Fragrant Curry


chicken tikka massala in metal dish

This gorgeous fragrant lamb curry takes a wee bit of time, but the result is absolutely worth it. Like all curries, the taste develops better with time, so don’t be afraid to make it a day in advance if you have guests coming over.

For the toasted rub, you will need

  • 8 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 8 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 8 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • Lightly toast all the ingredients, then grind in a mortar and pestle or small food processor. Rub ½ over meat.

For the lamb

  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml stock
  • 3kg lamb, diced
  • 2 handfuls of chopped mint and coriander
  • 600ml natural yoghurt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lime juice to taste


Preheat your oven to 170C. In a large casserole pan, melt the butter and fry the spice mixtures until it goes golden, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and the stock or water. Bring to the boil, cover with kitchen foil and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours to intensify the flavours.

Remove the foil and continue to simmer on the stove until it thickens. This is your basic curry sauce.

Fry the lamb in a little olive oil until golden, then add to the curry sauce and simmer for around 1 hour or until tender.

Feel free to vary the curry by using diced chicken, prawns or paneer, or vegetables like silver beet, spinach, peas, cauliflower, fried aubergine, boiled potatoes, chickpeas or lentils.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander and mint and stir in the yoghurt. Season to taste and add a good squeeze of lime juice.