Himalayan lamb and yoghurt curry

Himalayan lamb and yoghurt curry

Indian Food Made Easy
Vanessa Courtier

This is a really unusual, clean, mild and fragrant curry from Kashmir. It is so different from most people’s perception of Indian food that it is worth trying just to understand the diversity of Indian flavour combinations. It is typical of this region in that it has no onions or garlic, and ginger is in powdered form. The flavour is provided entirely by the spices, yoghurt and meat, and for this reason, all should be good quality and the meat should be cooked on the bone as this provides much of the lamb’s flavour. As a bonus, there is no chopping and hardly any washing up. Serve with simple boiled rice.


Quantity Ingredient
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 black cardamom pods
2 shards cinnamon
8 small cloves
10 green cardamom pods
1 piece mace
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 black peppercorns, lightly pounded
4 good teaspoons ground fennel seeds
600g lamb cubes, with the bone in
250ml water
300ml plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste


  1. Place the bay leaves, ginger, black cardamom pods, cinnamon, half the cloves, half the green cardamom pods, mace, salt, peppercorns and 3 teaspoons of the ground fennel seeds in a non-stick saucepan along with the meat and the water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on a low heat for about 35 minutes until the meat is tender.
  2. Stir in the yoghurt and bring to a gentle simmer, then cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes. Add a splash of boiled water from the kettle if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil or ghee in a small pan and add the remaining cloves and cardamom pods, cook for 20 seconds and stir into the meat with the garam masala and remaining ground fennel seeds. Check the seasoning and serve with plain boiled rice.
  4. The dish has a pale, thin, flavourful and aromatic gravy that is delicious with rice or Indian bread. If the gravy has reduced too much, add a little boiled water from the kettle.
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