Home-style lamb curry in a saucepan

Home-style lamb curry

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(76 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins


Serves 4

Storecupboard spices along with puréed onions, garlic and ginger create an authentic flavour in this tender lamb curry that's rich in iron and 2 of your 5-a-day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal470
  • fat29g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein39g
  • salt0.3g


  • thumb-sized piece ginger, ½ cut into matchsticks, the rest left whole



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 onions, quartered



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 750g leg of lamb, diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli or green chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
  • basmati rice and mango chutney or raita, to serve


  1. Put ½ the thumb-sized piece of ginger, 2 quartered onions and 4 garlic cloves in a food processor with 300ml water. Blitz to a smooth purée.

  2. Scrape down the sides with a spoon and blitz again to make it as smooth as you can. Tip into a deep sauté pan, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins.

  3. Remove the lid and cook for 5 mins more, stirring occasionally. By now the liquid should be all gone. If not, cook a little longer.

  4. Add 2 tbsp rapeseed oil to the pan with the remaining piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks. Turn up the heat and fry, stirring, for 3-5 mins until it starts to colour.

  5. Stir in 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground turmeric and ½ tsp fennel seeds, then add 750g leg of lamb. Stir-fry until the lamb changes colour.

  6. Tip in 400g can chopped tomatoes with a can of water and 1 deseeded and sliced red or green chilli, season well, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hr.

  7. Stir in the finely chopped stalks from a small bunch coriander, re-cover and cook for a final 30 mins until the lamb is tender. Add a splash of water if necessary to loosen the consistency as it cooks.

  8. Stir in the roughly chopped coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice and mango chutney or raita.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Jul, 2020
Interesting dish but bears little resemblance to any curry I’ve ever had. The overwhelming taste was of cinnamon . In a separate pan I’ve fried off some curry powder in oil and added it to the pot. I’ll try a spoonful of garam masala and hope for the best. A lot of work for a dish that doesn’t work. I don’t expect to have to scour the cupboard for ‘something’ to make it work
Noriko Kajitani's picture
Noriko Kajitani
1st Jul, 2020
Combining all the feedbacks I skipped step 1 to 4, added garam masala, a bit of sugar and tomato purée then it was delicious. Think it’s a great recipe for easy lamb curry
27th May, 2020
Didn’t bother with the purée part - just fried the onions, garlic and ginger and went straight to step 5. Added a tin of green lentils. Also had to substitute beef for the lamb as couldn’t find any in the supermarket. Did add the can of water. Left to simmer for 1 hour and it was fine. Went down well with family.
listaminex's picture
29th Oct, 2019
This is a real curry but I have amended the recipe for my liking. I for one prefer more bite to my curry. - Do away with the onion/garlic/ginger purée and finely chop onions and garlic ; add the ginger half way through but do cook on a low heat to soften properly initially. - double up on the original spices (except cinnamon stick), in addition add 1 tsp Garam masala and 1 tsp mild curry powder (hot if you prefer). - It’s often worth browning the lamp in a separate pan to lock in the flavours but not 100% necessary if you’re simmering on a low heat for 1-3hrs. - When you add the canned tomatoes and can of water add 2 tbsp tomato purée, crumble in a lamb stock cube/knorr lamb stockpot. I used a cheaper cut of lamb, such as shoulder or stewing lamb. If you don’t like fat stick with leg. As mentioned previously. Recipes are a guideline. Taste as you go and season properly. I added a knob of butter to this recipe. Due to the time frame you would want to add 2 de-seeded chilis or add seeds as well if you like a bit more warmth.
Anthea Guthrie's picture
Anthea Guthrie
23rd Sep, 2019
Great curry, easy to prepare. It is a very mild sauce but it doesn't lack flavour and had a good consistency. I used blended 3 onions with 2 chillies and the garlic and ginger and used just enough water to blend it together. I also added 1 tsp of chilli powder and a handful of dried chillies. I also substituted 2 tins of chickpeas for about half the lamb. Delicious! I think you could easily double the spices but also great as is.
Mick Le Masurier's picture
Mick Le Masurier
29th May, 2019
Nice enough store cupboard meal but agree lacked depth and was missing something we could not put our finger on. I tried adding lamb stock cube, tomato purée, peas and doubled up on the spices and garlic and reduced the water. Tasted ok but perhaps some garam masala would have helped along with onion seeds, etc. Lamb did cook tender but overall if I am going to shell out on lamb, then I would want something better. Easy meal to cook in its favour.
Chef carter's picture
Chef carter
16th Feb, 2019
Made this the other day. Took note of what people were saying and didn’t add the water. I just blended the onions without it. Turned out ok but seemed to lack ‘bite’ as it were. I even doubled up with all the spices etc. Shame as the picture looked really good
14th Feb, 2019
To all the people claiming there's no mention of seasoning, look at step 6 line 3; "season well" !!! (Shorthand for "add salt and pepper to taste") I've also added extra garlic and extra spices to cater to my personal tastes. To adjust the bitterness I found, I added a wee bit of sugar and a handful of raisins. :)
10th Feb, 2019
Made this in the slow cooker yesterday after having browned the meat etc in a frying pan. It was good but somehow lacked a depth of flavour. Might play with the recipe next time but my guests enjoyed it and there is plenty to go in the freezer today.
Chef carter's picture
Chef carter
16th Feb, 2019
I’d agree...... definitely lacked depth. Not yours ! The recipe ha !


Roger Finch's picture
Roger Finch
12th Aug, 2018
When are you suppose to add the onion puree?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question. You tip it into the sauté pan in step 1.
1st Apr, 2017
The method doesn't explain what you do with the cinnamon stick. Should it be put in the food processor at Step 1?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Apr, 2017
Thanks for your question. You add the cinnamon stick in Step 3 along with the rest of the spices.
11th Mar, 2017
Would this recipe work with beef instead of lamb? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this recipe with beef and of course the flavour will be different but there's no reason why you couldn't use the same method. Continue to cook until the beef is tender.
listaminex's picture
29th Oct, 2019
It won’t look like the photos because it’s chicken!
16th Jul, 2019
***COOK IT THE DAY BEFORE*** I lightly toasted the fennel seeds with some cumin seeds before crushing in a pestle & mortar, and then adding with the rest of the spices. I also added a few cardamom pods, a little garam masala and some lamb stock, and then left it for 24 hours for the flavours to develop. Last of all, and personal taste, I added some lentils and some spinach. Tasted really good!
Shaggy Potter's picture
Shaggy Potter
23rd Mar, 2018
Add some veg. I used potato but whatever you have should work. For the rice I used the Beef Rendang recipe also on GoodFood.
Sam Lowe
14th Oct, 2017
Great recipe, as others have said leave out the water because there is enough water within the onions! I also don't cover for 15 minutes as it stays a bit too moist I find. I have also done this with beef and it tastes great!
3rd Apr, 2017
This is an excellent curry, but it does not need any water, so if you are thinking of trying it, exclude the water.
12th Oct, 2016
OK, so my comment is sort of negative too. Why on earth would you use Rapeseed Oil when it's really bad for you? Industrialized to the hilt and it's the same stuff that was used to make the mustard bombs in WW11. Canola Oil. Canadian Oil. ( Disguised, ) Most Indians use either Ghee or Coconut Oil, far far better and YES! Eliminate the water!NOT an authentic Curry at all.
30th Jun, 2016
The onion, ginger and garlic need to be blended to a paste using a table spoon of oil instead of water.
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