Lamb with squat green chillies

Lamb with squat green chillies

Indian Food Made Easy
Vanessa Courtier

This is a robust dish inspired by the fare of the southern city of Hyderabad. It is spicy, bold, full of flavour and unapologetic. The cuisine from this region is generally sophisticated and its cooks were traditionally considered among the most talented. The fat chillies are full of that inimitable green chilli flavour but without the killer bite of the smaller ones.


Quantity Ingredient
800g lamb, cut into small cubes, with the bone in
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
500ml water
5-8 fat, short green chillies, slit and seeds removed
2-3 teaspoons tamarind paste
2 handfuls fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fennel seed powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon white poppy seeds
salt, to taste
10g garlic, peeled
15g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium cooking tomatoes


  1. Blend the ingredients for the marinade until smooth and pour into a non-metallic bowl. Add the lamb, stir and leave to marinate for as long as possible.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the cumin and nigella seeds and fry for about 30 seconds until the cumin browns. Pour in the meat and its marinade and stir-fry over a moderate heat until the masala is cooked, around 12–14 minutes. Taste – it should have no harsh elements. Add the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook until the lamb is tender, around 35–40 minutes. Keep checking the pot for water and give it a good stir from time to time.
  3. Halfway through cooking the lamb, heat the remaining oil in a small pan and gently fry the chillies for 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour into the cooking meat.
  4. Once the lamb is cooked, uncover and stir in the tamarind paste. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add water from the kettle or dry off any excess – you are looking for a curry that is neither watery nor dry but creamy. Stir in the coriander and serve with naan or rice.
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