The flavours of this Malabar lamb curry are all characteristic of Kerala in South India. It’s made using delicious spices and has a hint of sweetness


For the lamb curry

  • 15ml oil
  • 1kg lamb, cubed or 1,2kg lamb knuckles
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30ml fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 green chillies
  • 5ml turmeric
  • 10ml curry powder
  • 15ml ground cumin
  • 15ml ground coriander
  • 2–3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 6 curry leaves, optional
  • 500ml water or lamb stock
  • 1 tin coconut milk

For the caramelised onions

  • 15ml oil
  • 30ml butter
  • 3 onions, peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 10ml sugar
  • 15ml vinegar

To serve 

  • coconut shavings or flaked almonds, toasted
  • coriander rice*


  1. To make the lamb curry, heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole. Brown the meat in batches for 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Gently fry the mushrooms in the casserole for 3–4 minutes and set aside.
  3. Return the casserole to the stove, lower the heat and add the garlic, ginger and chillies. Cook for 2–3 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric, curry powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon sticks. Stir for a minute and return the lamb and mushrooms to the casserole.
  5. Add the tomatoes, curry leaves (if using), water or lamb stock and the coconut milk. Cover and simmer for 2½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
  6. To make the caramelised onions, heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based pan.
  7. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15–20 minutes or until the onions soften and are golden brown.
  8. Stir in the sugar and vinegar and cook for 3–4 minutes. Set aside.
  9. Before serving, stir in the caramelised onions and cook for a minute.
  10. Scatter the coconut shavings or flaked almonds over the curry before serving with coriander rice.

(Serves 4–6)