Rich lamb and spinach madras recipe


VSUrries are a big hit, mostly because they’re warming and generally filling – perfect for the cold winter months when we all need a little extra comforting. This madras is a favorite of mine, and the heat can be adjusted to suit your tolerance.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours and 15 minutes


Four to six


  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • 900g lamb neck or shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 stalks of curry leaves
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, plucked leaves and finely chopped stems
  • 2 green bird’s eye chilies
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 can of 400 g plum tomatoes
  • 200g frozen leaf spinach
  • 100 g plain yogurt
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  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground coriander, cumin seeds, ground cinnamon, sweet pepper powder, fennel seeds and a tablespoon of oil. Cut the lamb into 2.5cm pieces and toss with the spice mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Place a large casserole or saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes until they start to pop, then reduce the heat slightly and add the chopped onion.
  3. Sauté for 12-15 minutes, then add the minced garlic and chopped cilantro stems and sauté for another two minutes.
  4. For medium heat, keep the peppers whole and stab them with a sharp knife. For stronger heat, chop finely. Add to skillet.
  5. Add the marinated lamb, increase the heat slightly and sauté for a few minutes, until it starts to brown, then add the tamarind and Italian tomatoes. Bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for an hour.
  6. After an hour, stir in the frozen leaf spinach and plain yogurt and cook with the lid on for another hour, or until the lamb is melted and tender. Roughly chop the cilantro, stir and season to taste. Serve with fluffy basmati and naan.
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Georgina Hayden is the author of Taverna: Recipes from Cypriot Cuisine (Square Peg). Her next book, Nistisima, will be published by Bloomsbury in March.



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