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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.68 / 5 (127 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
1 hr 15 min

Rachel Allen’s mild curry is great for introducing children to aromatic flavours. Increase the heat with more chillies if you like your curries on the spicier side


1. Toast the seeds and cloves then crush using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder

2. Pour 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil into a large lidded casserole dish or heavy-based saucepan on a high heat, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until softened and nicely golden. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining oil. Place the lamb in the pan and sear until well browned all over, preferably working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan and stew the meat.

3. Return the onions and all the seared meat to the pan and add the crushed spices along with the turmeric, garlic, ginger and chilli. Season with salt and pepper, toss everything together to combine and stir in the cream and stock, scraping any sediment from the bottom of the pan.

4. Bring slowly to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Leave to gently simmer for about 1 hour, removing the lid for the last 15 minutes. Alternatively, make in an ovenproof dish or pan and cook in the oven, preheated to 150C/gas 2, for an hour, leaving the lid on for the whole cooking time. Check that the lamb is tender, cooking for a little longer if necessary. Add the lime or lemon juice and check the seasoning.

5. For the rice Place the rice in double its volume of salted water, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and cook for 10–12 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the moisture has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes with the lid on, stir in the butter and coriander, using a fork in order not to mash the rice.

Apdapted from Rachel Allen Home Cooking (Collins)


  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 1 kg lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm dice and fat removed
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped root ginger
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 450 ml double or single cream
  • 150 ml beef or chicken stock
  • lime or 1/2 lemons
  • coriander leaves, to garnish

For the rice

Tips and suggestions

Basmati Rice

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Latest Comment


I love this, it is fragrant, delicious, homely and comforting!! Thank you Rachel!

KatherineW7054 KatherineW7054  Posted 11 Jun 2012 8:49 PM

this is my favourite curry recipe of all, it is stored in my favourites on my laptop! I have tried the recipe with lamb, beef and chicken, and is equally nice with any! Afavourite for a dinner party and so easy!

alistroud0113 alistroud0113  Posted 21 Apr 2012 12:06 PM

Really delicious. However I did use yogurt instead of cream or coconut milk to make it a little less fattening. And I used 600g of lamb instead of 1kg. Still really really good. Even better if left a day for flavours to develop.

Janebb1 Janebb1  Posted 18 Aug 2010 4:55 PM

I have made this a few times always with chicken it taste great the kids like it because it's only mild in spices, I now dice the onions very finaly in the processor because there are a lot of onions in this recipe for my children, the first time I made it they were picking them out, now they don't know their there and it makes the sauce abit thicker

Kerry-Cashman Kerry-Cashman Posted 28 Jul 2010 9:01 AM

What a wonderful recipe! We were having a birthday lunch for one of our sons who is a lover of lamb korma and one of the guests is unable to eat coconut cream or milk, this gave me the opportunity to try this recipe and what a success it was. I followed the recipe to the letter cooking on the stove and the aroma was unbelievable. Towards the end the sauce was still a little thinner than I like, so I added a very small cornflour paste and it was perfect. Adding ordinary cream I felt made the flavour nicer than by using the coconut equivalent. The coriander rice was also a great success and so was the banana, lime and coconut side serve, as seen on the TV show. This recipe is now safely locked in the book for many further meals. Thank you Rachel

GeorgeG34429 GeorgeG34429 Posted 07 Feb 2010 11:55 PM

I have to say, saw this on TV and it looked fab. However, tried it at home and was very unimpressed. The lamb was cooked well, but the sauce was a runny emulsiated watery let down, and i had cooked it in the oven. My wife took to gently ladling a layer of oil from the top before i took it out the oven dish. Clearly, i did something wrong, but I swear i followed the instructions to the letter. So, overall, think i should probably watch the TV not just read the recipe.

There are better recipies for this dish elsewhere.

DaveR3320 DaveR3320 Posted 24 Jan 2010 9:25 PM

This is the first curry I have made from scratch and it was very good, I might add a bit more of the spices to make it a bit more zingy next time!

scoobyspg1 scoobyspg1 Posted 20 Nov 2009 4:44 PM

wonderful flavours, can't help but impress.

gastquest gastquest Posted 29 Sep 2009 10:01 AM