Pickle-flavoured lamb curry

Pickle-flavoured lamb curry

Anjum's Quick & Easy Indian
Lisa Linder

A lovely, full-bodied, North Indian-style lamb that is really easy to make and truly rewarding to eat. Panch phoran is a mix of five seeds that you can buy in Indian markets, virtual or real, and consists of cumin, nigella, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds. It adds a great, distinctive note, but you can also make your own. Serve this curry with Indian breads.


Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons mustard or vegetable oil
2 rounded teaspoons panch phoran
2 largish onions, chopped
25g root ginger, coarsely chopped, (peeled weight)
9 fat garlic cloves
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2-3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
600g boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2-4 green chillies, pierced with the tip of a knife, (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
good handful coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. (If you are using mustard oil, bring it to smoking point and then cool for 30 seconds before continuing.) Add the panch phoran, reduce the heat and cook until the popping dies down. Add the onions and cook over a high heat until they have browned nicely on the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, blend together the ginger and garlic with a good splash of water until smooth (I use my hand-held blender). Add to the onions with some salt and the cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Cook for about two minutes or until the water has evaporated and the garlic has had a chance to fry.
  3. Add the lamb and brown over a highish flame until coloured all over, tossing often so the spices don’t burn. Add a splash of water to deglaze the pan, then add the tomatoes and chillies. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook until the lamb is tender, around 1 1⁄4 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking. You shouldn’t need water, but pour in a splash if you are worried it might burn.
  4. Stir in the garam masala and coriander leaves. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.


  • If you don’t have panch phoran, you can make up your own mixture combining the five different kinds of seeds used: cumin, nigella, fennel, mustard and fenugreek. Add as many of the different seeds as you have in equal amounts, but using just half the amount of fenugreek as of the others. Mix your panch phoran in small amounts and measure out only what is needed in a recipe.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again