I do love a Lamb Madras. The good thing about a Madras is it can be as simple or as complicated as you like.
The basics of Madras are tomatoes, something sharp & sour such as lemon juice or tamarind and plenty of chilli heat.
As we don’t have lamb curry all that often I decided to go to town with this recipe with a deep, rich sauce.
The Lamb Madras Curry Gravy
This recipe has a curry gravy which is made separately. There is enough gravy for the Lamb Madras and I had about 250ml left which could be frozen and used in another curry at another time. If you like plenty of sauce though you may decide to use all of it.
For this recipe I used lamb shoulder, off the bone. You could of course use leg or neck and it’s entirely up to you if you want to leave the meat on the bone.
I didn’t pre-cook the meat in this recipe. I added the lamb to 1/2 of the gravy which had been allowed to reduce so it was nice and thick. This coated and sealed the lamb before I added the rest of the gravy and allowed the dish to cook slowly, resulting in a deep rich sauce.
The lamb would be cooked after 45 minutes but in my opinion its best left for 1.5 hours so it’s melt in the mouth tender.
We have our Madras reasonably hot but the level of heat can be altered to suit your taste with the addition of chilli powder for more heat or less chilli powder if you want something milder.
Of course you could add fresh chillies or if you like real heat try adding some Naga Chilli Pickle!
For my recipe I use ‘Ome Made Curry masalas. Of course the recipe will work with your own or favourite brand of curry powder.
- 3 tbsp oil or ghee
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 whole cardamom
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 whole Tej Patia (Indian bay) optional
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 inch cubed fresh ginger chopped
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 whole red pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 x 400 gram tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 handful coriander stalks
- 1.2 Kg lamb shoulder diced (1/2 inch thick)
- 4 tbsp oil or ghee
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
- 1 inch cubed fresh ginger finely chopped or grated
- 3 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (use sweet paprika if unavailable)
- 2 tbsp 'Ome Made Madras Curry powder or your own/different brand
- 3-4 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp Kasoori methi/dried fenugreek
- 3 tsp 'Ome Made Garam Masala or your own/different brand
- 1 lemon juice of
- 4 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp coconut milk powder or 30g creamed coconut block
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan
- Add the whole spices and gently fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped onions and salt. cook gently until soft and light brown
- Add the chopped garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds
- Add all the ground spices and the red pepper. cook for 30 to 60 seconds
- Add the tomato puree and stir in
- Add the tinned tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer
- Add the coriander stalks.
- Cook for around 45 minutes
- Remove the Tej Patia leaves if used and blend with a stick blender
Cooking The Curry
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan or Karahi.
- Add the cinnamon and star anise. fry gently for 30 seconds
- Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds or so.
- Add the Kashmiri chilli, stir in and cook until the mixture is a deep red colour.
- Add the curry powder and chilli powder, fry gently for around 1 minute. If the mixture is sticking add a splash of water to loosen the mixture.
- Add roughly half of the curry gravy, stir and bring to a vigorous simmer. This wants to reduce to a thick paste. You can partly cover the pan if you don't want it firing off everywhere!
- Once the gravy has reduced, add the lamb. Stir and coat with the paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add more gravy to the pan to create a thick sauce, you may have a little gravy left. This can be used to add later if the sauce is too thick for you. If it all goes in you can use a little water to make the sauce to the consistency you want.
- Cook on a gentle heat, just simmering, for at least 45 minutes but 1 to 1 1/2 hours is better.20 to 30 minutes before your curry is ready to serve add all the other ingredients.
- Serve with some pilau rice and bread to mop up the lovely rich sauce!