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Bhuna Lamb Curry Recipe

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

Cuisine: Indian, non-vegetarian

Course: Mains

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour approx.

Spice level: Mild/Medium

Serves: 3

Background to the recipe This recipe is very special to me. My maternal grandmother, my beloved Barima, used to make this when we visited my grandparents in Punjab. My mum used to make it during dinner parties during my dad’s army tenure. Bhuna means fried or ‘browned’ in my native Punjabi language. So, this is a goat or lamb meat cooked in onions, tomatoes and spices to bring out a beautiful riot of flavours and a rich deep red colour in this fragrant spice laden dish. I do add a fresh green chilli in the dish but you may omit that ingredient of you don’t want you dish to be medium hot Best served with garlic naan, rotis or steamed rice!


500 gm lamb shoulder* chopped is small cubes

1 tablespoon ghee or butter

2 tablespoons oil

4 tomatoes pureed

2 medium onions chopped

1 and ½ tablespoons ginger garlic mince

1 split green chili (optional)

Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Salt as per taste Whole spices o 1-inch cinnamon stick o 2-3 cloves o 4 green cardamoms o 1 brown cardamom o 4 black peppercorn o 1 bay leaf

Powdered spices

o 1 teaspoon turmeric

o 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

o 1 teaspoon cumin powder

o 1 teaspoon coriander powder

o 1 teaspoon garam masala

o 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves


· Chop the onions finely

· Blend the tomatoes in a blender and keep aside

· In case you don’t want using whole-spices, please grind the spices mentioned under ‘Whole spices’ in the ingredients list and keep aside.

Cooking process:

Take a deep bottom pan and add the oil and butter on medium heat.

Once hot in less than a minute, add the whole spices** and fry them until they become fragrant which should take a minute or so.

Add the chopped onions on medium heat and cook until they become a dark shade of brown. Please don’t burn them!

Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for few minutes until the raw fragrance of garlic vanishes. Continue to stir occasionally.

At this stage, please add the lamb and stir it in. Cook on medium heat until the outer coating of the lamb changes colour and starts to brown.

At this stage, the lamb will start to get a bit sticky and that’s when you add the tomatoes puree, mix it all well and cook for 5-7 minutes

Now, add all the ground spices except garam masala (1 teaspoon turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and dried fenugreek leaves) and cook for a few minutes or less.

Add salt and the slit green chili (optional ingredient) and give it a good stir

Add 2 cups of water, lower the heat to minimum and cover with lid and let it cook for at least 30-45 minutes or more depending when the lamb is cooked well. Keep stirring in between and checking the consistency of the sauce. You can add another half cup if you want more gravy.

Once you see oil on the surface of the pan, the lamb is ready.

Now you can switch off the burner.

Garnish the curry with the garam masala and coriander leaves


Hope you enjoy making this beautiful lamb curry as much as I enjoyed sharing the recipe with you!

My grand mum’s tips:

Ø The process of ‘browning’ the onions to a dark shade of brown lends the beautiful colour to the sauce and the curry dish. Don’t lose heart! The frying can take up to 20 minutes on medium heat!

Ø Add a pinch of salt when you cook the onions as it fastens the frying process by making the onions softer.

Ø Ensure that tomatoes are cooked in the lamb until they are mushy and release oil on the sides of the pan.

Ø Always add the garam masala as a garnish and never during the cooking process.

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