Ginger-Lamb Coconut Milk Curry

Preparation info

  • Serves

    5 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mangoes & Curry Leaves

By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Published 2005

  • About

This is a good example of a Muslim curry from southern India. It’s flavored with the classic Moghul spicing of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, but softened and enriched with coconut milk, a very southern ingredient. Make this with tender lamb or with goat. There’s plenty of sauce here, so serve the dish with lots of rice.


  • 1 pound boneless lamb


Trim the lamb of excess fat, cut into I-inch pieces, and set aside in a large bowl.

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl, adding a little water as necessary to make a paste. Add to the meat and mix well to coat the meat. Set aside to marinate for an hour or so (if it’s more convenient, marinate the meat for up to 12 hours, covered and refrigerated).

Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Toss in the cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom and stir-fry briefly, then add the onions and stir-fry until softened, about 8 minutes, adding the chiles after the first few minutes.

Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until a little softened. Add the meat and any excess marinade and turn and stir over medium to medium-low heat until all the surfaces have been exposed to the heat, about 6 minutes. The meat may stick a little; just loosen it from the bottom of the pan.

Add the 1 cup thinner coconut milk and the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the thicker coconut milk and bring almost to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few more minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle on the coriander leaves or mint, and serve hot. Put out lime wedges so guests can add a tart note as they eat.