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Rabbit Curry

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This rabbit curry was so good and easy to make!

Rabbit meat isn’t always that easy to find where I live but when I can get it, I often make this delicious rabbit curry. This is an easy one as you only need to whip up a quick base masala and then add the rabbit meat to stew until cooked through and tender.

Rabbit has a similar flavour to chicken but I prefer it to chicken. Especially when I cook it on the barbecue until nicely charred. When I do that, I often add the grilled meat to this rabbit curry instead.

You will love the flavour that cooking the rabbit meat on the bone in the curry. Of course, you could cut the meat off the bone if you prefer but you won’t get the same depth of flavour. This rabbit curry goes very well with other curries as part of a curry feast. Don’t forget the homemade poppadoms, samosas and fried, baked or air-fried onion bhajis!


Rabbit curry

About this rabbit curry recipe

This is a family favourite which we usually take camping with us. We prepare the sauce ahead of time and then grill the piece of rabbit over the fire to add to it.

You don’t have to grill it over fire though! Your rabbit curry will be equally as delicious, but a little less smoky if you stew it as you will do from the recipe in the recipe card below.

Do you find rabbit curry in India?

While rabbit meat is not as commonly consumed in India as chicken, lamb, or goat, rabbit curry is prepared and enjoyed in some regions, particularly in parts of South India. The cuisine of South India, especially in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, incorporates a variety of meats and seafood, and rabbit is one such option.

In fact, this is a recipe that I ate quite a few times while in Kerala. It’s so good.

What should you consider when cooking rabbit curry?

  1. Marination for Flavor:
    • Marinate the rabbit pieces before cooking to enhance their flavour. A simple marinade can include ingredients like rapeseed (canola) oil, garlic, ginger, chili powder, lemon and salt is all you need.  Let the rabbit marinate for at least a couple of hours and up to 4 hours.
  2. Sear the Meat:
    • Before stewing, sear the rabbit pieces in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Searing helps lock in the juices and adds flavour through caramelization. It’s a crucial step for developing a rich taste in a rabbit curry.
  3. Choose the Right Cooking Liquid:
    • Select a flavorful liquid for stewing. In this recipe, you simply add water. A lot less common but very good is to add about 250ml (1 cup) of dry white wine. I know… wine doesn’t feature in many curries but then, not many curries are rabbit curries. Give it a try.
  4. Low and Slow Cooking:
    • Rabbit meat benefits from slow, gentle cooking to become tender. Use low to medium heat and simmer the stew rather than boiling it vigorously. Stew the rabbit until the meat is fork-tender, which may take 1.5 to 2 hours or more, depending on the size and age of the rabbit. Don’t rush this! Your rabbit curry is ready when the meat is tender!
  5. Add Vegetables at the Right Time:
    • If you’re including vegetables in your rabbit stew, add them later in the cooking process. Root vegetables like carrots and potatoes can be added about halfway through the cooking time to ensure they don’t become mushy. There are no root vegetables in the recipe below but you can definitely add them if you like.
  6. Fresh Herbs for Finishing:
    • Add fresh herbs toward the end of the cooking time for a burst of fresh flavor. Fresh coriander (cilantro) is the obvious choice but you could try parsley, thyme, or rosemary too.
  7. Check for Doneness:
    • Test for doneness by piercing the rabbit meat with a fork. It should be tender and easily pull away from the bone. Be careful not to overcook the meat or it will become stringy and not very nice.
  8. Rest Before Serving:
    • Allow your rabbit to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the flavours meld, and the meat continues to absorb the juices.

What do you serve with rabbit curry?

This is a Keralan curry and most Keralan curries are great served simply over white Basmati rice or a flavoured rice.

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for rabbit curry

Get all your ingredients together before starting. Oops, I forgot to show the chopped onions and tamarind concentrate but I’m sure you get the picture.

Scoring the rabbit pieces for better penetration of the marinade.

Score each piece of rabbit before placing the meat in the marinade.

Marinating the rabbit meat

Marinate the meat for about 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Mix it well so that the rabbit meat is completely coated with marinade.

Frying slivered garlic

Fry the garlic slivers in oil until light brown. This should only take a couple of minutes. The garlic will flavour the oil. Transfer the fried garlic to a plate and set aside. 

Frying the rabbit pieces.

Fry the rabbit pieces for a couple of minutes on each side to give it a good sear. You may need to do this in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

The seared rabbit

Your rabbit should look a bit like this once browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Adding whole spices and curry leaves to the pan

Now add the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, stir in the other whole spices and curry leaves. Add more oil to your pan if needed.

Stirring in the chopped onions to fry until soft and translucent.

Stir in the chopped onions and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Sprinkle in a little salt to assist and speed up the cooking of the onions. 

Stirring the garlic and ginger paste, chillies, ground spices and tomatoes into the pan.

Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for about 30 seconds. Then stir in the chopped chillies, ground spices and chopped tomatoes.

