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Dry curry of lamb and eggplant

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for dry curry of lamb and eggplant.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Dry curry of lamb and eggplant


  • 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1.4 kg lamb ribs (see note)
  • 4 Japanese eggplant, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 30 gm tamarind pulp, soaked in 200ml warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cracked cardamom pods
  • To serve: natural yoghurt and steamed basmati rice
Spice paste
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 15 small dried red chillies, soaked for 3 hours in warm water, drained
  • 6 fresh curry leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cm piece ginger, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric


  • 1
    Steam lamb ribs over a saucepan of boiling water until tender (30 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for spice paste, dry-roast whole spices in a small frying pan over low heat until fragrant (1 minute), then grind in a spice grinder. Pound spice mixture with remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt with a mortar and pestle until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  • 3
    Heat oil and ghee in a casserole over high heat, add ribs and eggplant and turn occasionally until lamb is golden (3-5 minutes). Remove ribs and eggplant and set aside. Add onions to pan and stir occasionally until golden (5-7 minutes), then add spice paste and stir until fragrant. Strain tamarind water into a bowl and add to pan with tomato, cardamom, lamb ribs, eggplant and 125ml water, then simmer, covered, until lamb is tender (1¼ hours). Season to taste and serve hot with yoghurt and steamed basmati rice.


Note Lamb ribs need to be ordered ahead from the butcher. Ask for a whole trimmed lamb breast.
Drink Suggestion: Spicy cold-climate syrah. Drink suggestion by Max Allen