Lamb kata  masala

Lamb kata masala

Spice Kitchen
Jana Liebenstein

Not every curry has to be rich or complicated. Of all the curries that I remember from my childhood, this easy North Indian home-style recipe would have to be the most popular. It is a special favourite with young children who enjoy mopping it up with fresh bread, using their fingers of course! It uses the bhunao cooking technique, which is constant stir-frying over a high heat for 20 minutes or more until the meat and spices have a roasted, toasted taste. Serve this dish with steamed basmati or other long-grain rice or home-style Indian breads such as Missie roti or Parathas.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg diced lamb or lamb chops, or a combination of both, (see note)
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
4 black peppercorns
2.5cm cinnamon
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
4 large tomatoes, chopped
or 400g diced tomatoes, drained
125g plain yoghurt
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
coriander leaves, to garnish

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Missie roti
or Parathas
or Steamed or boiled rice, long-grain


  1. Mix together the lamb, onion, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, oil, tomato, yoghurt and salt in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  2. When it just starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for at least 1 hour, or until the lamb is fall-apart tender, adding 60 ml water if required to keep it moist.
  3. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high and bhunao (stir-fry) over a high heat for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the oil separates from the meat.
  4. Stir in 125 ml water to form a thick sauce, garnish with the coriander and serve hot.


  • You can use diced lamb, which is boneless, or you can choose from lamb forequarter or shoulder chops, slices of lamb shank or marrow bones. Get your butcher to cut shoulder chops and marrow bones into 3 cm pieces. Traditionally, Indian cooks use a combination of meat cut both on and off the bone.
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