Lamb Curry with Garam Masala and Mixed Vegetables

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By James Peterson

Published 1991

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This stew is an example of one of the many possibilities that can be derived from the foregoing curry model. One of the advantages to this dish is that it’s self-contained, so there’s no need to prepare an accompanying starch (potatoes are simmered in the curry) or green vegetables, which are also cooked directly in the curry. The effect of including vegetables right in the curry is also an impressive sight.


lamb shoulder, boneless (from 3 lb/ kg thick bone-in shoulder chops) 2 lb 1 kg
salt to taste to taste
ghee or vegetable oil 2 tbsp 30 ml
onion, thinly sliced 1 medium 1 medium
garlic cloves, chopped 2 2
serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped or jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped 1 to 3 or 2 to 6 1 to 3 or 2 to 6
finely chopped fresh ginger 1 tbsp 15 ml
water 1 cup 250 ml
fingerling potatoes, about 1 oz/25 g each 1 lb 450 g
coconut milk or fresh coconut milk 1 (14-oz) can or 2 cups 425 ml or 500 ml
cremini or domestic mushrooms, quartered ½ lb 225 g
garam masala tbsp 25 ml
cashew or other nut butter 3 tbsp 45 ml
snap peas or snow peas, ends broken off ½ lb 225 g
spinach leaves, blanched, drained, refreshed 1 bunch 1 bunch
coarsely chopped cilantro leaves 3 tbsp 45 ml


  1. Cut the lamb into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Sprinkle with salt and brown in the ghee on all sides in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, uncovered and over high heat. Remove the meat from the pan and reserve.
  2. Pour all but 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the fat out of the pan and stir in the onion, garlic, chiles, and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 15 minutes, until the onions lightly caramelize.
  3. Add the water and potatoes to the onion mixture. Cover the pan and simmer gently over low to medium heat until the potatoes are barely done, about 20 minutes. Add the coconut milk and mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  4. Work together the garam masala, cashew butter, and 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) of the liquid from the pan into a smooth paste in a small bowl. Whisk this mixture into the rest of the liquid in the pan.
  5. Stir in the snap peas and the reserved lamb and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cilantro and simmer for 1 minute more. Season with salt.