A casserole dish serving lamb shank Madras

Lamb shank Madras

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(23 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 4 hrs plus a couple of hrs marinating and resting


Serves 4

While it takes time, this hearty one-pot lamb curry is easy and you can make it two days in advance for even better flavour. Serve with naan bread and rice

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal736
  • fat39g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs23g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre9g
  • protein69g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin



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

  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 4 onions, sliced



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

  • 4 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 8 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated



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

  • 220g tin chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 3 whole dried red chillies
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 4 cardamom pods, split
  • 3 tbsp lime pickle
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • chopped mint leaves, naan bread and rice, to serve



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Tip the yogurt, cumin, turmeric, 1 tsp sea salt and the lamb shanks into a large mixing bowl, then mix to coat the lamb. Cover and pop in the fridge for a couple of hrs, or overnight if you have time.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat, add the shanks and brown all over for 10 mins, then remove from the dish. Scatter the onions into the dish and fry for 10 mins until golden brown. Stir in the curry powder, garlic and ginger and cook for 3 mins until aromatic. Add the lamb shanks back to the dish along with the tomatoes, chillies, curry leaves, cardamom pods and lime pickle. Give everything a good stir and pour over the stock. Bring up to a simmer, cover, then transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hrs.

  3. Remove the lid and cook for 1 hr more – this will help reduce some of the liquid and char any exposed meat. When the lamb is very tender, leave to rest for 30 mins or leave to cool completely and reheat the next day for the best flavour. (Can be made up to two days in advance.) Scatter with chopped mint and serve with naan bread and rice on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Che Guevaraa's picture
Che Guevaraa
5th Jun, 2020
This was absolutely gorgeous! My first time enjoying a medium heat curry as I’m normally a korma girl. It’s got a lovely warming kick but it’s not too hot. When you mix the sauce with the meat you barely notice it. The flavour is so deep and incredible and the meat fell of the bone. Even my friend with no heat tolerance whatsoever cleared his plate and loved it. I marinated the meat 2 days prior and cooked the curry the day before. Well worth it as the flavour just become enormous. Definitely making this again and again. Delicious!
18th Jan, 2019
This is one of my all time favourite recipes. It does take a bit of time and there are a lot of ingredients, but once you have bought most of them for the first time they will make the recipe again and again. As there are four of us, there is no argument over portion sizes as we have a shank each, but then I am sad because once I have eaten my portion I could eat it all over again. Really worth the effort and one of the few recipes I make no changes to.
20th Jun, 2018
Amazing curry this is a crowd pleaser. Fall off the bone lamb, truly fantastic
12th Mar, 2018
This was an excellent madras. Succulent and authentic and just plain delicious. Well done Tom Kerridge!! Best curry I’ve ever made. I added a teaspoon of sugar at the end as I’d overdone it with the pickle but that was only a bit! Perfect. P.s. Madras curry powder is easy to make yourself and I would reccomend it!
Gary O'Brien's picture
Gary O'Brien
6th Jan, 2018
That is probably the worst curry I have EVER made. It is totally taken over by the lime pickle. Never again.
11th Oct, 2017
Very very good. I used some fresh turmeric in the marinade as I had some kicking about in the freezer and Patak's Madras paste instead of the powder, as it was the only option in my local Co-Op! I did the three hours then cooled it over night and did the final 1hr the following evening before eating. This meant I could skim some of the solidified fat off, which I was happier with. Trouble with this kind of curry cooking is that my local takeaway now seems very poor by comparison!
4th Sep, 2017
Truely excellent curry. Shanks were so tender I couldn't pick take them out pot. Bone pulled out clean, remaining meat easily broke up with a pair of tongs. So it was like a curried pulled lamb. I got hold of a very good and hot lime pickle which def helped with flavour too.
15th Oct, 2019
Can i use chicken instead of lamb? If so, should I still brown the meat, then cook in the oven for 4 hours (1 hour with lid off)? TIA!
goodfoodteam's picture
21st Oct, 2019
Thanks for your question. This recipe has been created for lamb and the longer cooking time is perfect for tenderising the shanks. You could make a version of this using chicken thighs but we can't give exact instructions without re-testing. We'd suggest trying a chicken curry from our collection: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/chicken-curry
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