Heart Of The House

Sri Lankan Lamb Curry

Inspiration for this curry came from “the part travel essay, part recipe journal – Mangoes & Curry Leaves” .

Sri Lankan Lamb Curry


500 grms boneless lamb shoulder
1 tbs homemade coconut ghee or ghee
10 fresh curry leaves
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 cup of finely chopped onion
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp sea salt
a cup of green peas or  chopped spinach
1/2 cup fresh or canned coconut milk
1 tbs tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup of hot water for about 10 minutes, strain and discard the pulp and retain the liquid)
3 cups water (or home made lamb stock)

Dry Spice Mixture:
1 tbs raw white rice (Basmati)
1 tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 (about 2 cm) piece cinnamon stick
5 to 6 cardamon seeds (from 1 or 2 green cardamon pods)


  1. Cut the lamb into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
  2. Dry roast the dry spice mixture in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it has a good aroma.  Using a mortar and pestle or a grinder, grind the mixture to a powder and set aside.
  3. In a wide heavy pot, heat the ghee over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, add the curry leaves, green chilli, onion, and tumeric and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.  Add the lamb, stirring until the meat is browned.
  4. Add the dry spice mixture and the coconut milk and stir to coat the meat with the coconut milk.
  5. Add tamarind liquid and water/stock  to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until meat is tender and the flavours well blended.

Serve with basmati rice or chapati (flat bread) to soak up the sauce, raita or chutney.

Note:  I use the leftover from the slow roasted lamb to make this delicious, aromatic curry with fresh curry leaves from my garden.  The original recipe uses beef.  I have also made it with eggplants, potatoes and hard-boiled eggs.

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