Three-hour lamb and chickpea curry

Yoghurt and buttermilk provide a creamy finish and welcome tang to this hearty curry.
Overhead shot of a last cast-iron pot of lamb and chickpea curry, studded with cinnamon quills and garnished with coriander. A bowl of yoghurt, and sliced lime cheeks, sit to the side.

Three-hour lamb and chickpea curry

Chris Chen and Ben Dearnley
2H 45M
3H 10M

Buttermilk and yoghurt thicken and add a rich finish to this curry, yet also counteract the heaviness of the lamb. Look for properly cultured buttermilk without additives or thickeners for the best flavour; Pepe Saya, for example. This curry also works well with large cuts of chicken on the bone. Begin the recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas and marinate the lamb.



1.Combine lamb, yoghurt, garlic and ginger in a non-reactive container, season to taste with salt and a good grind of black pepper, mix well and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
2.Heat oil in a large casserole or wok over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, pound coriander and cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Add to casserole with remaining spices, stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then add lamb, stirring and turning to coat (1-2 minutes). Add curry leaves, buttermilk and stock, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered for 2 hours. Add chickpeas and cook, uncovered, until softened and lamb is very tender (30-40 minutes). Transfer lamb to a bowl and strain sauce through a sieve, reserving solids.
3.Return sauce to casserole, place over high heat and cook, skimming occasionally, until reduced by two-thirds (30 minutes). Add kale and coriander and return lamb and reserved solids to casserole. Serve with curry leaves, roti and cucumber-mint yoghurt.

Drink suggestion: Yeasty saison ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.


Related stories