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Indian hotel style lamb madras in a copper bowl from above.
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5 from 8 votes

Lamb madras - Indian hotel style

This is a delicious take on restaurant style lamb madras.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: lamb madras, lamb madras curry
Servings: 2
Calories: 682kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


Pre-cook your lamb

  • 12 oz lamb I like shoulder best. Cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 1 tsp curry powder or mix powder if you prefer
  • 1 tsp kosher salt - you want fairly salty to season the lamb. You will be discarding the cooking liquid.
  • 1 cup chicken stock - enough to cover

The spice mix

  • 1 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix - recipe link below
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder - you can get this at your Indian grocer
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

lamb madras

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil - any neutral oil is fine. I actually like a mix of conconut oil and vegetable oil (50/50) for this curry. Up to you!
  • 1 2 inch cassia bark
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot or red onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • the spice mix from above
  • 1 cup Indian hotel curry gravy - diluted with 1/4 cup of water - recipe link below.
  • the pre-cooked lamb
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/3 tsp tamarind paste - or tamarind pulp if you make it yourself.
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili pickle - depending on which pickle you use this can make it quite hot. But the pickle really adds the final bit of wow.


Do your prep

  • Make your spice mix. Pre-cook the lamb.
  • DIlute your curry gravy with 1/4 cup of water (the same 1/4 as in the ingredient list - don't dilute it twice). You need to dilute it because the lamb is going in pre-cooked. That probably doesn't make sense to you if you haven't made a chicken hotel curry yet. Just do it. It will work out.

Pre-cook the lamb

  • Add the lamb, curry powder, salt and chicken stock to a saucepan. You want enough stock to fully cover the lamb. 1 cup is a guess. I don't know how big your sauce pan is. Try to pick one that isn't way too big.
  • Bring to a simmer. Cook until the lamb is tender. This should take somewhere around an hour for lamb shoulder. Depends on how big your lamb chunks are. Also depends on the lamb. You are making stew. It's done when it's done I'm afraid.
  • Drain. Discard the stock (it will be very salty) and set the lamb aside. You can do this the day before if you'd like.

Make the lamb madras

  • Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan until the oil just starts to shimmer.
  • Add the cassia bark. You should see little bubbles forming around it. Cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the diced shallots. Cook until they just start to colour up.
  • Stir in the garlic ginger paste. Gently fry until the garlic ginger paste stops sputtering. This is the only messy step.
  • Turn your heat down to medium low and add your spice mix. This is why you added 3 tablespoons of oil. You really want to fry your spices in the oil. Skimp on the oil and you risk your spices sticking or worse, burning. If your spices burn here you are starting over. No way around this.
  • Add the Indian hotel curry gravy. Stir it really well to get the oil to combine with the curry gravy. You want everything mixed together at this point. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the tamarind paste, the cconut milk and the lamb.
  • Cover loosely and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Taste the curry. If you can take the heat, add the chili pickle. A little goes a long way but it really makes a difference in flavour too.
  • If the sauce looks a little thick at this point add a bit of water and bring back to a gentle simmer. Cook for another two or three minutes. You want some of the lamb flavour to infuse the sauce.
  • Serve with rice or Indian flatbread. I like a tarka dal or chana masala on the side. But I always like a tarka dal or a chana masala on the side so I am hopelessly biased here.


Pre-cooking lamb is a restaurant trick to speed things up at service. 
You can make up batches of pre-cooked lamb and freeze it so it's ready when you want to make hotel style lamb curries. Just make sure you are starting with fresh lamb if you do this. You cannot refreeze lamb (or any meat, in fact).
Make your Indian hotel curry gravy ahead of time. It takes time to make so think about doing it the day before.
I use this Indian restaurant spice mix in most of my Indian restaurant style curries.
For maximum flavour you should consider making your garlic ginger paste from scratch.
You may notice there’s no tomato paste or passata in this recipe. That's because the tomato flavour comes from the hotel curry gravy. It’s there already.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 1944mg | Potassium: 1000mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 574IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 6mg