Coconut Lamb Curry

Here is a really special Indian dish that I wanted to share with you in a long time. I’m sharing it now, to celebrate my return! It’s like a kind of Indian-style rendang: moist morsels of lamb coated in thick meaty sauce and coconut. It is deeeelicious! So flavoursome, and such fun to eat. I love the lamb pieces wrapped in roti, or with some other nice bread. In any case, you’ve got to eat this with your hands!

This curry is based on a recipe by Anjum Anand from her Indian Food Made Easy BBC series. I changed (upped) the spicing to suit my tastes, and added a South-Indian touch with curry leaves, dried red chillies and mustard seeds. Basically, the lamb is cooked with spices until the meat is tender, and the sauce is well reduced. Then, you sprinkle toasted grated coconut in (fresh or desiccated), and coat the lamb. Yes, it takes time to cook it, but it requires little attention, and it’s really worth it. The first time I made it, I totally forgot about it and spent 2 hours on the phone to a friend, but miraculously, it didn’t burn, and it didn’t harm it all. Next time I was more careful, but it was equally good.

Our camera issues haven’t been resolved yet, so no pics this time, sorry. We’re in a long and slow process of choosing a new camera. Possibly, hopefully, a DSLR!



Coconut Lamb Curry


SOURCE:  Based on a recipe from Anjum Anad’s Indian Food Made Easy


COOKING TIME: about 2 h 40 min


SERVES: 4 as a side dish, or 2 – 3 as a main



50 g desiccated coconut

2 tbsp ghee

3 dried red chillies

2 – 3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves

a pinch of black mustard seeds

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cm ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/3 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes

salt to taste

500 g boneless lamb, diced

200 g water

1/2 tsp garam masala



I. Toast the desiccated coconut in a non-stick pan until a little past golden, and set a side. This will take a minute or two, so watch it!

II. 1. Heat the oil in a wide pan (I love to use my wide and shallow Le Creuset pan, but any thick-bottomed pan will do, with good non-stick properties if possible.). You’ll know it’s hot enough when you put a spoon in it and it starts sizzling. Then add the dried chilies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to pop, put the lid on. When they stop, add the onions and cook them until they start going golden. Next, add the ginger and garlic, and then cook the mixture until onions are well browned.

2. Now add the chilli powder and turmeric. Stir, and add the tomatoes and salt. Cook this until the oil starts oozing out, separating from the tomato and onion mixture, glossy and beautiful.

3. Now you’re ready to add the meat. Brown the meat in the pan with the onion mixture for a few minutes, add water, and bring to boil. Then cover and simmer on a low heat for about 50 min, or until the lamb is tender. I love to cook it even longer, until it’s melt-in-the-mouth soft. Check the lamb occasionally and add more water if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the lamb is done, uncover and continue cooking, stirring often, until any excess water has evaporated.

4. When there is only a bit of liquid left coating the lamb, sprinkle in the garam masala, check the seasoning, and then stir in the coconut. Serve with roti or some other nice bread, with a few veg side dishes if you want. Enjoy every morsel! And let me know how you got on.





Digg This

RCI Hyderabad: Murgh/Gosht Tamatar (Lamb/Chicken with tomatoes)

Regional Cuisines of India (RCI) is the blogging event started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine, to celebrate the rich and diverse cuisines of India. It’s been a while since I had time to take part in what is probably my favourite event. This month we’re exploring the cuisine of the princely state of Hyderabad. Our host this month is Mona, from Zaiqa.

I know I should be making a byriani, the celebrated dish of the Royal Hyderabad, for this event. But the time is a little tight, so my second entry for this event is a simple, light and aromatic lamb curry with tomatoes, coriander and curry leaves. I made it twice in the last two weeks, the second  time with chicken (see photo). I think I prefer it with lamb, though. It goes really well with Hyderabadi Coriander and Mint Chutney.




Hyderabadi Lamb with



(Timatar Gosht)


SOURCE: Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘The Ultimate Curry Bible’


COOKING TIME: 1 – 1.5 h 

CUISINE: Indian – Hyderabadi



500 g boneless lamb, cubed

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

6 cloves of garlic, peel and crushed

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp salt (or according to taste)

3 desert spoons of ghee

210 g chopped yellow onion

1 can tomatoes (or 450 g fresh tomatoes, peeled and crushed)

6 green chilies, chopped

15 – 20 fresh curry leaves

2 – 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped



1. Marinate the meat with garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and some salt for 30 minutes or longer.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the onions. Then, heat the oil to high medium heat. When hot (it sizzles when you put a wooden spoon in it), add onions and fry until brown.

3. Add the meat with its marinade and stir-fry for a minute or two. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook in its juices for another 8 – 10 min. Keep an eye on the pot, so the meat doesn’t burn. If it starts sticking badly, add a little water to the pan and stir.

