In Hindi, achar means pickle. Lamb achari is a very popular Punjabi curry made with the spices often used to make pickles such as the panch poran and dried chillies used in this recipe.
The sweet flavour of the mango chutney and sourness in the lime pickle give this curry a well rounded flavour loved by so many.
You could use other main ingredient instead of lamb. It is called achari, after all because of the pickling ingredients in the sauce. Try this lamb achari recipe, substituting chicken or even tofu for a veggie option.
It is important when cooking a sauce in this way that you don’t burn those spices.
If it looks like they are burning, take your pan off the heat immediately and add something to cook it down like the chopped onions.
As long as you follow the lamb achari instructions below, this shouldn’t happen but keep an eye out. Burnt spices taste bitter.
If you like this authentic lamb achari recipe, you might like to try these lamb curries too.
This spice blend of pickling spices is what makes the dish what it is!
Lightly brown the onions or just cook until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and ginger.
In go the ground spices and tomatoes.
The meat needs to cook until tender.
Add just enough water to cover and simmer into a tasty sauce.
Add the sliced onions, lime pickle and smooth mango chutney.
Whisk in the yoghurt and finish with the fenugreek, salt to taste, lemon juice and garam masala.
Ready to serve!
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For best results, please don’t rush things. If your lamb is not super tender, it’s not ready. Cook it until it is deliciously tender and you will love this easy curry.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour5 minutes
4 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon panch poran
2 dried Kashmiri chillies – split lengthwise and seeds removed
2 onions – finely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
2 birds eye chillies – finely chopped
200ml ( 3/4 cup) chopped tinned tomatoes
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoons red chilli powder
750g (1 ½ lbs.) leg of lamb, fat removed and cut into bite sized pieces with bone
1 generous tablespoons lime pickle
1 generous tablespoon smooth mango chutney
4 tablespoons plain natural yogurt
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek (methi) leaves
1 teaspoon garam masala
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is visibly hot, add the panch poran and dried Kashmiri chillies. The panch poran will begin to crackle as the spices release their flavour into the oil. Toss in the finely chopped onions and fry until soft and translucent. A sprinkle of salt will help release moisture from the onions and cool down the pan.
Add the garlic/ginger paste and chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds, while stirring continuously. Pour in the tomatoes followed by the ground spices. It will sizzle and bubble but don’t be tempted to stir unless it is obviously burning to the pan. Be sure to scrape any caramelised sauce from the side of the pan into the sauce for additional flavour.
Add the meat and just enough water or stock to coverand simmer over medium heat until the meat is tender. About 30 - 40 minutes.
Spoon in the mango chutney and lime pickle and sliced onions. Then add the yogurt one tablespoon at a time. You need to stir continuously so that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.
To serve, swirl in the dried fenugreek leaves and check for seasoning, adding salt to taste. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and garnish with the fresh coriander.
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