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Lamb Balti

This curry is rich and layered with spices, it was fairly tricky task back in the 80s, but luckily you can get most of them from a supermarket nowadays!

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 10 minutes
    •    Cook time: 2 hours
    •    Yield: Serves 6-8


Lamb & Marinade:

    •   1 kg lamb shoulder , bone out
    •   100 ml natural yoghurt
    •   1 tablespoon ground coriander
    •   1 teaspoon ground ginger
    •   1 teaspoon ground cumin
    •   1 teaspoon medium chilli powder
    •   1 teaspoon ground turmeric


    •   2 teaspoons coriander seeds
    •   1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    •   ½ teaspoon medium chilli powder
    •   2 teaspoons coriander seeds
    •   ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    •   1 teaspoon garam masala
    •   4 green cardamom pods
    •   2 fresh bay leaves
    •   2 cm piece of ginger
    •   1 large clove of garlic
    •   3 onions
    •   vegetable oil
    •   1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes
    •   1 teaspoon dried methi leaves
    •   ½ teaspoon tamarind paste
    •   ½ teaspoon runny honey


  1. Chop the lamb into rough 3cm chunks, then place in a bowl with the yoghurt, marinade spices and 1 teaspoon of salt, then mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. For the sauce, toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat for 1 minute, then tip into a pestle and mortar and bash to a fine powder.
  3. Add the chilli, turmeric, garam masala, cardamom pods and bay, then mix together. Peel and finely grate the ginger, garlic and onions.
  4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the ginger and garlic, fry for 2 minutes, then add the onion and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft and golden.
  5. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, breaking them up with your hands as you go, then stir in the spices and 500ml of boiling water. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in the methi leaves, tamarind, honey and a pinch of sea salt, then remove from the heat.
  7. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3.
  8. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the marinated lamb and fry for 5 minutes, or until browned all over – you may need to work in batches.
  9. Add the lamb to the sauce, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender and the sauce is thickened, loosening with a splash of water, if needed.
  10. Delicious served with fluffy rice, a scattering of coriander leaves and warm naan bread, if you like.

This great family recipe is thanks to Jamie Oliver Recipes at


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