Lamb rogan curry

This is a gentle, full-flavoured curry of Persian origin. It is worth grinding your own cardamom for an authentic flavour and mixing your own spices for the paste. If time is short, use a good-quality, shop-bought medium curry powder (about 1–2 tablespoons) instead.


For the curry paste

  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

For the lamb curry

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1kg/2lb boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2cm/¾in cubes
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and diced
  • 450ml/16fl oz lamb or beef stock
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 150g/5½oz full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small bunch coriander, chopped, to garnish
  • freshly steamed rice, to serve


  1. To make the curry paste, place the cardamom pods in a small bag. Bash the pods with a rolling pin to release the seeds. Place the seeds in a pestle and mortar and grind to make a fine powder. Tip into a bowl, add the remaining paste ingredients and mix to a paste.

  2. To make the curry, heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole over a high heat. Add the lamb cubes and brown in two batches to seal. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  3. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2.

  4. Add the onion to the pan and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a few seconds. Return the lamb to the dish, add the curry paste and fry for a few minutes to bring out the flavour. Pour in the stock and add the cinnamon, bay leaves and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid, bring to the boil and transfer to the oven for about 1½ hours, or until the lamb is tender.

  5. Just before serving, add the yoghurt and stir until smooth. Remove the cinnamon and bay leaves, check the seasoning and sprinkle with the coriander. Serve with rice.

Recipe Tips

This curry can be made up to 2 days ahead. Add the yoghurt just before serving (it also freezes well without the yoghurt).

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