4. Now add the tomatoes, the chilies, the curry leaves and coriander and bring to simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low, then cook for another 30 – 40 min or until the meat is done, and the tomatoes turned into a dark, luscious, thick sauce. Serve with rice or roti.



It’s worth seeking out fresh curry leaves (though use dried curry leaves, if you have to), because they make a difference to the flavour.

I might try this with fresh tomatoes next time.

The chilies are boiled in the sauce and therefore very very mild. I loved biting into them, though. I think I’ll try and add a few more next time, to add more heat to the dish.   



  Murgh Timatar – For the chicken version (pictured above), replace the lamb with the same amount of chicken. I used chicken thigh.


Kerala-style Coconut & Vegetable Curry

Yeap, this is another one of those spontaneous posts  when I invent a dish, forget to take the photos because I’ve eaten it too quickly, decide it’s worth sharing, and then go and post it! Just like now!

This gorgeous coconuty curry is loosely based on a recipe for Fish in Coconut Milk (Fish Molee) by Camellia Panjabi (50 Great Curries of India). What I loved about this recipe, apart from the fact that is coconut-based, is the emphasis on the wet masalas (onions, chilies, ginger and garlic), with mere hints of whole spices (black pepper, green cardamom, clove). I made it this weekend with fish, and loved it, so I made it again today, changing it quite a bit. Firstly, I used vegetables instead of fish, and cashew nuts to add some protein. Secondly, I used 12 green chilies (instead of 6), but with seeds removed, because I wanted to get the maximum chili flavour as well as the heat. Speaking of which, the heat was quite interesting. Medium hot, but well distributed throughout the curry, because the chilies melted into the curry (you can discard the skins, but I left them in). As a result, the heat was lovely and warm, but not aggressive. Then, I changed the quantities of spices a little by adding 1 more cardamom pod, and one more peppercorn, along with using 18 instead of 6 – 8 curry leaves. I also added a hint of garam masala to the dish, and lemon juice. In the original recipe, the fish was marinated in lemon juice and turmeric, but since I didn’t use the fish, I added the turmeric and lemon juice straight to the dish!

And the verdict? What can I say, we loved it! You try it, and let me know what you think!




Kerala-style Vegetable and


 Coconut Curry



SOURCE: adapted from the recipe for Fish in Coconut Milk (Fish Molee) by Camellia Panjabi (50 Great Curries of India)



CUISINE: Indian – Kerala

SERVES: 2 hungry people



1 tbsp ghee, or vegetable oil

1 large or two small yellow onions, sliced 

12 green finger chilies, slit in half, and seeds discarded

6 x 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped or grated 

5 medium cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 -1 tsp turmeric, or more to taste

3 small plum tomatoes from a tin, mashed with a fork

3 black peppercorns

1 clove

3 green cardamom pods, bruised

18 dried curry leaves

150 ml coconut milk

1 sachet of creamed coconut (50 g, I think. You can use only coconut milk though, just add another 100 – 150 ml)

1 – 1 1/2 tsp ground almonds (optional)

a pinch of ground black pepper

freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon or lime (or less, according to taste)

2 medium courgettes

2 small carrots

a handful of cashew nuts

1/2 tsp garam masala



1. Heat the ghee in a medium pan, and when it’s hot enough, add the onions. Fry until they start to brown stirring occasionally, being extra careful so they don’t burn.(I normally chop the garlic, chilies and ginger while the onions are frying.)

2. When the onions are browned, add ginger, chilies and garlic, stir well and fry for a few more minutes, until the garlic starts going golden.

3. Then add the whole spices and curry leaves and stir for 10 s. Then, add the turmeric. Stir once, and add the tomatoes. Keep stirring for 2 – 3 minutes, until a thick paste is created.

4. Now add the coconut and continue cooking on low heat for 10 – 12 minutes. The onions will fall apart, and create a thick coconut paste.

PLEASE NOTE: If using coconut milk, add the coconut cream from a non-shaken coconut milk can at this stage, and after the past is cooked, add the thinner milk that’s left in the can.

5. When the paste is done, add about 3 – 4 dl water to it, depending on how soupy you want it (see the note about serving). Then, add the almonds if using, lemon juice and ground pepper; cook for a few minutes.

6. At this stage, I brought the mixture to boil, added the cashews and the vegetables, and took it off the heat while I cooked the rice. I put the lid on the curry, to capture the flavours! When the rice was nearly done, I reheated the curry, and added the the garam masala to it. This way, the vegetables stayed fairly crunchy.

I made my curry rather soupy, and served it with Thai jasmine rice, which worked really well. The rice is slightly glutinous, so it soaked in the sauce, and it was absolutely gorgeous! I also sprinkled it with fresh coriander. Yum!!!



Other courgette curries on Maninas:

A simple courgette curry

Other coconut, non-vegetarian curries at Maninas:

Coconut Chicken Masala

Hariyalli Chicken

For other Indian recipes at Maninas, click HERE, or check out the Recipes by origin page.  ___________________________________________________

%d bloggers like this: