Indian-style Spicy Lamb with Gentle Sweet and Sour Flavour


1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
5 tablespoons olive oil
2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
6 cardamom pods
2 lb boneless lamb from the shoulder, cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons sultanas
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the yogurt into a bowl and beat lightly until smooth. Add the salt, cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, lots of black pepper and the fresh coriander. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Put the oil into a wide non-stick pan, and set it over a medium-high heat.
  3. When it is hot, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cardamom pods. Quickly put in the lamb pieces – only as many as the pan will hold easily in a single layer – and brown them on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl. Brown all the meat in the same way.
  4. Put the onion into the oil left in the pan. Cook, stirring, until it turns brown at the edges.
  5. Return the meat to the pan, along with any whole spices that are still clinging to it, plus the yogurt mixture and the sultanas. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the meat is very tender.
  7. Uncover the pan and turn up the heat. Cook over a high heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick and clings to the meat pieces.
  8. Stir in the sour cream, sprinkle the ground cardamom over the top and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Foolproof Indian Cooking