House Lamb Curry


Every Indian home needs an all-guns-blazing rich meat curry. Ordinarily we would only ever cook lamb on the bone, and hence in Mowgli we add marrow bones in for the long simmer. A luxurious richness is brought with the aromatic spicings and I added a sweet headiness by including ground anise and prunes, which turn to a thick, sweet mass in the pan. I love using rotis to mop up the deep, sweet juices.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1½ hours


  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 7.5 cm/3 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 800 g/1 lb 12 oz diced lamb leg
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 200 g/7 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp star anise powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 125 g/4 oz prunes
  • 200 g/7 oz canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, leaves and stalks chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • Rotis, to serve


  1. Put the oil in a large heavy pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the sliced onion, ginger and garlic and fry for 8 minutes or until the onion has softened and turned golden brown.
  2. With the heat still on medium-high, add the diced lamb, ground turmeric and chilli powder and fry for 6 minutes, until the lamb is browned all over.
  3. Next add the chopped tomatoes, 500 ml/17 fl oz/2 cups water, star anise powder, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the prunes, chickpeas, salt and sugar and continue to simmer for a further 35–40 minutes or until the lamb is cooked through and tender. Finish by stirring through the fresh coriander and green chilli just before serving with fresh rotis.