Slow-cooked Lamb Madras Recipe

(137 ratings)

Preparation Time20 mins plus marinating
Cooking Time4 hours 30 mins
Total Time4 hours 50 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories712 Kcal36%
Fat40 g57%
Saturated Fat16 g80%
Carbohydrates14 g5%

This lamb madras recipe takes all the fuss out of cooking for a crowd. Slow cooking the lamb madras will give you perfectly tender meat and a really deep flavour. If you’ve got time, marinate for up to two days for the curry flavour to infuse with the lamb.

You can also prepare the lamb madras ahead of time so that you don’t have to leave the fun when you’re guests are round. It’s also suitable for freezing, so if you fancy a curry but don’t want to wait four hours for it to cook, you can have some on standby!


For the Madras curry paste:

  • 1½tbsp mustard seeds
  • 4tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp cardamom seeds, husks discarded black seeds only
  • 5 medium red chillies
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 x 5cm pieces fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1-2tbsp chilli powder
  • ½tsp turmeric
  • 3tbsp tomato purée
  • 1tbsp vinegar
  • 60ml oil

For the lamb:

  • 1 whole lamb shoulder, weighing around 2.5kg
  • 250g thick natural yogurt
  • 4 onions, finely sliced
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 220g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml lamb or chicken stock
  • 350g brinjal (baby aubergine), sliced in half
  • 1 large bunch coriander, chopped


  1. For the curry paste, dry-fry all the seeds in a frying pan for 2 mins until they release their aromas. Finely chop the chillies, garlic and ginger, and blend together. Blend the toasted seeds, chillies, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, tomato purée, vinegar and oil to a rough paste.
  2. Place the lamb shoulder in a large roasting tray. Make slices in the lamb shoulder, then rub over half of the yogurt and half of the curry paste – reserve the remaining yogurt for serving, and the remaining curry paste for later. Cover, and leave to marinate for 30 mins. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220C, gas 7.  
  3. Cook the onions in a saucepan with the butter for 15 mins until softened and slightly caramelised. Stir in the remaining curry paste and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the tomatoes and stock, and mix to combine well. Remove from the heat and stir through the sliced brinjal.    
  4. Uncover the lamb and roast in the hot oven for a further 20 mins, then pour over the tomato mixture. Cover and secure tightly with foil. Return to the oven, lower the heat to 170C, gas 3 and roast for a further 3½ hrs, or until the lamb is falling off the bone.
  5. Allow the lamb to rest for a few mins before serving with yogurt and coriander, and naan breads or poppadoms.
Jules Mercer

Jules Mercer is a food writer, stylist and editor.