Lamb Madras Curry


This is my all-time favorite curry to make; it's pungent flavor wins me over every time. You can use beef if you like, but it often takes a little longer to cook, so just leave it simmering for another 20 minutes or until the meat melts in your mouth. I also suggest that you make this 2 days in advance as the flavors will develop and the curry will become even more delicious!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
8 servings


Curry Paste

  • 1 ½ tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 5 whole dried red chile peppers

  • 6 fresh curry leaves

  • 3 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 ¼ pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

  • ½ cup ghee (clarified butter), melted

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 4 onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk

  • 2 cups water, divided

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 6 cardamom pods

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons warm water

  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste


  1. Toast the coriander seeds over medium-low heat until they begin to turn brown and pop. Repeat the toasting process with the cumin seeds, then with the dried red peppers. Transfer each ingredient to a food processor or spice grinder as you finish. Add the salt and grind to a fine powder. Mix with the garlic and ginger to form a thick paste.

  2. Sprinkle the turmeric over the lamb, stirring lightly to coat. Toast the fennel seeds as above and set aside. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat with the ghee and vegetable oil; cook the onions until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in your curry paste and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the meat and fry for 1 minute more. Pour in 2/3 of the can of coconut milk and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and 1 cup of water, along with the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and toasted fennel seeds. Cover with the lid ajar and return to a simmer, cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the lamb is tender. Stir occasionally and thin with water if the sauce becomes too thick while cooking.

  4. When the lamb is tender, stir in garam masala, sugar, and the tamarind paste dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water; cook 5 minutes longer, or until the sauce thickens. Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

519 Calories
37g Fat
16g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 519
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 21g 103%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 479mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 700mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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