How to cook… Railway Lamb Curry


Serves 4 as a main dish

Created, as legend has it, when a British army officer travelling on the railway in the 1900s found his curry too hot. The chef added some yoghurt to cool it down and the legendary Railway Curry was born. Traditionally cooked with on-the-bone mutton, this dish is often compared to an English stew, as later versions would cut out some of the spices to mellow the dish further. This recipe uses chunks of lamb but retains the yoghurt.

What you need
• 600g lamb, cut into large bite-sized pieces
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 1.5 onions, finely chopped
• 250ml hot water
• 250g potato, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces
• 1 Tablespoon curry powder
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder
• 200ml pureed tomato
• 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• 2 Tablespoons yoghurt
• Salt to taste

• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 teaspoon black pepper

Whole spices
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 3 Bay leaves
• 2 red chillies
• 2 cardamons, cracked but not crushed

How you make it
1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the lamb, making sure all pieces are well coated. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour if possible
2. Heat the oil to a high heat and cook the whole spices for 20 seconds, stirring quickly to avoid them burning.
3. Turn down the heat and add the lamb, and keep stirring until all the pieces are sealed (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes.
5. Add the hot water, stir well, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.
6. Add the curry powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, tomato and tamarind, mix well, cover and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.
7. While the lamb is cooking boil the potatoes in water until they are almost cooked. Ensure they are not soft as they will be added to the main pot to boil a bit longer. Once they are ready remove from the hot water so they do not keep cooking.
8. Add the garam masala to the lamb and cook for 5 minutes.
9. Add the yoghurt, mix well, then add the potatoes and cook until the lamb is tender and the potato pieces are cooked through. Check a piece of each to ensure they are ready.

This is a rustic curry so eat it with nan or even chunks of bread.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

The lamb in the Railway Curry should be tender and soft but don’t forget to chew chew.

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