!

    Why did this happen?

    1. So sorry to hear that! It sounds like your yogurt got too hot too fast. If you make it again, I would add in the yogurt a spoon at a time and mix well so that it has time to absorb and temper. You can also slowly heat the yogurt by adding spoons of curry to it and then when it is a 1:1 ratio, pour into the curry and cook the 30 minutes.

  26. Sabrina ma’am this recipe is so good just today we had tried it. My mother had executed it beautifully but more than that thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Today we had an occasion so this dish actually made the day. Now it is a favourite recipe in my family. You did gift us an awesome recipe thank you again…???

    1. Aw, I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you for coming back and letting me know what a success it was. Glad that it became a family favorite 🙂

  27. Cooked it tonight and it was a hit. Next time I’ll add some cayenne pepper, but even tonight this curry was very tasteful. I didn’t add water, but a small can of peeled tomatoes previously blended. Let it cook very slowly with a lid on. Didn’t have yogurt or coconut milk to add at the end but it was delicious anyway!
    Next on my list is the chicken tikka masala. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Glad you liked it! I love the rich flavors that Indian cuisine has to offer. Let me know how the tikka masala turns out!

  28. Just cooking this lamb curry for the first time but on initial tasting it does seem quite mild to what we are used to.
    What can I add to make it hotter whilst cooking?
    Thanks

    1. You could always just increase the seasonings listed in the recipe to customize it more to your liking. Enjoy!

  29. My husband loves lamb curry and he is quite picky… this was a hit! Definitely making again. Thanks for sharing!

  30. I have some leftover lamb roast that I’d like to use in the curry. When would you recommend I add the pre-cooked lamb to the sauce?
    The recipe looks delicious Thanks for sharing!!

  31. Lamb doesn’t taste “gamey”. It just doesn’t taste like beef which is what people are comparing it too. It tastes like lamb. Pork tastes like pork. Everything else tasted like chicken (ha ha)! Going try out this recipe. Looks delicious!

  32. This was really tasty.The cinnamon and coconut milk gave it a nice hint of sweetness and the other spices gave it a nice rich flavour.Also great that these were all spices I would have on hand.Definitely a repeat repice

  33. Just made this! Yum! It was a hit with the whole family, my toddler loved it and so did the 10 year old! Made in the IP so my sauce was not as thick and I didn’t want to wait any longer to eat to bother cooking it down. After the meat was done I put in cubed butternut squash, carrots, and more onion and cooked under pressure an additional 10 min then stirred in frozen peas. I somehow had all the spices on hand so win all the way around!

    1. How long did you cook the meat in the instant pot before removing the chicken and adding the veggies? Thanks for your help!

  34. Oh my goodness this was life changing! It turned out as tasty as anything I’ve ordered in a restaurant. I’m not very good about measuring things so I eyeballed most things. I went out and bought fresh, whole spices. The hardest part of the dish was trimming the fat off the lamb…but so worth it. Even my picky eating kids loved it. It’s even better on the second, third and forth day as leftovers. I’ve made it twice now and I’ve also applied the same spice combo to make spinach with cheese. I can’t wait to try Sabrina’s other recipes!

  35. I am making this recipe for the second time. And am very excited to. I found your recipe the end of last month. I followed the exact recipe and I am so in love with it. And let me tell you my favorite food is Indian food and lamb is my top choice and I have tried all types of people’s rendition of lamb curry. No exaggeration I must say this is my absolute favorite. And I am happy I can have it when ever I like because I have your recipe. Thank you Thank you!

  36. My husband and I have been making this every week since we first made it about a month ago. It’s permanently on our dinner rotation!

  37. Thank you so much! Just made this for dinner and it was a big hit. The taste was amazing. I love curry and this is one of my favorite dishes now to my curry collection

  38. So I tried this today. It’s very tasty. I like lamb so it’s a keeper. A few small unexpected things I found with it: I found that 2 cups of water is too much. Mine looked like soup after 45 minutes of simmering so I had to boil it a little longer to reduce it. The second thing is, I think cinnamon was a bit much ( or maybe it’s because I’m only accustomed to cinnamon in baked goods). My husband kept saying it smells like Christmas. Third, I had to open my windows, bake brownies and simmer some vinegar in an attempt to get rid of the VERY STRONG cooking smell. I also didn’t have cloves, I left it out. So, next time, I think I’ll skip the cinnamon and use a cup of water + more as needed and cook it outside using my electric cooker. My kids didn’t want to try it. They’re 4 and 5.5, so I’ll give it time. Overall, it’s a good recipe.

    1. Green beans and peas have always been a quick and easy addition for me. I will usually add in peas that are frozen near the end of cooking. You can also steam some cauliflower and add that in small pieces to the mixture along with some cooked chunks of potatoes.

  39. The curry sauce was delicious but the lamb came out very chewy. Is there a special cut of lamb I should have had?

  40. I tried this, really delicious even without garam masala as i did not have it at that time, i substituted coconut milk for yoghurt. Thanks for the recipe!

  41. Terrible. I BOILED the mixture for over twenty minutes as it got close to being “ready” and it never thickened. All the flavor fell off the lamb. Would never make again, nor recommend.

    1. I’m so sorry it didn’t live up to your expectation but my recipe doesn’t state to boil it so I’m not sure why you decided to do that. If you decide to try again, you’ll want to let it simmer on medium low heat for 45 minutes at the end. That helps to thicken the sauce.

  42. I made this (1/2) recipe. It didn’t look anything like the pictures. I had to add quite a bit more curry powder to get the color and flavor right, which by that time I had put all of the other ingredients away so I just used some “madras curry” which I had on the shelf. It was good, but the amount of curry specified is way too little.

  43. This was really fantastic and flavorful! All the spices came together nicely. Did not add yogurt but served it with homemade Raita. Will absolutely make this again!

  44. Above the words “post comment” are stars which caused my first
    comment to vanish. No idea if the comment was inadvertently sent.
    Anyway, we loved the curry and the leftovers the next day. Very tasty and gratefully not spicy enough to obscure the lamb.
    Many thanks!

  45. I would love to try this. I LOVE lamb!
    I do some questions though, for step 3, would it help if I put a top over the skillet while it is cooking? and can I use a pot instead of a skillet?
    Thank you!

    1. I have one recipe of Sabrina’s and my family love it. I haven’t tried the others yet because it’s really hard to find Indian spices where I live. But I’m confident that they will be as good as the one I’ve tried.

      With that said, I rely heavily on reviews to make my decision to try a recipe therefore I find it very misleading and annoying when people give a five star rating followed by, “ it looks good, I will try it.” Please try the recipe before rating it. You can comment with giving it a star rating.

  46. If you buy lamb from a small farmer that raises heritage breeds finished on grass you will experience a lamb that tastes delicious. It will not have an off taste and the fat is divine.

  47. Curry is one of my favorite things! I’ve never made my own curry spice, or lamb of any kind, so I definitely need to try this – looks amazing!