Friday, March 25, 2011

Recipes Part 4: Lamb Curry

I imagine you saw the title of this post and thought “I’ve never cooked lamb and curry is just an easy way of saying mushy orange goo on rice.” This is exactly the reaction I would have had a week ago if someone had handed me a similarly-titled recipe. However, I made a great meal out of this recipe with local ingredients and the lamb could easily be substituted for other meats or even hardy vegetables.

Now lamb may intimidate a few of you but, surprisingly, it was not hard to work with once cooked.  Sheep are raised all over North Carolina and the eastern seaboard in general so chances are you can find lamb pretty easily wherever you are. I found lamb at the Atherton Market from Windy Hill Farm and purchased just two small loin chops (Windy Hill also sells shoulder chops, legs of lamb, ground lamb and ribs). I adapted this recipe to include more vegetables, including carrots from Jane Henderson’s plot at the Cabarrus County Incubator Farm, and served it with red cabbage from Houston Farms on the side. You could substitute the onions for seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potatoes or cabbage.

Simple Lamb Curry
1-2 cups of lamb
2 cups chicken broth
5-6 tablespoons fat free Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons flour
1 ½ onions, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons curry powder
Salt to taste

To cook the lamb:
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet then add the lamb
  2. Cook on both sides about 5-6 minutes or until cooked through
  3. Remove, let cool, and cut into bite-sized pieces
  1. Heat oil and butter
  2. Add onions and carrots, cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly soft
  1. Add flour, garlic and curry powder, stir well
  2. Add broth and cook for 4-5 minutes until some has evaporated
  3. Mix in Greek yogurt and lamb
  4. Cover and let simmer 5-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened

Note: The original recipe did not call for the yogurt. However, when I got to the part about “letting the sauce thicken”, mine…well…didn’t. Luckily, I had low fat Greek yogurt in my fridge and once I mixed in about 5 tablespoons, the sauce thickened nicely.

Here is the finished product which I served over whatever rice I have in my pantry right now (usually brown Basmati rice but it varies) and the red cabbage. Pretty and delicious!


  1. Did you put in the yogurt before or after simmering? (I know you mentioned you added it after your sauce didn't thicken, so I was curious.) Any time I put the fat-free greek yogurt in I have to take it off-heat or it curdles. I keep trying to find ways around that though...

    This is an awesome recipe if you get lamb again-

  2. Great question - I put the yogurt in then turned the heat way down while I finished the rice and cabbage. You're right, the yogurt would have curdled at a higher heat most likely and no one likes curdled cream in their curry!