Mr Singh’s slow-cooked Lamb Curry with Cloves and Cardamom

Serves: 4 – 6

From India by Rick Stein really is a beautiful cookbook. It feels as bright and colourful as Rick himself and the stories behind each recipe are inspiring and wonderful to read.

You really appreciate the origin of what you are about to cook and it really does take appreciation of the dish to the next level.

And appreciate you will this excellent curry from Rick – or Mr Singh – a talented and well-kept cook he met in India.

The pureeing of the base ingredients changes the texture and makes the whole thing simply feel as one. There is a nice lingering heat and of course after all that time cooking, the lamb is starting to fall apart.

As far as solid, homemade winter curries go, you could do a whole lot worse than this one.


(I have changed the ordering and wording of the method versus Rick’s recipe. With an hour and a half of cooking time up your sleeve before you need the powdered spices, you would be mad – or with plenty of time on your hands – to do the recipe in reverse as per its original writing.)


½ tsp cardamom seeds (for about 8 green pods)
4 – 6 cloves
3 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves roughly chopped
4 cm ginger, roughly chopped
75ml vegetable oil (or ghee)
100ml Greek-style yogurt
1kg lamb shoulder (or leg), deboned, trimmed of excess fat, 3cm pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbsp cream


  1. In stages, using a mini food processor and rinsing out in-between, blend the onions to a puree with a little water; puree the tomatoes; blend the garlic and ginger with a tablespoon of water to a slack paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion paste for 15 minutes until golden; add the ginger and garlic and fry for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt, meat and salt and cover over a low-medium heat stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until browned.
  3. Stir in the garam masala and chilli powder and then pour in just enough water to cover the meat. Simmer, covered for 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, grind the cardamom seeds and cloves to a fine powder. (This, in my experience, needs a glass of wine.)
  5. Stir in the cream and pureed tomatoes followed by the cardamom and clove mix. Seal the pan by first covering in foil and then the lid. Cook over the lowest heat for 40 minutes until the lamb is tender.
  6. Remove the seal and quickly cook off any remaining liquid until you have a good gravy.
  7. Enjoy with rice and more wine!

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