• 1.5kg/3lb 5oz lamb shoulder, boned weight, cut into cubes
  • 4 tbsp medium Indian curry paste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • generous knob of butter
  • 2 onions, halved then thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 400g/14oz can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml/½ pint hot chicken or lamb stock
  • 400g/14oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 125g/4½oz baby leaf spinach, well washed


  • Place the diced lamb shoulder into a bowl or food bag. Mix in three tablespoons of curry paste and leave to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy based pan, then add the onions, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and the remaining tablespoon of curry paste. Fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are softened and starting to turn golden-brown.
  • Add the marinated lamb, and fry for a couple of minutes until the meat has changed colour - it doesn’t have to be browned.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and enough stock to cover most of the lamb, with the top pieces just poking clear of the liquid.
  • Add the chickpeas and bring the mixture up to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook gently for 1 – 1½ hours, until the lamb is very tender and the sauce is rich and thick.
  • Spoon away the excess fat that will have gathered on the top of the curry, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Add the spinach, stirring the spinach leaves into the curry until they wilt.
  • Serve the curry with your favourite rice, breads and chutneys.


      Curry paste ingredients

    • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    • 1 tsp black peppercorns
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 or 2 dried chillies, depending on personal preference
    • 1 tsp salt
    • thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
    • vegetable or sunflower oil, to cover the paste for storing


    • Put the seeds and peppercorns into a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for about three minutes, stirring often, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the seeds turn golden and aromatic. Tip into a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.
    • Add the turmeric, cinnamon, paprika and dried chillies to a pestle and mortar. Add the cooled toasted spices and grind everything together into a fine powder. Add the salt.
    • Add grated ginger, garlic, tomato purée and white wine vinegar and mix well to make a paste.
    • Use immediately, or spoon the paste into a jar, cover with a layer of oil, seal with a lid and store in the fridge for up to a week.