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Lamb Achari

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I love this authentic lamb achari recipe!

This has to be one of my all time favourite lamb curries. I must make it every month and it always goes down a treat at my house.

In my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’, I featured a curry house style version of this lamb achari. Although I love that too, this authentic Punjabi version is the hands down winner. In this recipe post, you will see how it’s made with step by step photographs. 

Lamb Achari

What is lamb achari?

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.

Can you use other meats in this curry?

Yes you can but I think lamb and beef are the best options. Lamb is of course the Punjabi Indian version where beef is very popular in Pakistan but they use lamb or mutton too.

Chicken is also often added as the main protein and it will work in this recipe too. 

Do you have to use meat on the bone?

No. You can use boneless lamb, mutton or beef. I like to use meat on the bone because it add flavour to the sauce. If you prefer boneless meat, go for it!

What is panch phoran?

This is made with equal parts, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds and black mustard seeds. If you have these spices on hand, you can easily make it yourself.

It is also available, ready made at most Asian grocers and online.

Is lamb achari spicy?

It can be. Then again, it doesn’t need to be. You are in control of how much chilli goes into your achari sauce. Use the recipe as a guide but also be guided by what you know you like. 

I use a very hot lime pickle when I make my lamb achari because I love the spiciness. Be sure to taste as you go.

How long can you store lamb achari in the fridge?

You can keep this curry, covered tightly in the fridge for about three days, perhaps longer depending on the freshness of your ingredients. In fact, the flavours will develop as it sits in the fridge and your curry will be even better.

To reheat it, just pour it all into a pan and heat it over a medium-high heat. You can also place it in your microwave.

Can you freeze this curry?

You sure can. This is a delicious curry to have on hand so do it! I recommend freezing before adding the yoghurt though. The yoghurt can be added when you defrost and reheat it.

If you happen to have leftovers that have yoghurt in, you can freeze that too. There really isn’t enough yoghurt in the curry to worry about. Generally speaking, yoghurt doesn’t freeze well.

Top Tips.

  1. Fresh ingredients: Use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. You’ll be happy you did.
  2. Let it cook!: Many people try to rush the cooking process. That meat is ready when it’s tender. Don’t serve it before it is. 
  3. Taste and adjust: Always taste the curry as it cooks. You can then add more or less of the different ingredients so that it is perfect for your taste preferences.


Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for the curry

Get all of your ingredients prepared and at the ready before you start cooking.

Tempering the spices and dried chillies in the oil in the pan.

Temper the panch phoran in the oil with the dried Kashmiri chillies for about 40 seconds.

Adding the chopped onions to the pan.

Add the finely chopped onions and fry until soft and translucent. A sprinkle of salt will help release moisture from the onions.

Adding the garlic and ginger paste and the chopped chillies to the pan.

Add the garlic/ginger paste and chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.

Adding chopped tomatoes and ground spices to the pan.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the ground spices.

The onion base in the pan.

Stir everything well to combine. It should look a bit like this.

Adding the meat to the pan.

Now add the meat and stir well to combine. You want the meat to be completely coated with the onion mixture.

Simmering the meat and adding lime pickle and mango chutney to the pan.

Add enough water to cover and bring to a simmer until the meat is tender. Then add the lime pickle and mango chutney.

Adding yoghurt to the pan.

Reduce down until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce. Then stir in the yoghurt and add the kasoori methi.

Lamb Achari

Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with the coriander (cilantro). Squeeze lemon juice over the top at the table.

lamb achari


If you like this lamb achari recipe, you might like t0 try some of these too.

Beef Biryani
Chicken Biryani
Chickpea Biryani
Chicken Karahi
Lamb Korma
Shami Kebab
Aloo Gobi
Lamb Nihari
Chapli Kebabs
Lamb Seekh Kebabs
Staff Chicken Curry
Butter Chicken
Chicken Haleem
Tarka Dal
Pilau Rice
Chicken Tikka Masala
Grilled Lamb Chops
Lamb Tikka
Spicy Kashmiri Lamb Chops


Have you tried this lamb achari recipe?

If so, please give it a star rating in the comments below and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

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Yield: 4

Lamb Achari

Lamb Achari
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 4 tbsp rapeseed (canola), ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp panch poran
  • 2 dried Kashmiri chillies – split lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 onions – finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 birds eye chillies – finely chopped
  • 200ml ( 3/4 cup) chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder (more or less to taste)
  • 750g (1 ½ lbs.) leg of lamb, fat removed and cut into bite sized pieces with bone
  • 1 generous tbsp lime pickle
  • 1 generous tbsp smooth mango chutney
  • 4 tbsp plain natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek (methi) leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander


  1. 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 its flavour into the oil.
  2. Toss in the finely chopped onions and fry until soft and translucent. A sprinkle of salt will help release moisture from the onions.
  3. Add the garlic/ginger paste and chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes followed by the ground spices. Stir it all well to combine.
  5. Add the meat and just enough water or stock to cover and simmer over medium heat until the meat is tender. About 30 - 40 minutes.
  6. Spoon in the mango chutney and lime pickle. Then add the yogurt one tablespoon at a time. You need to stir continuously so that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.
  7. To serve, add the dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) by rubbing it between your fingers and then the garam masala. Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and garnish with the fresh coriander.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 441mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g

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Sunday 17th of February 2019

Tasted really authentic and easy to make, recommend

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Hi Lisa

Thank you very much. Much appreciated. :-)



Saturday 2nd of February 2019

Turned out perfect, great authentic taste, thank you

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Great to hear Lisa!

Thank you, Dan

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