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Lamb Karahi

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


  • 15ml (1 tbsp) ghee or oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2.5cm (1in) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander
  • 5ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
  • 5 large tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • 1kg (2 lbs) boneless stewing lamb, cut into cubes
  • 5ml (1 tsp) garam masala
  • 1 green chilli, washed and finely sliced
  • Julienned ginger root, for garnishing
  • 30g (1oz) fresh coriander leaves, washed and chopped


  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Fry the onions gently for about 3 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute.
  4. Place the meat in the pan and brown all over on medium heat.
  5. Stir in the salt, cumin, coriander and chilli powder.
  6. Add the tomatoes, give it a good stir and place the lid on the pan.
  7. Simmer the lamb on a low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes. Check in every once in a while to see if a little bit of water needs adding to the gravy.
  8. Add the garam masala and cook for 5 more minutes.
  9. Garnish with chilli, ginger and coriander. Serve with rice and naan.


  • If you can’t get hold of ghee, use vegetable oil or another neutral-flavoured oil.
  • Use fully ripened tomatoes for maximum flavour. Many tomatoes in the shops these days are flavourless, so if you feel the curry needs more depth, add no more than 60ml (4 tbsp) of tomato paste. That should fix it. I also added 5ml (1 tsp) brown sugar to balance things out and the result was fantastic.
  • The lamb will be ultra-tender after a long cooking time. Simmer it for at least 90 minutes but you can continue cooking it for longer. In the process the flavours will develop even more. Just check on the liquid every now and then and top up with a bit of water, if needed.
  • Some recipes call for the lamb to marinade in a salted garlic and ginger paste first. Others would like you to use whole spices, such as cumin and coriander, and dry roast them before grinding them. Other versions state you should cook the lamb with the onions for a long period first, then only add the tomatoes. There really is no right or wrong way!
  • For best results, use bone-in stewing lamb that has been cut into chunks. The bones provide extra flavour!
  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Pakistani

Keywords: lamb Karahi, Karahi gosht recipe, pakistani lamb recipe