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Lamb Bhuna

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Make an authentic thick and luscious lamb recipe. Read about the bhooning process and learn about its importance for recreating a bhuna curry. Enjoy!



Spice Paste

  • 10ml (2 tsp) cumin seeds
  • 10ml (2 tsp) coriander seeds
  • 5ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds
  • 5ml (1 tsp) dried chilli flakes
  • 5ml (1 tsp) fennel seeds
  • 5ml (1 tsp) fenugreek seeds
  • 5ml (1 tsp) cardamom pods
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
  • 10ml (2 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste



  • 30ml (2 tbsp) ghee
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1kg (2 lbs) lamb shoulder (or lamb leg), cubed
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 green chillies, washed and finely chopped
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 6 tomatoes, washed and pureed (remove the seeds from the tomatoes if you want)
  • 5ml–10ml (1 tsp–2 tsp) salt
  • 5ml–10ml (1 tsp–2 tsp) garam masala or curry powder


  1. First prepare the spice paste by frying all the spice mix in the oil in the frying pan until their fragrances are released. You’ll hear popping and the spice mix should turn a golden brown. The process should take around 5-10 minutes on a medium heat.
  2. Immediately remove the spices from the heat and grind finely in a spice grinder.
  3. In the same frying pan, brown the lamb in the ghee on a medium heat, then set the meat aside.
  4. Fry the onions, then after 5-10 minutes add the garlic, chilli flakes, a pinch of salt and the curry-leaves, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilli flakes, fennel seeds, ground ginger and fenugreek seeds into the frying pan and give it a good stir.
  6. Pour in the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste and water, and let the mixture reach a slow simmering point, then after a few minutes add the lamb.
  7. Continue cooking the lamb until tender. This cooking process can take about an hour. The longer it cooks for on a low heat, the more tender the results. If the pan gets too dry, add an extra splash of water.
  8. Season with salt and finish off with garam or curry powder. Check seasoning and add salt if necessary. Cook for another 5-10 minutes then serve.


  • Serve with basmati rice or naan.
  • Adjust salt and other seasonings to taste.
  • Don’t use too much water as you want a thick, dry curry with a rich taste.
  • Raita will help with the heat.
  • Add fresh coriander or mint leaves at the end.
  • You can substitute lamb shoulder for lamb leg.
  • You can substitute ghee for coconut oil or sunflower oil.
  • Serves 4-6.
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 441
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 377 mg
  • Fat: 20.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.9 g
  • Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 49.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 161 mg