My Madras Lamb Curry is one of my favourites to cook at home. An impossibly delicious Indian lamb curry with coconut milk, so tender and super fragrant. The aromas permeate every corner of the house when it's on the stove. It's one of the first Indian dishes I memorised (this Madras curry recipe is engrained!) and it's one I return to over and over again.
An authentic Lamb Madras Curry recipe
My first taste of Madras Lamb Curry was in a restaurant at the source in Chennai, India. As usual we'd ordered half the menu, so by the time this lamb curry arrived I was SERIOUSLY struggling to push it down. It was one of those food incidents when you know you should stop, but can't and won't. I was prepared to suffer.
I remember the amazing flavour - peppery, slightly sweet and sour and a texture so creamy and glossy. It's difficult to pinpoint an actual flavour here as there are so many spices at play, meaning each small measure of something brings everything to the party. Spice alchemy at its best. On asking the very friendly staff and chef, who were only too happy to come out and share the love (and knowledge) I found out that the sourness came from tamarind and sweetness from jaggery (I've substituted with regular sugar).
Once in a while a curry comes into your life that is so special, you just have to learn how to cook it yourself. I knew I had to recreate it at home, so the quest was on to find the best Madras recipe on my return! Over the years, my version has been tweaked here and there - this is the final tried and tested version! And it's one of my all time favourites.
Is lamb Madras spicy?
It's really up to you. If you follow the recipe, it's definitely a sauce with a decent spice level. About 6/10. There's not on the same spice hit as my Chicken Pathia or Goan Chicken Vindaloo but it still has a personality! That said, it doesn't suffer in taste if you dial down the heat. Just put less chilli in. Similarly, if you want it hotter - here comes the science... add more chilli!
TIP! If you find during cooking that you've over spiced the curry, remove a cup or two of the sauce and replace it with more coconut milk. It'll dilute the chilli. You'll have a creamier sauce, but it'll be less spicy.
Time = taste
This Madras curry can seem a bit of a Mahabharata epic, time and ingredients wise, but don't let that deter you:
- it's not really that difficult to put this curry together.
- it's worth the time.
- it's worth the effort.
- See above (to infinity)
That's all I have to say on the Madras Lamb Curry. Complex, delicious, worth the wait. If you're looking for a quicker curry, try my delicious South Indian Salmon Curry or maybe the vibrant Sri Lankan green Masala Shrimp - but if you're up for it - you won't be disappointed in the slightest in this. Go for it.