Indian restaurant lamb curry. Big flavours. And that lush gravy you get when you go our for Indian food. This is how they do it.
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.
Lamb curry is about the spicing
I set out to make a particular curry one night. Didn’t have the ingredients I thought I had so I had to improvise. And I came up with this lamb curry.
Since then it’s become one of my house curries. Regular fixture in my kitchen. I guess it has a name. It’s the glebe kitchen house curry.
I used lamb here but it works really well with chicken. Beef works too. That’s the thing about this style of cooking. You can mix things up and it will still be good. But lamb is my favourite. So it’s a lamb curry.
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 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.
Restaurant lamb curry means restaurant technique
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 lamb curry
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
- Make the spice mix.
- Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
- Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Next comes the garlic ginger paste. Add it into the pan and cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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...
- Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
- 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.
- Mix in the sugar.
- 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.
- Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
28 thoughts on “indian restaurant lamb curry”
I just made this Lamb Curry, a massive hit with the kids, they loved the precooked tender Lamb, so nice.
I have been following you for quite a while now and recommended you to every curry lover I know. Without a doubt we all agree that your recipes and cooking method of cooking is awesome. I love sharing your site.
I am wondering if you have a recipe for a Balti, traditionally from “The Midlands” in England.
I now live in Australia and miss the Balti so much. Come on mate you must have a go at it and share please.
Keep up the great work, I will keep sharing
Delighted to hear you are enjoying the blog! I don’t have a balti recipe unfortunately. I am a little confused by the balti concept to be truthful. The baltis I have had in the UK have been pretty much really saucy versions of regular curries served with a big naan and served in a kadai. I really enjoyed them.
What I am seeing now is everyone running around saying is a Birmingham balti is something completely different (kind of dry with much fuss over as much flame as you can bring). And insisting it has to be cooked in the same vessel it is served in for it to be authentic (which is just theatre as far as I can tell). I’m at a bit of a loss what a real balti is so I don’t feel good about publishing a recipe.
Next time I’m in the UK I’ll try to get to Birmingham to see if someone can explain what is actually going on. Probably stop at a balti house in London to compare.
Hi do you have a Recipe for tandoori prawn curry please
Not yet but I will put it on the list. I do have a few prawn recipes coming…
Thank you for such a brilliant resource for recipes and technique.
Your lamb curry recipe references 1/2 tsp tandoori masala. Is that a ready made spice mix that I can buy or make?
Thank you for the kind words!
Tandoori masala is a commonly available tandoori seasoning mix available at any Indian grocer. It’s nice to have around to make a quick batch of tikka or tandoori chicken as well as an ingredient in a few Indian restaurant style curries
Thanks for the quick response. One more question…I’ve just visited my local Indian grocer…two in fact…but neither had any methi leaves. Can I use whole or ground as a substitute and if so how much do you advise?
No, unfortunately the seed and leaves are very different. I am flabbergasted that they don’t have kasoor methi. I’ll send you link via email so you know what you’re looking for. Methi is one of those aha ingredients…
Thanks for sharing the cooking method of restaurant style curries.
This is the first recipe from your website that I’ve tried cooking. I have made it with your recipes for the restaurant mix powder and the base sauce. This is the closest to the restaurant curry taste that I had after so many attempts with other recipes. Thank you so much for that!
One thing I’ve noticed is that the curry taste a little stronger than what I am used to (strong garam masala like aftertaste), I’ve added more sugar and little more base sauce to improve it a little.
Please, could you advise if there is something I can change to overcome these? Is there a way to make the restaurant mix powder a little milder or should I simply add less of each spice?
Did you use two tsp total of the Indian restaurant spice mix? If you found it too strong with the two tsp of spice mix I would suggest perhaps rolling it back to 1 tsp of spice mix, 1/2 tsp of kashmiri spice mix and maybe 1/4 tsp of tandoori masala and go from there. All the restaurant curries on glebekitchen are similarly spiced so keep that in mind.
The only other things I can think of are 1) you used more than 2 tsp of spice mix or 2) you might have slightly burned your spices at the fry stage.
Thanks for the quick response!
I did add 2 tsp of the mix, not sure if i’ve burned it though, it was a low heat and I’ve read your note about it before cooking. But I’ll be extra careful next time!
Also I am always confused when a recipe says tsp or a tbsp of a dry powder – does it mean a heaped spoon or flattened out like it would be a spoon of liquid?
If you kept the heat fairly low and put in all the oil the recipe called for I very much doubt you burned your spices.
On glebekitchen measures (tsp, tbsp, cup etc) are always level. Heaped is imprecise.
Delicious. Again! I’m really getting into your restaurant technique curries Romain. I’ve got several curry recipe books and I swear they each have only one really good recipe. You know, that well-thumbed page the book always drops open to. Whereas here I’m finding one one good ‘un after another. I will return to my ordinary technique curry recipes in due course but I’m having an absolute scream here.
Meanwhile, my dirty little curry secret. Great accompaniment for rich, luscious, slurpy curries is…..chips, the real thing made from scratch.
Awesome! I cook both restaurant style and traditional. Bounce between the two styles to suit my mood.
Judging by the pictures I see go by on FB I don’t think you are alone in your “dirty little secret”. I’ve never tried chips but I really do have to give it a go to see for myself.
sorry if this is a stupid question but is the ’15oz of curry base’ fluid oz’s or 15oz weighed on a scale?
In this case the measurement is fluid ounces. Just a bit under two cups. 237ml per cup is you use metric.
Holy mother of god. I made this with prawns. Amazing!
Awesome! Can’t wait to hear how your next one turns out.
How do you make a LAMB curry with a 10oz CHICKEN????
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.
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.
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!
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! 😀