Lamb with cashew nut curry







Cook Time

50-55 Min


  • 1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 50ml/2fl oz boiling water
  • 75g/3oz ghee or butter
  • 150g/5oz onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 125ml/4fl oz Greek-style yogurt
  • 700g/1 1⁄2lb lamb, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the masala

  • 50g/2oz unsalted cashew nuts
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger
  • 5cm/2in cinnamon stick
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • To make the masala, put the cashew nuts, chillies, ginger and 225ml/ 8fl oz cold water in a blender or food processor. Whiz at high speed for 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, garlic, poppy seeds, coriander seeds and cumin. Blend again until the mixture is completely pulverized. Set the masala aside.
  • Put the saffron in a small bowl, add the boiling water and leave to soak for at least 10 minutes.
  • In a heavy frying pan, heat the ghee or butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and, stirring constantly, sauté for 8 minutes until soft and golden brown.
  • Stir in the salt and the masala, then add the yogurt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ghee lightly films the surface.
  • Add the lamb, turning it about with a spoon to coat the pieces evenly. Stir the saffron and its soaking liquid into the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes, turning the lamb from time to time. Scatter half the coriander over the lamb and continue cooking, tightly covered, for a further 10 minutes or until the lamb is tender.
  • To serve, transfer the entire contents of the pan to a warmed serving dish, and sprinkle the top with the lemon juice and the remaining coriander. Serve hot with boiled basmati rice.
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