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British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Pre-Cooked Meat

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Pre-cooked lamb

British Indian restaurant pre-cooked meat

British Indian restaurant pre-cooked meat

Whether the restaurant is a low cost Indian takeaway or an upmarket British Indian restaurant, the chefs will normally cook meat before service so that it is tender and ready to use.

The reason for this is simple… if they didn’t do it, it would take too long to serve their delicious curries. Pre cooked lamb is essential in many of my lamb recipes to make things quick and easy and makes the taste amazing.

Lamb, goat and most hooved game for example require about an hour and a half to cook. If you don’t cook this meat long enough, it will be tough and your curry will fail to impress.

These animals need a lot of exercise so their meat is naturally tough. My pre cooked lamb recipe tells you exactly what to do so your meat is succulent.


Beef and veal on the other hand can cook in about 40 minutes to an hour. Cows are quite lazy after all.

Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Use the meat when it is easy to eat and you will be much happier with the end result.

I used to prepare my pre-cooked meat the way I was originally taught. I’d stew it in a little curry base sauce and/or water. This works very well.

Nowadays, however I use the following pre cooked lamb recipe which I might add is a popular way to pre-cook the meat in many restaurants. The sauce that is made from the process can actually stand on it’s own as a curry.

I prepare chicken in a different way so that my curries don’t all taste the same from using just one curry base sauce.

Cook in a kilo or so more meat and you’ve got a nice meal for the day and also lots of delicious pre-cooked meat for your other curries.

If you like this recipe for pre cooked lamb try these other recipes:

Pre cooked chicken
Railway Curry
Lamb Curry
Keralan Lamb Curry
Stir Fried Lamb
Coconut Lamb

Here is my recipes for pre cooked lamb but you could use the meat of your choice.

Making cooked lamb for curries

Ingredients you will need.

Making cooked meat for curry

Some of the whole spice you will need. Not picture is mace and cassia bark.

Making cooked lamb

Fry the whole spices in the oil. This releases their flavour into the oil.

Making cooked lamb

Frying the chopped onions in the spiced oil.

Making Indian restaurant style cooked lamb

Add the garlic and ginger paste to the onions and stir to combine.

Making cooked lamb for curry

Add the meat and the rest of the spices.

Making cooked lamb

Stir it all up.

Making cooked lamb

Add the lamb bone and just enough water to cover.

Making pre-cooked meat

Ready for using it your curries. The cooking stock is also nice added to a curry.

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British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Pre-Cooked Meat

British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Pre-Cooked Meat


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 black or 16 green cardamon pods
  • 10m whole black pepper corns
  • 1 two inch long cassia bark stick
  • 1 Piece mace
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 tablespoons ginger and garlic puree
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Kilo (2 pounds) leg of lamb cut into 1 inch size pieces - retain the bone
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons good quality mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala


  1. Heat the ghee/oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. When the oil is nice and hot, add the whole spices and stir. Be careful not to burn the spices. If you do, you will need to start over.
  3. Pour in the chopped onions and stir to coat with the oil and spices. Cook this for about five minutes before adding the garlic and ginger puree.
  4. Fry for a further then minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Now add the meat, the bone and the rest of the spices.
  6. Brown the meat for a couple of minutes and then add just enough water to cover and simmer for about one hour to one and a half hours until the meat is nice and tender.
  7. When tender, allow the meat and the sauce to cool for use in your curries.

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Brian Wright

Saturday 16th of April 2022

I always have more lamb stock ice cubes left over from the previous precooked lamb. Can these cubes be used in other meat curries, ie chicken. Also, do I add the cubes to the gravy or direct to the sauce. Thanks, Brian.

Dan Toombs

Monday 18th of April 2022

Thanks for your message. Yes, you can use the lamb stock in whatever curry you like. I am sure it would add excellent flavour. Dan

Joseph Nicholas

Monday 4th of October 2021

I recently bought a case of square cut lamb shoulders. I was just wondering what the best way to pre cook this meat would be- should I separate as much of the muscle and I can from the bone and cut that into the appropriate size, then pull the smaller bits of the meat off the bone after it is done simmering?

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Yes use my pre cooked meat recipe as you suggest and pull the tender meat off the bone when cooked. Thanks Dan


Sunday 20th of June 2021

You don't actually mention ANY timing on precooking the lamb?

How do your website's users know how long it's supposed to cook for?

Dan Toombs

Monday 21st of June 2021

Not really sure what you mean as the instructions in step 6 in the recipe state to cook it for 1 - 1/2 hours or until tender. If that is not clear please let me know. Thanks Dan


Monday 26th of April 2021

I love your site! As a Dutch man who has lived in the UK I sorely miss a good beer and curry night. Last weekend I made base gravy for 60 meals, froze half. With the rest I made Lamb Rogan Josh and Lamb Saagwala, both with pre cooked lamb neck fillet, a prawn madrass, chicken tikka and a garlic chicken curry. Made tandoori style chicken in the oven, and charred it a bit under the grill. All dishes came out fantastic and I'll be eating like a king for ages.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Great to know and I am glad you are able to replicate the dishes you enjoyed in the UK. Thanks Dan


Friday 23rd of April 2021


I'm planning on making this soon, and was wondering if it will work with lamb neck fillet, as I have 2 kg of this in my freezer. Would the cooking time be the same?

Greetings from the Netherlands.

Dan Toombs

Sunday 25th of April 2021

Yes, I think this would work with neck fillet. Just cook it for a bit longer until it is tender as I think it will need a lot of cooking but will taste good. Thanks Dan

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