Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wesley's Yummy Lamb Curry

So, I'm a big curry fan. My gran did a lot of living in Durban, and while there she learnt how to make a decent curry. It was always pretty plain, a standard lamb off the bone kind of curry, and not too hot (to protect us young uns), but it was always oh-so-good. Her secret was to burn some of the curry powder - though I'm not too sure of the benefits.

After some growing up and conditioning my tongue to hotter spices and tastes, I decided I wanted to learn to cook my own curry. While eating dinner at a restaurant on Long Street (Maharaja, overpriced but excellent food) with some work colleagues, Wesley mentioned that he was learning to cook different curries and Indian meals from different parts of India. Naturally, I asked him for a standard lamb off the bone recipe. He obliged, and even threw in some spices for me (what a nice guy!), and so the recipe follows:


  1. Half a large onion, finely chopped
  2. 2 t/s curry powder
  3. 2-4 green chillies, chopped
  4. 2 t/s garlic / ginger paste
  5. 1.5 t/s dhanis jeera spice
  6. 3 medium tomatoes, pureed
  7. 0.5kg lamb cubes
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Olive oil


  • Add the chopped onions to a suitable sized pot that has been preheated with olive oil.
  • Leave the onions to braise for a few minutes, then add the chillis.
  • Let the onions and chillis fry for a couple of minutes until the chillis are golden in colour, then add all the spices in one go (dhanis jeera and curry powder).
  • Stir thoroughly, expect drool inducing aroma.
  • Let the spices braise for about 4 minutes, then add the meat and garlic / ginger paste. Add salt (I use about half a t/s) and stir.
  • Cover the pot and allow to cook for 10-15 mins, stirring and making sure the curry is not burning.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes, and cover again and allow to cook for 15-20 mins.
  • The curry should now have a thick gravy, add water to thin if required.
  • Salt to taste, and serve!


  • Use heat setting 3 on a 6 level plate.
  • For more flavour, add dhanis (coriander) leaves to the pot about 10 mins prior to serving.
  • Better with basmati rice.
  • Garlic / ginger paste is available from most supermarkets.
Here are some photos from when I cooked it:

The first time I cooked it, I couldn't find lamb, and so I used beef. There were no bones, and I followed the recipe pretty much exactly as it was laid out: I obviously used beef instead, though, and I had dried chillis instead of fresh ones. It was warm, and nice, if a little watery.

I then made it again, and made some of my own additions: I used a bit more of the spices than in the ingredients list, added some potatoes, and because I couldn't find lamb cubes, I used lamb chops cut into cubes, and threw the bones in as well.

The result was a nice and spicey curry, quite thick (thanks to the potatoes, methinks) and a little too hot for the girls, but delicious nontheless. If you're in need of a beginner's curry recipe and are not sure where to begin, then I definitely recommend Wesley's Yummy Lamb Curry.

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