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Easy Lamb Bhuna

Introduction & method

The Curry Guy, Dan Toombs, recently sent me his latest book, Bible. Dan is well-known for reproducing the techniques and methods developed in British Indian Restaurants. The dishes he produces are not really authentic Indian, but they are very tasty. I chose to make his Lamb Bhuna, and this also includes a method for pre-cooking the lamb. You will need some base curry sauce, but I'm doing that as a separate recipe.

Easy Lamb Bhuna Recipe

Pre-cook the lamb

It's best if you can get lamb on the bone, either as leg, shoulder or chops. Cut the meat into 2cm (1 inch) chunks. Peel and finely dice the onions. De-seed and finely dice the red bell pepper. Crush the cardamom pods with the back of a chef's knife.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the whole spices and bay leaves and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onions, stir to coat in oil, then add the podered spices and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the salt and ginger garlic paste. Cook for another minute then add the meat and any bones you have. Stir frequently to get the meat chunks browned all over. Pour in just enough water to cover everything, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, put a lid on and cook gently for 1-1½ until the meat is tender.

Separate the meat from the liquid and remnants of onion, etc. Strain the liquid and discard any solids. Keep the meat and stock in the fridge until needed.

Prep for the Lamb Bhuna

Peel and finely dice the onion. Finely dice the bell pepper. Finely chop the coriander stalks and leaves, but keep them separate.

Assemble the Lamb Bhuna

In a large pot over medium heat, make the oil or ghee hot. Cook the onion and bell pepper for five minutes until the onion is soft.Add the ginger garlic paste and the coriander stalks and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato puree and the mixed powder (or curry powder) and the tandoori masala or garam masala, and then half of the base curry sauce. Simmer it for 2 minutes without stirring. Turn the heat up high, add the lamb, the rest of the base curry sauce and the lamb cooking stock. Cook this rapidly until the sauce thickens somewhat.

Reduce the heat to low, stir in the yoghurt and half of the coriander leaves. Serve with a generous squeeze of lime, the remaining coriander leaves and a few slices of chilli.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Easy Lamb Bhuna on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 1 kilo lamb, on the bone
 2 large onions
 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
 10 green cardamom pods
 10 black peppercorns
 1 tbsp cumin seeds
 1 tbsp coriander seeds
 5 cms cinnamon stick
 1 tsp mace
 3 bay leaves
 2 tbsp paprika
 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
 half a tsp salt
 1 tbsp garam masala
  water, to cover
 800 grams pre-cooked lamb
 250 ml lamb stock
 500 ml base curry sauce
 1 small onion
 ¼ red bell pepper
 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) stalks
 125 ml tomato puree
 2 tbsp mixed powder (or curry powder)
 2 tbsp tandoori masala (or garam masala)
 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
 3 tbsp ghee or rapeseed (canola) oil


Salt and black pepper to taste. Garnishes: 1 lime, quartered, small handful coriander (cilantro), finely chopped, small red chilli, sliced.

4 tbsp curry powder, 3 tbsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, paprika, and 1 tbsp garam masala. Mix all ingredients together, store in airtight container.

3 tbsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, 2 tbsp each, ground ginger, garlic powder, dried onion powder, amchoor (dried mango powder). 1tbsp black mustard seeds, 5cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick, 3 bay leaves, red food colouring. Dry-roast all whole spices, grind in spice mill, mix with other powder ingredients and food colouring.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 6 
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.