Lamb, Cashew Nut and Cardamom Curry

, from Issue #37. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Lamb, Cashew Nut and Cardamom Curry

This perfectly spiced and creamy curry masala is an absolute crowd-pleaser. Serve with rice and top the curry with fresh coriander. 


Serves: 4


1 kilogram lamb shoulder chops
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cardamom pods
1 cup water
½ cup cream

1/3 cup raw cashew nuts
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 large vine tomatoes, roughly chopped

4 onions, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
knob of butter
½ cup roasted cashew nuts


Masala: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a large casserole and cook the onions and salt for 8 minutes or until tender and golden. Add the masala paste and cook for a further 4 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently. Cut each lamb chop into 2 long pieces through the natural join and add to the pan, stirring to coat in the spice paste.

Lightly crush the cardamom pods to open them and add, along with the remaining ingredients. Season with sea salt, combine well, cover and cook over a very low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and taste for seasoning then cook for a further 20-25 minutes until the lamb is very tender and the sauce is reduced, stirring so it doesn’t catch on the base of the pan.

Garnish: Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and cook the onions with a good pinch of salt until deep golden, stirring frequently, especially towards the end of cooking. Tip the onions onto paper towels to drain. Place in a bowl and combine with the cashew nuts.

To serve: Transfer the curry to a serving bowl and scatter with the topping and some fresh coriander.