Father’s Day Recipe: Hari Ghotra’s Lamb Madras

You can’t beat an authentic curry made from scratch. But some recipes can be a bit daunting, with countless ingredients and complicated instructions. Not this curry. Sure, the Madras powder requires a few spices, but nothing drastically exotic and once this is made the rest is straight forward. This Madras will make dad feel like a Maharaja!

Madras Powder


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp white poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cassia bark stick (about 7cm long)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Lamb Madras fit for a Maharaja

Masala Sauce


  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 10-12 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (2 for more heat)
  • 2 cm ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g / 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • Handful fresh coriander


Watch video on how to make this recipe HERE

1. To create your madras powder combine black peppercorns, cassia, cloves, coriander, fenugreek, mustard, poppy, cumin and fennel seeds, and grind to a fine powder with an electric grinder, blender, or pestle and mortar.

2. Stir in the turmeric and chilli powder.

3. Place the lamb in a large bowl and rub with 2 or 3 tablespoons of madras curry powder and the salt until all the meat is coated. Transfer the remaining powder into a well-sealed jar for another time.

4. Heat the oil in a large cast iron pan until hot. Add the mustard seeds – once they start to pop, stir in the curry leaves and then the onions.

5. Soften the onions until they turn dark brown (about 20 minutes) before adding the green chilli and ginger along with the finely chopped garlic.

6. Keep stirring as the mix has a tendency to catch on the bottom of the pan. If it does catch add a splash of water.

7. After a few minutes, add the tomatoes, tamarind and red chilli. Bring this to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer to create a thick masala sauce.
Once it is shiny and thick add the lamb to the pan. Stir to coat the meat with the sauce. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and leave to cook very gently for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until it’s cooked through.

8. Stir occasionally until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is tender.

Serving tip: 
The dark tangy sauce works great with plain basmati rice or roti, but I also like to have a veg dish like saag or some spiced potatoes on the side. 

This recipe was kindly shared with us by Hari Ghotra – one of the rising stars of the Indian food scene both on and offline. Over the last 2 years, Hari’s website and YouTube channel have become the UK’s number one destination for authentic Indian cooking. Hari also works as a guest chef at the michelin starred Tamarind of Mayfair and is shortly to be announced as the Executive Chef of the new Tamarind Kitchen opening in Soho. Alongside this, Hari sells her own curry kits and spices and regularly hosts cookery classes across London and the South East. Learn more at www.harighotra.co.uk or connect with Hari on twitter: @HariGhotra. 

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