Returning the fried rabbit to the pan and stirring it into the onion and spice mixture.

Return the rabbit to the pan and stir it into the onion mixture.

Pouring in water or stock to cover the rabbit and simmer it.

Pour in just enough water to cover the rabbit pieces. Bring to a simmer and then cover the pan to lightly simmer for about and hour.

Reducing the stock down.

After about an hour, your rabbit should be nice and tender. There will still be a lot of liquid in the pan so take the lid off and simmer it down to thicken.

Stirring in the coconut milk and tamarind concentrate.

Stir in the coconut milk. You can add a whole can but I only added half as I like the red colour and it’s spicier too.

Serving the rabbit curry.

Season with salt to taste and serve.

Rabbit curry

Dig in!

You might also like to try one of these…

Why not make your rabbit curry into a curry feast with rice, naans and/or chapattis and another curry or two? Following are some of my favourites.

Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Chicken Changezi
Grilled butter chicken

Have you tried this rabbit curry recipe?

If you have, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. I love getting your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

Yield: 4

Rabbit Curry

Rabbit curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 rabbit – cut into six to eight pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) cassia or cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 30 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 2 onions – finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 - 3 green finger chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes – finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 - 3 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder ( to taste)
  • 200ml - 400ml thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Score the rabbit pieces a few times in each piece. Place the scored rabbit in a mixing bowl and add all the marinade ingredients. Be sure to rub the marinade right into the flesh. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 4 hours or just go straight to cooking. The longer marinating time does have flavour benefits!
  2. Pour two tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the slivered garlic until just turning a nice golden brown. This should only take a couple of minutes. Transfer the fried garlic to a plate and set aside for later.
  3. Now sear the marinated rabbit in the hot, garlic flavoured oil over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes per side or until nicely browned. You may need to do this in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan or your rabbit will steam instead of fry.
  4. Transfer the seared rabbit to a plate and set aside.
  5. Add more oil if needed and stir in the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the cumim seeds, cinnamon, cardamom pods and curry leaves. Allow these flavours to infuse into the oil for about a minute, while stirring continuously for about a minute.
  6. Stir in the chopped onions and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and ginger paste and chopped chillies and fry for a futher 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in the ground spices and chopped tomatoes. If you're not sure about the chilli powder, add a little to start and then add more to taste at the end of cooking.
  8. Return the rabbit pieces to the pan and add just enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat and then cover the pan and continue simmering slowly over a low to medium heat for about an hour.
  9. After an hour, the rabbit should be really tender. Take the lid off and simmer the sauce down over a medium-high heat to thicken it some.
  10. When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, pour in the coconut milk and tamarind concentrate. If you prefer a really creamy sauce, add all the coconut milk. If you like a spicy, not so creamy curry, only add half.
  11. Stir it all in and season with more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish with the slivered garlic and fried curry leaves to serve.


TIP: I usually take some of the fried curry leaves out of the pan and use them as a garnish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 658Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 2310mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 22g

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Friday 10th of March 2017


In #9 you are saying "pour in the wine, if using". There is no mention of wine anywhere else. Never used wine in Indian curries, so am curious. What kind of wine do you recommend and what quantity? Thanks!

Dan Toombs

Friday 10th of March 2017

Hi Rohit

Thank you for noticing. The wine is optional as it isn't used much in Indian cookery. I think it add a nice flavour to this recipe. I've fixed it now. Any dry white wine should be fine.

All the best, Dan


Saturday 12th of November 2016

How long to pressure cook rabbit for?

Dan Toombs

Friday 18th of November 2016

Hi Donna

20 minutes should do the job. To be honest I've never tried so you'll need to experiment.

Cheers, Dan

Jason Roberts

Saturday 25th of June 2016

Hi! Thanks for the recipe. I made a couple of changes so I could do it all in the crockpot. I added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of coconut milk. It was really quite nice when all was said and done. Cheers.

Dan Toombs

Friday 8th of July 2016

Thanks Jason

Really glad you liked the recipe.



Monday 25th of April 2016

I just discovered this recipe. I cook a lot of Indian dishes every week and have all of the spices . I raise rabbits and will have a litter to harvest in about 4 weeks. I will most definitely try this recipe and let you know how it turned out. I usually never follow a recipe but if I do some big variations will let you know!

Dan Toombs

Friday 8th of July 2016

That's great Rick. Look forward to hearing how it goes!



Tuesday 16th of February 2016

I just made this recipe. It was my first time cooking with rabbit. All of my children LOVED it. Thanks so much for an easy, tasty recipe. I butchered an older rabbit for this so the cooking time was greatly 3 hours, but it was worth the wait. I think next time I will increase the amount of tomatoes since those small nuggets were the second highlight of this meal. Fantastic!

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

Great to hear Mary. I do love rabbit curry especially when cooked slowly for a long time.


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