Lamb and Tomato Curry

"From Vij's in Vancouver. Adjust the quantity of cayenne in this recipe according to how much "heat" you prefer. As with most spicy casseroles, the flavours of this curry will improve on standing, but add the fresh coriander just before serving. If cumin seeds are unavailable, substitute an additional 1 tsp. (5 mL) ground cumin. This was one of Mean Chefs recipes which I was lucky enough to adopt, have made it as stated and it is delicious!"
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Ready In:
2hrs 30mins




  • Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Cook lamb, in batches, for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove lamb to a plate as each batch browns, and add more oil to the saucepan as necessary.
  • Wipe out the saucepan with paper towels and Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same saucepan over low heat.
  • Add cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until seeds start to sizzle (omit this step if substituting ground cumin).
  • Add garlic and ginger, then cook, stirring for 1 minute, until garlic is softened.
  • Add onions, increase heat to medium-low, then cook, stirring for 7 to 10 minutes until onions are golden brown.
  • Add remaining butter, then stir in ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, cayenne, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Increase the heat to medium, then cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until butter starts to separate from the spice mixture.
  • If spices start to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add more butter or lower the heat slightly.
  • Stir in yogurt, then cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, until butter starts to separate again.
  • Stir in tomatoes, water and salt, adding a little more water if the fresh tomatoes are not very juicy (at this stage the curry should be the consistency of thick soup).
  • Return lamb to the saucepan, then bring curry to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, then simmer, covered, for about 1 hour.
  • Remove lid and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes, until juices have thickened slightly and lamb is tender.
  • Just before serving, adjust seasoning to taste and stir in fresh coriander.

Questions & Replies

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  1. woodland hues
    OUTSTANDING! I had 1 lb. of cubed lamb shoulder to work with and kept the other ingredients the same since we wanted lots of sauce for the rice. It worked out beautifully and yielded 4 servings. I let it reduce some more after the hour and a half (another 15 - 20 min) and we were sooooo impressed. Served with chutney alongside, and yogurt for dessert. Used diced canned tomatoes and was generous with the cup of yogurt. Easy to make, and serves up sophisticated flavours. THANK YOU!
  2. Shelly
    This is a rich and hearty dish. It doesn't have a strong tomato or yogurt flavor but rather it's the lamb and the cumin that stand out in the dish. Perfect for a cold night.
  3. Roosie
    I think this is the first Indian dish that I've made that's worked out how I wanted it to! Excellent, easy to follow directions and excellent flavor! I halved the recipe (we did get 4 servings) and served over brown basmati rice with some yogurt on top. Lovely spicy flavors- the cinnamon was a bit strong, but I may have used more cinnamon stick than called for (I didn't measure). I was actually surpised that I needed 1/2tsp plus of cayenne to get it spicey enough, as we don't even really like spicey foods that much. I didn't add quite as much as I would have liked because we were running short on yogurt and I didn't want to burn our mouths without something to put out the flame! I made this this morning and let it sit for about 6 hours to let the flavors blend. Very tender lovely lamb. Next time I may experiment with adding some spinach or a couple of potatoes even, just to make it more of a complete meal. BF said he thought a little something was missing, and we think it might be a cardamom flavor, maybe. Next time I'll throw a cardamom pod or two in or a dash of garam masala. The instructions seem long, but its really very easy! My printer is actually broken, so I had to transcribe and it ended up just being about 5 simplified steps! I used canned tomatoes, which worked well. This has the true Indian flavors that you can get in restaurants- spiced, spicy and delicious! Thanks for a delicious dinner (and lunch tomorrow!)
  4. mianbao
    Excellent! Other than reducing the amount to allow for only two diners, I followed the recipe. I did adjust the cayenne to allow for our preferences. The spice combination is deceptively simple, but produces a delicious meal. I used fresh tomatoes and thought they were delicious. Thank you very much for this recipe.


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