Recipe: Lamb Keema Curry

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  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 small pieces of cassia bark or about an inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tin good quality (not sour) plum / san marzano tomatoes
  • 2 -5 finger chillis (depending on your heat preference), chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger root
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 500g very lean lamb mince
  • 1 small cup frozen peas


  • Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then grind in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. This is known as 'dhana-jeeru' and features frequently in Indian cooking.
  • Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan and add the onion, cloves, cassia (or cinnamon), and peppercorns. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium high heat until the onion is well browned.
  • Discard the cassia (or cinnamon). Add 1 tablespoon of the dhana-jeeru mix, the garam masala, and the turmeric and fry for about 30 seconds stirring.
  • Add the tin of tomatoes and break them up with a spatula. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger and add to the pan with the chillis.
  • Cook the mixture over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the oil separates from the mixture at the edges.
  • Add the minced lamb and break up and mix into the mixture. Cover and cook over a low simmer for 35-45 minutes, adding the peas 10 minutes before the end. Check the seasoning and add more salt and garam masala if reqired.
  • Like most curries, this dish is best when cooled then reheated to allow the flavours to infuse, but this is optional. Reheat in the pan and serve with rice and / or chapattis.


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