Lamb Curry, the Colonial Way

Back in the mid nineties, when we lived in London, Russ would often ask for a good ‘ole curry for dinner. Sometimes it would be of the Persian persuasion, or the Indian, but often it was a pub version of lamb curry. The pub version was kind of a British mash up from colonial days, and I don’t mean American colonial.

When the days start to get short and the evenings are cool Russ loves it if I tell him I am making him a curry. We don’t have it often because we don’t eat much red meat these days, but when we do I am transported back to London.

Although we lived and worked there for almost five years if feels like those years were a blur. This is probably due the the amount of work and around the world travel we did. It always sounded more glamorous than it was. Work is work no matter where you are doing it.

I traveled way more than Russ as my assignments were all over the place, and he was based almost wholly in London. On the rare times that we were both together in London we almost always worked late and grabbed dinner on our way home. Many nights my Dad was with us and he was always welcomed in our regular haunts because he is the world’s best tipper.

There are a few places I miss like our Fish and chips shop on the way home from Paddington station and our favorite Persian restaurant, Old Delhi. I can never recreate those flavors. But the lamb curry of our “local” The Victoria I can come close to in our kitchen. Basmati rice and Mango and lime chutney help.

I don’t miss working those long hours and sleeping on planes overnight and having to go straight to work upon arrival, but I do miss my British friends. Just having this curry for dinner makes the lack of travel hard. I never should have made such a British dish. I was fine staying home before we had this.

Lamb Curry

1 small bones leg of lamb cut into small chunks (2 1/2 lbs)

4 T. Curry powder

1. T. Ground ginger

2 big sweet onions

5 cloves of garlic

4 T. Oil

4 T. Grated fresh ginger

5 whole allspice

2 T. Fresh thyme leaves

1 seeded jalapeño

1 14 Oz. Can of chopped tomatoes

3 T. Tomato paste

1 14 Oz. Can coconut milk

6 carrots chopped

1 small butternut squash, cubed and roasted

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

Juice of a lime

2 t. Ground cumin

1 t. Turmeric

1 t. Ground coriander

Put the cubed lamb in a bowl and sprinkle 2 T. Curry powder, the ground ginger and 1 T. Salt and 1 T. Black pepper over the meat and stir.

In a blender put one onion, chopped, 2 T. Oil, grated ginger, garlic, jalapeño, thyme a d allspice and blend until nothing is chunky.

Pour the onion sauce over the meat and mix. Cover and let marinate 2-24 hours.

In a Dutch oven, put 2 T. Oil and the remaining curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and heat for less than a minute to just wake up the spices. Add the lamb mixture and Tuen the heat up high and stir often to get some color on the meat, about ten minutes. Add the canned tomatoes including the liquid and the remaining onion chopped. Cook for five minutes. Add the coconut milk and1 t. More of salt, bring to boil and turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook three more minutes, then add all the remaining vegetables and cook for 25 more minutes, with lid on, stirring every once in a while. Add the lime juice at end and taste for salt and pepper.


3 Comments on “Lamb Curry, the Colonial Way”

  1. Nancy clough says:

    Love your blogs. A lover of lamb curry….

  2. Anjuli says:

    Oh! It all makes sense now!
    I have been following you for years, and have always wondered how you have such a different take on things – a different world view – a more open, expansive and intelligent view of the world compared to many of your fellow Americans. I’ve travelled a lot too. However, I’ve noticed that many Americans have very closed minds and often are not willing to explore, even virtually, what’s outside their backyard. It’s a pity that there are not more Dana’s in this world. It would be a much better place if people saw the world the way you do.


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