Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wednesday Weekly: Easy Madras Lamb Curry

This may have taken about two hours to make, but this is the easiest curry I've ever done. You can easily make a vegetarian version with chickpeas -- possibly even tofu -- but in my case, we had some lamb lying about that we needed to get rid of. You don't need to use lamb -- the original recipe calls for beef -- so it's a versatile recipe that will suit whatever kind of core ingredient you use!

It's really incredibly easy.

First you need to mix ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, black pepper, chilli flakes, minced garlic, ground ginger and lemon juice together in a small bowl. This is your curry paste, and it smells delicious.

Then give your biggest sauce a really, really good glug of olive oil and put your stove on high heat. You don't really need a pot as big as this one, but it has a nice big surface area, so I can cook the meat faster.

Chuck in half of your meat and brown it. Does that look like a lot of oil? It really is. I actually added a good amount more, because my meat started to stick to the pot really quickly. I'm putting this down to a combination of the lack of fat on the lamb itself (I used diced up heart smart lamb steaks -- an odd choice) and perhaps the high heat of the pan. You'll likely use a different cut, so you shouldn't have this problem.

Once it's browned, take out the meat and pop it aside in a bowl...

...then cook the rest of your meat! Yep, that is an awful lot of oil. Not the greatest choice for your health, but, once again, it's due to the cut I used.

When you've finished browning the second batch, turn the heat down to medium, add the first batch back in and then add in your curry paste. I was surprised by how easily it coated the meat!

NOTE: Spices can and will burn in your pot if it is too hot, which will make for a super gross curry. I suggest giving your pot about a minute or so to allow it to lower in heat before you add the curry paste in.

Add in a can of tomato paste...
...then add in a cup of beef stock -- because you can't get powdered lamb stock!
See, this is why you don't really need such a big pot -- it doesn't take up a whole lot of space.

Put your pot on low heat, cover it up and leave it alone for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you get antsy about it burning, you can check on it and give it a stir, but I didn't have any issues with it. Just relax and have a mini dance party -- or catch up on a favourite TV show!

Once the 75 minutes have elapsed, you curry may look something like this. It's okay for it to be watery, it still has some cooking time left and the sauce will need to thicken. Put the lid to the side and let it cook for another 15 minutes.

This is what your curry might look like after that 15 minutes is over. You can see that the sauce has reduced a little bit, but it's not super soupy. By now you should also have the delicious scent of home-made curry permeating throughout your home, tempting all to the table.

You can serve your curry with whatever you like -- I used plain white rice with a very small amount of butter mixed through it. There was plenty of meat to go around for my family -- I'd say it could serve six people, although it may only go as far as four if you want a lot of meat.

The curry was quite tasty -- not something worthy of MasterChef, but quite good and I'd make it again. It's a little spicy because of the chilli flakes, so you can leave it out if you want. The lamb was cooked beautifully; it was very tender (which I love), although I think that the degree of this depends on the kind of meat used and how big it is.

You can check out the original recipe on Sitar, but what I've put below is the adaptation that I used.

Easy Madras Lamb Curry

Serves 4 - 6.


Olive oil
1kg (2.2lbs) diced lamb
170g can tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp. dried chilli flakes
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
Cooked rice, to serve


  1. Combine the coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, chilli flakes, garlic, ginger and lemon juice together well in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half of the lamb. Cook, stirring for 2 or 3 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Repeat the previous step with a little more oil (if necessary) and the rest of the lamb. Reduce the heat to medium and add the spice paste. Cook it for 1 (one) minute and then return the rest of the lamb to saucepan. Cook it for an additional minute, or until the curry paste has coated all of the meat.
  4. Add the tomato paste and the stock; stir it to mix with the meat. Raise the heat so that you bring it to the boil, then reduce it to low.
  5. Cover and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  6. Cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced or thickened a little.
  7. Serve with rice, or something else of your choosing.
Have you made any curries lately?

Sarah xo


  1. YUM. If there is anything I miss from when I ate meat, it's definitely lamb.

    1. It's one of the few meats I'll eat without any question. I think this would be really good with chickpeas, though!