This Indian restaurant lamb curry is nameless. There’s no long standing traditional dish behind it. It’s a bit of an accident really but a really tasty one. I set out to make a particular curry one night. Didn’t have the ingredients I thought I had so I had to improvise. Since then it’s become one of my house curries. I guess it has a name. It’s the glebe kitchen house curry.

I used lamb here but it works really well with chicken. In fact, depending on your mood, chicken might even be better. Beef works too. And for vegan options fried eggplant, mixed vegetables, potatoes or paneer would work nicely. Most Indian restaurant curries are like that. Well, except chicken tikka masala I guess…

This Indian restaurant lamb curry is loaded with onion, garlic, ginger and spices.

This is my house Indian restaurant lamb curry. It’s a good starting point to make your own house curry. Something you don’t like? Leave it out. Want it a bit zingy? Add some lemon or tamarind. Like it sweet? Add some extra sugar. Hotter? Bring it on. Have fun cooking. That’s the important thing.

Ultra-crispy make ahead chicken wings with Korean BBQ sauce.

Do your prep before you get started. Make your curry base and have some heated and ready to go. Pre-cook your meat. Measure out your ingredients. Have everything ready. Put on some old clothes – a bit of splatter is part of the fun.

If you have not yet read the guide to Indian restaurant technique yet, do it now. It has pictures to help you understand the recipe. There’s also a guide to Indian ingredients in that post.

Indian restaurant curry techniques revealed.

5 from 1 vote
This Indian restaurant lamb curry is loaded with onion, garlic, ginger and spices.
indian restaurant lamb curry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

This is a house indian restaurant lamb curry recipe. It's medium hot and flavourful. It's also a great starting point if you want to start experimenting with Indian restaurant curry. 

Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2
The spice mix
  • 2 tsp indian restaurant spice mix - recipe link below
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne mixed with 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper - butcher's grind works well
The curry ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod or 2-3 green cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp onions or shallots minced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasatta
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves and stems finely chopped
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 10-12 oz pre-cooked lamb - beef or chicken work as well
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 5 cherry tomatoes halved
  1. Make the spice mix.
  2. Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
  3. Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil.
  4. When the oil starts to shimmer add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cardamom pods. Toss the whole spices around the pan for about 15 seconds until bubbles start to form around them. They may crackle a bit.
  5. Add the onions or shallots and chopped cilantro and stir constantly until the edges of the onions start to brown. This takes about a minute.
  6. Next comes the garlic ginger paste. Add it into the pan and cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
  7. Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  8. Turn the heat up to medium high. This is important. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  9. Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here. Sticking is OK. Burning is bad. Just scrape anything that forms back into the curry. If it really burns, chuck it and start again...
  10. Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked lamb, beef or chicken.
  12. Mix in the sugar.
  13. Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they are heated through.
  14. Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
Recipe Notes

The recipe for curry base is here.


The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here


The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.


If you haven't read about Indian restaurant technique yet, do that before you start cooking.

Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.

If you are making multiple curries, have your curry base warming in a pot on the stove. If you are just making one, microwave it to warm it up right before you start cooking.

Indian restaurants pre-cook their meat so it's ready for service. This recipe assumes the same. To pre-cook chicken, simply simmer it with a bit of curry powder and salt in chicken stock for about 10-15 minutes - until it's barely cooked.

To pre-cook lamb or beef, do the same but plan for 1 to 1/2 hours for lamb and 2 hours or more for beef. You are making stew meat so you are braising until tender. You will need to keep an eye on the level of the stock. For beef use beef stock.




12 thoughts on “indian restaurant lamb curry

  1. This looks so good i’m drooling. haha! at this rate, I will NEVER get indian take out! Which makes me VERY happy because that is probably the only cuisine that I can’t make as well as the restaurants do, so I order take out a lot for it. What do you think about using something like an oxtail for this curry? You NEED to make a naan post! 🙂 Then I’ll be set for life. haha! 🙂

    • I never get Indian takeout anymore either. In fact, now when I go to Indian restaurants I am consistently underwhelmed. It’s a lot of prep but once it’s done you can just crank out curries all week.

    • It would be absolutely awesome with oxtails. That’s a great idea. On the naan post – I’ll try to get to that one soon. Have you ever tried parathas? They are even better than naan and you can get pre-made frozen ones that reheat really well at Indian groceries. One of the very few pre-fab things I buy…

      • I get the frozen naans in the Indian grocery store as well! The ones you hear for 2 mins? And Omg yes! Parathas are my fave! Sooo crispy and buttery! I get the frozen ones that are still dough-like that you toss in a frying pan for a few minutes. Thank you for reminding me! 😀

  2. This was absolutely delicious… when you have the prep down its so quick!! Definitely a go to from now on…

    The second time I tried it I steamed some potatoes and added them at the same time as the beef. Definitely made it even better (love potatoes).

    Thanks for always posting amazing things… so excited to try the lobster bisque!

    • I’m so glad you have taken the time to learn about Indian restaurant curry technique. Next time I make it I’m going to add some potatoes too!

  3. Hi….i tried luking for the ‘about’ section so t hat i cud find out ur name n also the meaning of the blog name…but no luck….can u please enlighten me? 😊. Thanx….

    • I should really get around to putting up an about me section. My name is Romain. The name glebekitchen comes from the name of my neighbourhood – my kitchen is in my neighbourhood so that’s the name of the blog. Thanks for taking the time to ask.

    • That’s the beauty of of Indian restaurant style cooking. You can substitute chicken or beef or shrimp. It’s a lamb curry but I include other meats in the recipe to let you know you have choice.

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