Lamb Karahi
Lamb Karahi
5 from 45 votes
Traditionally cooked in a deep cooking pot called a karahi, hence the name, this lamb karahi recipe has authentic flavours and bursts with heat. This lamb karahi recipe is popular with Indians and Pakistanis alike and is fast becoming a favourite amongst people all over the world.
Lamb Karahi

Lamb Karahi is a beloved dish originating from the vibrant culinary landscape of South Asia. This recipe is a testament to the rich flavors and aromatic spices that characterize Pakistani and Indian cuisine.

Traditionally cooked in a wok-like vessel called a “karahi,” this dish boasts tender pieces of lamb simmered in a flavorful blend of spices and aromatics.

The origins of Lamb Karahi can be traced back to the Indian subcontinent, where it has been enjoyed for generations. Its name, “karahi,” refers to the utensil in which it is traditionally cooked, adding to its cultural significance.

Despite its roots, Lamb Karahi has gained popularity worldwide for its bold flavors and comforting appeal.

While the recipe may seem complex at first glance, fear not! With a bit of patience and the right ingredients, you’ll be able to recreate this culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen. This recipe is suitable for beginners eager to explore the world of South Asian cuisine.

Expert Tip: Ensure that the lamb is cut into evenly sized pieces to ensure uniform cooking. This will help prevent some pieces from becoming overcooked while others remain undercooked.


Lamb: Tender pieces of lamb provide a rich and hearty flavor. The lamb is cooked to perfection, becoming succulent and tender as it simmers in the aromatic spices.

Onions: Finely sliced onions add sweetness and depth to the dish as they caramelize in the olive oil. They provide a flavorful base for the other ingredients to build upon.

Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are chopped and added to the lamb, lending a subtle sweetness and acidity to balance the spices. They also contribute to the rich texture of the dish as they break down during cooking.

Yoghurt: Yoghurt adds a creamy and tangy element to the Lamb Karahi, complementing the bold spices and adding richness to the sauce. When added correctly, it helps to tenderize the meat and create a velvety texture.

Spices: A blend of aromatic spices including chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger paste, garlic paste, black pepper, garam masala, and cumin powder infuses the dish with layers of flavor and complexity. Each spice contributes its unique aroma and taste, creating a harmonious balance in the final dish.

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Methi): Dried fenugreek leaves add a subtle bitterness and earthy flavor to the Lamb Karahi. They enhance the overall aroma of the dish and lend a distinctively savory note.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is used for cooking the onions and lamb, imparting its fruity and slightly peppery flavor to the dish. It also helps to create a rich and luscious sauce for the Lamb Karahi.

Expert Tip: When adding yoghurt to the dish, be sure to stir it immediately and continuously to prevent it from curdling. This will help maintain a smooth and creamy texture in the sauce.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the Lamb Karahi hot, straight from the karahi or wok, garnished with fresh coriander leaves for a burst of freshness and color.
  • Accompany the Lamb Karahi with fluffy naan bread or steamed rice to soak up the deliciously fragrant sauce.
  • For a complete meal, pair the Lamb Karahi with traditional sides such as cucumber raita, onion salad, or mint chutney to add contrasting textures and flavors.
  • Consider serving a refreshing side dish like a cucumber and tomato salad tossed with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to balance the richness of the Lamb Karahi.
  • To elevate the dining experience, set the table with vibrant tableware and garnish the Lamb Karahi with thinly sliced green chillies for an extra kick of heat.

Expert Tip: Experiment with different spice blends and proportions to customize the flavor of your Lamb Karahi. Don’t be afraid to adjust the spices according to your personal taste preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

How spicy is Lamb Karahi?

Lamb Karahi can vary in spiciness depending on personal preference and the amount of chilli powder used. However, it typically has a moderate level of heat that is balanced by the other spices and ingredients in the dish.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in Lamb Karahi?

Yes, you can easily adjust the spiciness of Lamb Karahi to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder dish, simply reduce the amount of chilli powder used or omit the bullet chillies altogether. Conversely, if you like it hotter, you can increase the amount of chilli powder or add extra fresh green chillies.

Can I use a different type of meat instead of lamb?

Absolutely! While Lamb Karahi traditionally features lamb, you can substitute it with other meats such as chicken, beef, or even goat. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of meat you choose.

Is it necessary to use a karahi or wok for cooking Lamb Karahi?

While using a karahi or wok is traditional and adds to the authenticity of the dish, you can still achieve delicious results using a regular skillet or frying pan. The most important thing is to ensure even cooking and proper seasoning of the ingredients.

Can I make Lamb Karahi in advance?

Yes, Lamb Karahi can be made in advance and reheated before serving. In fact, many people believe that the flavors of the dish deepen and intensify after sitting for a while. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

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Lamb Karahi

Lamb Karahi

by Nabeela Kauser
Traditionally cooked in a deep cooking pot called a karahi, hence the name, this lamb karahi recipe has authentic flavours and bursts with heat. This lamb curry recipe is popular with Indians and Pakistanis alike.
5 from 45 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 415 kcal


  • 500 g Lamb
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 100 g Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 100 ml Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves Methi
  • 200 ml Water


  • Heat oil in a wok or karahi pot on low-medium heat before adding the finely sliced onions
  • Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until the onions start to soften and become translucent
  • Add the lamb and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes then add the salt and mix
  • Whilst the lamb is cooking chop the tomatoes and add into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft
  • Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger paste, garlic paste, black pepper and garam masala then cook the spices for 5 minutes
  • Add the water and reduce the heat to low-medium then leave to cook for 30-45 minutes until the water dries up and the lamb is soft – if the lamb is still tough add more water and cook for longer
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the yoghurt before stirring immediately and cook for 10-15 minutes – it is important to stir immediately and continuously to prevent the yoghurt from curdling
  • Add the cumin seeds, dried fenugreek leaves, bullet chillies and ginger and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Garnish with coriander and enjoy with naan or boiled rice!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 16gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 458mgPotassium: 447mgFibre: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 634IUVitamin C: 12mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 58mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Cooking, Curry, Food, Karahi, Lamb, Mutton, Recipe
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Latest comments (2)

Nabeela Kauser

Yes, you can use goat but it isn’t as common in the UK. Goat does taste better but lamb is the easier option.😊

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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