Due to keen interest on Twitter and a request for the recipe from @oppositejohn and @maniacyak, here it is… My Sumatran lamb curry!! The recipe i based this on was from Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible. I have made many curries from this book and would definitely recommend checking it out. I had to adapt the recipe a bit due to not having some ingredients, and i added more chillies as it was very mild. Sumatran lamb curry


Makes enough sauce for 4-6 people but you can always freeze what you don’t use.

  • 1 white onion (chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (i didn’t have any fresh so i used lazy ginger)
  • 3 red chillies, chopped and with seeds
  • 2 teaspoons red paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (i missed this out as i didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 400 ml can of coconut milk, left undisturbed for 3 hours or more
  • 6 tablespoons of corn, peanut or olive oil
  • 900 g lamb cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Roughly 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons thick tamarind paste (i didn’t have any but substituted with some lemon juice)
  • You could also add in a pepper, green beans, and okra pods if you have them!


  1. I started by placing the chopped onions, chillies,  garlic, ginger, and 3 tablespoons of water into a blender and blending until smooth.
  2. To this i added the paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric (if you have it), cinnamon, and cardamom. Blend briefly.
  3. Remove the tick coconut cream from the can and keep to one side for later.
  4. Put the thinner coconut milk into a measuring jug and add water to make it up to 750ml.
  5. Pour the oil into a large lidded pan and set over a medium-high heat.
  6. Add in the paste from the blender and fry for 12 minutes until it has thickened and a rich, reddish brown.
  7. Add in the meat to the pan and stir for a minute.
  8. Cover and reduce to a medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes. Check and stir every now and again.
  9. Add in the thinned coconut milk and water mixture, salt and tamarind paste (or lemon juice). Stir to mix and bring to simmer.
  10. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  11. Take the lid off and continue to simmer on a low heat for a few hours but keep an eye on it and stir it so it doesn’t dry out.
  12. When it has thickened and reduced, add the remaining thick coconut milk and continue to simmer until it has mixed and thickened.
I always believe that curry taste better than it looks, but trust me, it was delicious!!! So here you are, the finished product… Sumatran lamb curry with wholegrain basmati rice. (*tip* soak the rice for about 20 mins before cooking and it will be a lot fluffier and cook quicker!)   ENJOY!!