Madras meat curry


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

The Christian and Muslim communities of Madras (now Chennai) have an excellent range of meat and poultry dishes. Goat or mutton is the natural choice of ingredient for Attu Erachi Kari, but lamb on the bone is also ideal for this intensely flavoured dish.


  • 675 g/ lb boned leg of lamb, fat trimmed and cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 10 ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 5 ml/1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 ml/1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 ml/1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2.5 ml/72 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1.25 ml/¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 25 g/1oz/ cup desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of cinnamon stick, halved
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Plain Boiled Rice, to serve


  1. Put the meat in a large non-metallic bowl and add the vinegar, turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, tomato purée and salt. Mix thoroughly, cover the bowl with clear film (plastic wrap) and leave to marinate for 4–5 hours.

  2. Put the marinated meat into a heavy pan and add 150 ml/5fl oz/ cup water.

  3. Bring the meat to a slow simmer, cover and cook until the water evaporates. Stir the mixture during cooking so that the meat does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

  4. Preheat a small, pan over a low heat. Add the peppercorns, coriander, cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves. Stir until the spices release their aroma, then add the coconut. Stir-fry until the coconut is lightly browned. Leave to cool, then grind them in a coffee grinder.

  5. Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Leave to sizzle for 30 seconds, then add the onion and cook for 7 minutes or until brown.

  6. Add the ground ingredients and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the cooked meat. Add 150 ml/5fl oz/ cup warm water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat. The sauce should be thick. Serve with Plain Boiled Rice.

Per portion Energy 524kcal/2180kJ; Protein 37.6g; Carbohydrate 13.8g, of which sugars 7.4g; Fat 36g, of which saturates 13.8g; Cholesterol 133mg; Calcium 65mg; Fibre 2.6g; Sodium 160mg.