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Lamb Bhuna an Indian Takeaway Favourite

Lamb bhuna is a boldly spiced curry with Bengali influences, my version is influenced by the British Indian curries that I grew up loving.

This dish simmers slowly for 3 hours on a low heat to get maximum flavour into the lamb and sauce, and you spend most of that time with your feet up!

Lamb bhuna curry served in an iron karahi with naan bread.

Bhuna Gosht Fakeaway

You can’t stroll around my site without tripping over an Indian inspired curry recipe.

My latest is a lamb bhuna, a recipe with Bengali origins that most definitely nods a head to the British Indian restaurants I frequented so often.

This particular version is born of several requests asking for a lamb version of my beef bhuna, prawn bhuna and vegetable bhuna recipes.

I believe that different types of meat in dishes benefit from slightly different spicing in sauces.

As a result, this recipe adds a few more sour elements that works so well with lamb.

I also add some dried mint, because mint with lamb is a classic combination. I often use it in marinades for Indian inspired lamb dishes, it features in my lamb tikka masala, lamb shank curry and lamb chop curry recipes.

Here it offers a very subtle flavour to the sauce and what a sauce it is. The long and slow cooking allows the flavours to mingle and do their thing whilst ensuring that the meat is tender and delicious.

Overhead lamb bhuna curry served in an iron karahi with naan bread.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different cut of lamb?

You can use any diced lamb you can get your hands on. Quite often the cut is not identified in supermarkets.

My favourite cut to use is lamb neck fillet because it has the perfect fat content. But the shoulder works really well too.

You do want some nice big chunks though, smaller chunks will break down in the sauce.

Do I have to add dried pomegranate seeds?

No, you can omit them. But they are a glorious ingredient that adds a mild sweet and sour flavour to the dish.

I love them, they also feature in my chole masala and achari chicken recipes.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, absolutely! It will last in the fridge for 2-3 days and the flavours will improve during that time. It will also freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat defrost and gently bring to temperature in a covered saucepan.

Close up lamb bhuna curry served in an iron karahi.

Serving Suggestions

Lamb bhuna features a thick and bold sauce and as a result, I like to serve it with chapatis or roti. But it would be just as good served with tandoori style naan bread as it is pictured here.

If you want the full curry house experience, don’t forget the poppadoms!

Rice is also an obvious option, I typically opt for plain boiled or steamed rice. However, a nice pilau is also a great option.

The thick and clingy sauce lends itself particularly well to a slightly different side dish too. Potatoes!

I often serve this with either aloo methi or my roasted Bombay potatoes.

One final recommendation, drop some kachumber salad on the side, it freshens everything up beautifully.

British Indian restaurant inspired lamb bhuna curry served in an iron karahi.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comment section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 24cm or 10″ saucepan with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Mixing/prep bowls.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
British Indian restaurant inspired lamb bhuna curry served in an iron karahi.
Yield: 2 Servings

Lamb Bhuna Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

One of the most popular dishes on the menu in a British Indian restaurant is a Lamb Bhuna and this is my version, it is slowly cooked for 3 hours filling your house with a beautiful aroma!


  • 350g (12 oz) Lamb Neck Fillet
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger
  • 4 Green Chilli Peppers
  • 250g (1⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 400g (3 Medium-large) Tomatoes
  • ½ Tsp Amchoor
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Dried Mint
  • 2 Tsp Dried Pomegranate Seeds
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Water
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Salt


  1. Cut the lamb into 3-4cm cubes.
  2. Slice the chillies in half lengthways.
  3. Peel the garlic and ginger and dice both as finely as you can.
  4. Peel and top and tail the onion then slice it into half moon shapes about 1cm (½") thick.
  5. Cut the tomatoes into a rough 2cm (¾") dice.
  6. Heat the ghee in a heavy based saucepan (24cm or 10") over a medium heat.
  7. Add the slit chillies, garlic and ginger and cook for 60 seconds stirring continuoiusly.
  8. Throw in the sliced onions and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Add in the amchoor, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, garam masala, pomegranate seeds and dried mint, then stir to toast for 60 seconds.
  10. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and water and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Season the diced lamb with the salt then add it to the tomato mix and sprinkle over the dried fenugreek.
  12. Stir to combine, add a lid and cook on low for 60 minutes.
  13. remove the lid and then cook for another 90-120 minutes on low, stirring every 15 minutes or so, adding more water if the curry gets too dry.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 841Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 236mgSodium: 1397mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 9gSugar: 20gProtein: 58g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Monday 27th of March 2023

I made this for dinner. It was divine. The lamb was so tender as were the onions, and the flavour complex, tasty, just lovely! I couldn’t justify buying the pomegranate seeds so left those out but it was still splendid. I was worried it would be too spicy given the amount of chilies but it was just right for me. Will definitely make it again- thank you!! So glad I found your site- 2 great dinners made in under a week!

Brian Jones

Saturday 1st of April 2023

So glad that you enjoyed this Laura, it is my Mother in Laws favourite dish and she asks for me to cook it every time she visits lol!

Chilli is such a difficult thing to get right, one persons raging inferno is another wee tickle, which is why I always encourage folk to make a personal judgement :)


Tuesday 14th of March 2023

Hi Brian, I am looking forward to making this curry. Can it be cooked in the oven? Gas is so expensive!!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 14th of March 2023

Hi Tracy...

I am sure that you can, I have never tried it though so this is a guess!

I would stick it in a low-moderate oven around 150°C for 9o minutes with a lid on the pot, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes to thicken up the sauce.

But that would be my starting point, I'd need to test it to be sure.



Terry B

Monday 23rd of May 2022

Thanks for this, Brian. The distinctive flavour of a bhuna has always eluded me and this despite 30 years or so of engaging in Indian cuisine at home. But I see here that you have included three ingredients I've never used - amchoor, pomegranate seeds and fenugreek leaves. Seeds yes, but never leaves. How much do these ingredients influence the taste that leaving them out would be noticeable?

Terry B

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

@Brian Jones,

Thanks, Brian. I'll be including fenugreek leaves in my next spice order and see how I get on. Terry.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Hi Terry... Fenugreek for me is one of the defining flavours of a bhuna and dried leaves offer the best way of getting it into the dish for me. The dried pomegranate seeds add a really subtle rounded sweetness and the amchoor offers a little sweetness, but both of these ingredients are subtle influences and could be left out or even subbed with little honey, sugar and lemon or lime juice, but only a little.



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