Railway lamb curry served in a bowl

Railway lamb curry

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins plus at least 1 hr marinating


Serves 4

Try this spicy lamb curry, so named as it was once cooked by the chefs working on the Indian railways in the 1900s. Lamb on the bone gives loads of flavour

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal646
  • fat47g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre3g
  • protein39g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated



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

  • 2 tsp turmeric



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

  • 800g leg of lamb on the bone, cut into bite-sized pieces



    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 450ml lamb stock
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 250ml coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • rice or roti, to serve



    Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…

For the spice mix

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 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,…

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6-7 dried Kashmiri chillies (or mild dried red chillies), stalks removed


  1. Mix the garlic, ginger, turmeric and lamb together in a large mixing bowl, then leave the lamb to marinate in the fridge for 1 hr or preferably overnight.

  2. Toast the spice mix ingredients in a dry frying pan for 12 mins over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until they release their aroma. Leave to cool, then grind to a fine powder using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Set aside.

  3. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a heavy-based, large saucepan. Add the curry leaves and onions, and fry for 15-17 mins, stirring well. As the onions begin to change colour, add the lamb and fry for 10 mins. Add the spice powder and turn the heat up slightly. Stir continuously for 5 mins. Pour in the stock and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Put the lid on and cook for 40 mins. Stir halfway through cooking.

  4. Tip in the potato and continue cooking for 15 mins. Add the coconut milk along with the tamarind paste and simmer for 10 mins with the lid off to reduce. Serve warm with rice or roti.  

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Comments, questions and tips

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Tom Dale's picture
Tom Dale
18th Jan, 2020
I adapted this recipe, looking at the list of ingredients I could see it would be lacking flavour. Add 1 tbsp of Garam Masala and 1/4 tsp of ground cloves to the recipe. Also throw in a handful of chopped fresh coriander at the end. Season with salt, sugar and black pepper to taste.
samatheee's picture
18th Oct, 2019
Flavour was good however I found when I took the lid of the pan for the last 10 minutes there was still a lot of liquid and 10 minutes wasn’t long enough to reduce it.
20th Sep, 2019
I used quality lamb from my local farm shop and followed the recipe to the letter. I was very disappointed with the result. The only nice thing about this curry was the lamb. I felt that the curry sauce lacked any real depth of flavour.
11th Sep, 2019
Curry heaven! Not too complicated and well worth a little grinding and stirring.
9th Sep, 2019
Bit of a faff, but totally worth it for the depths of flavour! We'll definitely make it again when we have the time (you need to put aside most of the day to make it). We used a couple of small (pretty hot) dried chillis instead of the 6-7 mild ones as that's what we had at home and they worked well. A delicious curry.
5th Sep, 2019
Followed the recipe exactly and it was flavourless, wont be making again.
31st Aug, 2019
This was great, a bit different from the curries I normally make. It took a bit of preparation and I didn't get going soon enough, but next time I'll do it all the day before - I'm sure it will improve with keeping for a day.
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