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Easy Lamb Madras Curry Fakeaway

Lamb Madras, a fiery yet fragrant recipe inspired by an ever-popular British Indian restaurant classic, this version is both easy & delicious.

My version uses coconut milk rather than the traditional yoghurt to create a rich and luxurious slow cooked spicy curry!

Overhead lamb madras curry fakeaway served with homemade chapatis.

My Favourite Lamb Curry.

I love this lamb curry recipe, it is a real treat as lamb is a relative rarity in these parts. It joins my Lamb Rogan Josh, lamb pasanda and Keema Matar recipes in the lamb curry category!

This one has lots of big flavours but still ensures that the lamb still sings through as the foundation flavour.

The name “Madras Curry” is not really used in Indian food apparently.

It is a name that came from “Bangladeshi Indian” restaurants in the UK in the 1970’s.

It is typified by a fiery heat, I use a combination of dried Kashmiri chilli, fresh green chilli and lots of black pepper.

I temper this heat and add a mellow background foundation with coconut milk rather than the typical yoghurt.

Using coconut milk adds a little sweetness to this lamb madras. However, you must ensure that you do not add “sweetened” coconut milk.

Close up lamb madras curry fakeaway.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hot is a Madras curry?

Individual tolerance to spice from chilli is so personal so this is a difficult question to answer.

A Madras curry would be considered a curry at the hotter end of the spectrum.

On the spice scale, this lamb madras sits between my jalfrezi curry and my vindaloo curry. So definitely at the upper end of the heat.

Do I have to use whole spices?

No, you could use ready-ground spices if you like, but nothing gives quite the same aroma as freshly ground toasted spices.

As a rule of thumb, you need around a quarter to a third of the volume of ground spices to get the same amount as whole seeds. But I would increase this to half because store-bought ground spices so often lack a bit of “punch”.

Can I use mutton?

Oh yes, please do! This dish is superb with mutton, I developed this recipe with lamb in mind because it is readily available to most.

Just cook it on low for a couple of hours, rather than one hour to tenderise.

Can I use another cut of lamb?

You could get away with some lamb leg or shin, but it will be a little tougher and does not have much fat.

A better choice would be lamb neck fillet, which has some lovely fat and it works in this recipe perfectly.

Lamb madras curry fakeaway served with homemade chapatis.

Serving Suggestions

A good curry needs a side helping of Indian flatbread as far as I am concerned and this lamb madras curry is no different!

That thick and unctuous sauce in this recipe screams for chapati or roti as far as I am concerned.

But if you wanted something different, the big bold flavours are also great with my Bombay potatoes recipe.

I mention the spiciness of this recipe above and if you wanted something to counter that then naan bread is a better option.

On that note, you could also add some mint raita on the side or serve it with a cooling lassi!

Overhead close-up lamb madras curry fakeaway with fresh coriander.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan (with a lid).
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Grater.
  • Pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Takeaway style lamb madras curry served with homemade chapatis.
Yield: 2 Servings

Lamb Madras Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

My Lamb Madras curry is an ode to the Bangladeshi-owned British Indian restaurants of the 1980's... featuring a spicy sauce made from freshly toasted spices and using coconut milk rather than yoghurt to temper the spicy burn!


  • 350g (12 oz) Diced Lamb Shoulder
  • ½ Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Black Peppercorns
  • ½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Dried Kashmiri Chilli Peppers
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 15g (Half Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 200ml (7oz) Tin Coconut Milk
  • 1-2 Green Finger Chillies (Optional)
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala


  1. Peel and cut the onion into a 5mm (¼") dice.
  2. Peel and mash the garlic into a paste.
  3. Grate the ginger.
  4. If you are adding fresh green chilli peppers cut them into rings as finely as you can.
  5. Heat a 28cm or 11" heavy-based frying pan (that has a lid) over a medium-high heat. Add the coriander seeds, black pepper peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, and dried chilli peppers, then toast until they become fragrant. Then crush them into a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  6. Return the pan to a medium-high heat and when it is hot add the oil to the pan.
  7. Cook the diced onion until they begin to colour which should take 5-6 minutes.
  8. Now add in the lamb and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Add in the garlic, ginger and tomato puree and cook it out for a minute or so.
  10. Pour in coconut milk, add the ground spices from step 5, the sliced green chillies if you are using them and salt. Stir and cover with a lid, cook for 1 hour over a very low heat.
  11. After 1 hour remove the lid and reduce the remaining liquid to form a thick sauce.
  12. Remove from the heat, stir in the garam masala and crush in the dried fenugreek leaves, then stir and allow to sit for 2 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 656Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 741mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 41g

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!


Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Hi Brian…I’ve made this a few times and I’ve noticed you’ve changed the recipe. How come? Guess I’ll have to try the new one!

Amazing curry, by the way👌🏽

Brian Jones

Wednesday 13th of December 2023

Hey Craig.

I try to revisit recipes periodically to make sure they are as good as they can be. I've also fairly recently returned to the UK so I am refreshing recipes to ensure they fit with the ingredients available locally. There have not been many changes in this recipe, the ingredients pretty much all stay the same, but I've tweaked the order than some of them get added in, the main difference is the fenugreek at the end which makes it really sing through rather than getting a bit lost when it is added earlier in the process.




Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Are you living in the UK again or just a holiday/visit? Can´t believe you couldn´t find lamb, I bet I bought it all, I´m not that far from Bury and lamb is kind of my favorite :D sorry

Brian Jones

Thursday 24th of March 2022

The Uk is home for us for the foreseeable future, we're currently based in the North East but exploring options for a move sometime later this year.

I could find plenty of lamb, just not the cut that I wanted. Lamb neck fillet is awesome for a really slow cooked curry ;)


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Hi Brian, hope you´re well, I´m extremely excited to make this tomorrow, I love a nice curry and the heat doesn´t scare me, hope I can find the dried chillies, black pepper, not a problem I am the black pepper queen, I put it on everything, but I just have one question for you before I head over to the shops tomorrow, can I use any cut of cubed lamb for this or does it have to be shoulder? Regards Rakel.


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

@Brian Jones, Excellent, thank you for a super quick reply, I´m in the UK so I can get lamb easily, it´s just that I´ve seen a bag of lamb cuts in Iceland (the shop) but it doesn´t say what cut of the lamb it is, it does look a bit fatty though so I might risk it, I´m even thinking of doubling this recepi as my other half has a,.. erm.. how do I say this politely?.. Healthy appetite :)

Brian Jones

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Hi Rakel... I hope you like this as much as we do :)

The lamb needs a bit of fat which makes shoulder idea, but you could get away with rump or even some lamb neck fillet.

Irene A

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Hello. I’m cooking your lamb madras for dinner, looks amazing and looks tasty. I have one question, does lamb shoulder steak and lamb shoulder the same? I’m not a very good cook, Its hard to find lamb where I leave. Thanks

Brian Jones

Monday 4th of January 2021

Hi Irene... I've never heard of lamb shoulder steak, which is not really a surprise as so many nations have different ways of naming cuts of meat. It should be fine, I think my only concern is that it would be cut too thinly to get a nice 2cm or so dice out of it. If you can you should be fine.


Tuesday 10th of November 2020

Hi Brian,

Your recipe looks amazing! Overhere (in the Nederlands) it's really hard to find lamb meat. Is there anything I can substitute it with? Like chicken for example?


Sunday 14th of February 2021

@Brian Jones, Hi Brian I use this recipe and your Jalfrezi recipe on my food truck. I use both lamb and chicken in the madras and both taste excellent, never had one complaint.

Brian Jones

Thursday 12th of November 2020

Hi Larissa.

I feel your pain, lamb here in Hungary is a real struggle to find too, I have to make a 350km round trip to get some most of the time. Have I mentioned I like lamb ;)

You could throw in chicken but for me, it disappears in the flavours of this big sauce and becomes little more than a texture and source of protein rather than an ingredient that holds its own.

Some stewing beef would work really well, something like shin or neck, I like to really punch the flavour of fenugreek when cooking Indian recipes with beef so I would personally add a tablespoon (give or take) of additional dried fenugreek leaves to this recipe if I were to make it with beef. It may also need an extra 20-30 minutes of cooking with the lid on.



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