Lamb and Carrot Curry

Preparation info

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By Diane Morgan

Published 2012

  • About

Inspiration for this dish comes from my talented friend Raghavan Iyer, the king of curry and author of the amazing 660 Curries. This hearty lamb curry has an assertive kick of heat, but if you desire extra fire, simply double the amount of cayenne suggested in the recipe. If time is short, you can sauté the onions until they are tender and brown around the edges, as instructed in the recipe, and skip the next step, which calls for continuing to cook them until they are caramelized. The finished dish won’t have the same depth of flavor, but it will still be delicious and soul satisfying. To round out this Indian feast, prepare the Indian-style Okra Curry and basmati rice.


  • ¼ cup/60 ml. plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds, ground
  • tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb/455 g boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-in/4-cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp. canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 black cardamom pods (see Cook’s Note)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • One 14½-oz/415-g can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 12 oz/340 g carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut on the diagonal into pieces 1½ in/4 cm thick


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, coriander, salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. Add the lamb and toss to coat evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to infuse the meat with flavor.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp. of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until very soft and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is evenly golden brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium sauté or frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add the cardamom pods and bay leaves and toast until the leaves just start to brown, about 20 seconds. Immediately add the yogurt-coated lamb, including any marinade at the bottom of the bowl (this adds to the sauce). Cook the meat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. (As the juices cook down, the meat will brown and the spices coating the lamb will toast and become fragrant.)
  4. Add the tomatoes and their juice and stir well, scraping the pan bottom to release any stuck-on bits. Stir in the carrots and caramelized onions and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover, and cook until the lamb is very tender, 1 to 1½ hours. Serve piping hot.