My Latest and Favourite Lamb Bhuna Recipe is in my New Hardbound Cookbook!
I have made a lot of beef and lamb bhuna curries over the past year. The authentic Indian bhunas are quite a lot harder to make than this restaurant style bhuna.
Bhuna cooking is a style of cooking in India where hot oil is used to release the flavours of a long list of spices before adding raw meat – often cut into small pieces on the bone.
Lamb Bhuna is a dry curry that is very popular at British Indian restaurants.
Once the meat is added, stock or water is sprinkled into the pan in small amounts which is then cooked into the meat. This process is repeated for an hour or more until the meat becomes fall off the bone tender and the flavour in the resulting dry curry is out of this world.
This style of cooking would not be possible in a busy Indian curry house so the recipe has been changed. BIR lamb bhuna is still a dry curry but it is made in a fraction of the time as cooked meat is used instead of slow cooking raw meat.
Many Indian restaurants add a drop or two of red food colouring to this dish which gives the meat an attractive pink glow. I have left this step out of my recipe but by all means do so if you want.
As with most of my British Indian restaurant style curries, you will want to pre cook your meat and make a base sauce first. Once this is done, you can literally cook this curry in under 10 minutes.
I have written a large and small version of my curry sauce recipe which will need to me made before cooking this recipe. The large version is made just like they do in the best curry houses. Make a large batch for best results. It keeps in the fridge for three days and freezes well. The small batch version works well too though it’s not as authentic.
I pre-cook meat in two ways. Most restaurants slow cook their meat in a spicy sauce such as this one for this recipe. They usually swirl in a little of the cooking juices too for extra flavour. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might like to add tandoori lamb tikka instead.
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- 800g Pre-Cooked Lamb
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 tablespoons tandoori powder
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- Juice of one or two limes (Done to your own taste)
- 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
- 1 small onion - finely chopped
- 400ml base curry sauce
- 2 tablespoons yogurt
- 1 small bunch coriander leaves - finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped red chilli (optional)
- Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over medium high heat.
- Pour in the oil. When it is bubbling add the tomato paste, curry powder and tandoori powder.
- Stir the spices around in the hot oil so that they do not burn for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped onion and the garlic and ginger pastes. Continue stirring until the finely chopped onion becomes translucent. About two minutes.
- Now add the meat and just enough of the curry sauce to coat it. Remember bhuna is quite a dry curry but it doesn’t have to be. If you want more sauce, just add it and don’t tell anyone.
- Bring the curry up to heat so that the sauce is spitting a bit and then stir in the yogurt one tablespoon at a time, followed by the lime juice.
- I really like the tart taste of the lime so I use a lot of lime juice. How much you use is up to you.
- Just before serving, add the chopped coriander and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish with the chopped red chilli peppers if using.