Rich Lamb Curry


Rich Lamb Curry or Mutton Nihari is a dish from Lucknow in northern India eaten mainly amongst Muslim communities at breakfast. It originally hails from Pakistan and though widely known to be prepared with beef shank, many variations use lamb or mutton. This is taken from my latest cookbook Classic Indian Recipes.

bar Rich Lamb Curry

Picture by Werner Van Peppen

Serves 3-4

5 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4-6 green cardamoms
2-3 black cardamoms
500g lamb steaks, chopped into 2.5cm or 1 inch cubes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
4 garlic cloves, crushed
generous pinch of garam masala
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger


Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Using the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and put back on the heat. When the oil is hot enough, add the whole green and black cardamoms. When they sizzle, add the lamb and fry, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until browned all over.

Add the turmeric and salt with 400ml of just-boiled water. Let the meat simmer for 20 minutes or until it is tender. Add the cumin, chilli powder, coriander and garlic, and mix well. Return the fried onions to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.

Sprinkle over the garam masala and pinch of grated nutmeg, then top with the fresh ginger. You can also garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.


(c) 2012