Just like a bought one: The best curry I’ve ever made

I’ve often wondered why my curries never taste like the ones at the Indian restaurants. I follow the recipes. I make my own spice mixes from scratch. I can be generous with the salt. But they still taste nothing like the local curry house’s butter chicken or vindaloo.

However, last night I made a curry that tasted SO good I had to stop myself from finishing the pot, and now I’m rethinking my spice mix.

Specifically, I’ve always been a very conservative garam masala user – just a dash or quarter teaspoon added toward the end of cooking. The recipe for last night’s curry (a lamb Rogan Josh found after investigoogling) called for three (3!) teaspoons of garam masala. I’d never made a Rogan Josh before so decided to trust the web recommendation and put a whole two (yes, 2!) teaspoons in my curry. And, I put it in with the other spices at the beginning. I tell you, there was much change afoot in the C’ran Country Kitchen last night. The other thing I did differently was cook it extra long (60 to 90 minutes) with the yoghurt in.

So here be the easiest, tastiest lamb curry – inspired by the Lamb Rogan Josh at the blog, Route 79.

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

500g lamb (leftovers was my choice but you can get fancy and buy fresh) chopped into 2cm pieces (or however you prefer it)


half tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tin tomatoes (diced)

2 tblsp yoghurt

Cooking this curry is too easy.

In a medium pot, dry fry the spices and set aside. If you’re using fresh lamb, then you probably want to brown it first. (Leftover lamb can be thrown in later). Remove browned lamb and set aside. Add a little oil, fry the onion and garlic until soft. Throw the spices back in – making sure to keep it moving so they don’t burn. When it’s all getting nice and fragrant, throw the lamb in and coat with the spice/onion mix. Throw in the chopped tomatoes. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add the yoghurt. Mix it all up, bring to simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 90 minutes. Be sure to check every 30 minutes and add more water if necessary. As I was using cooked lamb, I only cooked for 60 minutes or so and then let it sit for the next 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Throw in some chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice.

You can check out the original recipe (I’ve made a couple of changes) over at Route 79. There’s also a whole swag of other Indian recipes there that I’d love to try. Mutter Paneer? Lamb Biryani? And I’m just a tad curious about Indian style KFC!