You can add the main ingredient of your choice to this achari curry sauce.
This achari sauce recipe is a downscaled curry house portion of the lamb achari from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’. I have scaled it down to a curry house portion for my blog.
In Hindi, achar means pickle. 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 the well-rounded flavour loved by so many.
Making Lamb Achari or achari sauce
Are you ready to make a lamb lamb achari that is just as good if not a lot better than those served at the best curry houses? Look no further than this lamb achari recipe!
This is how it’s done. I know because I learned to cook British Indian restaurant style curries at top curry houses all over the UK.
I would like to make it really clear here that although I added lamb to this achari sauce recipe, you can add the main ingredient of your choice.
Just like when you go out for a curry to order an achari curry.
On the menu, you will have a selection of main ingredients to choose from such as tandoori chicken, paneer, prawns… Make the curry you want using the achari sauce recipe below and add whatever you like to it.
This lamb achari recipe is from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’ where I go into detail about how to make the different ingredients used in curry house curries. Below are a few short ingredient explanations and substitutes.
Garlic and Ginger Paste: This can easily be made by blending equal amounts of garlic and ginger with just enough water to make a paste. Garlic and ginger paste can also be purchased in jars and as frozen cubes. You could also finely cut your garlic and ginger.
Tomato Puree: This is simply a thin tomato puree. To make it, you could just blend some tinned tomatoes. You could also mix 1 part thick tomato paste with three parts water. Another option is to use unseasoned passatta.
Mixed Powder: This is a special blend of spices used at most curry houses. It is essentially just a fancy curry powder. You can easily make your own mixed powder for this lamb achari recipe. Here’s my recipe. Or you could also just use a good quality shop bought curry powder.
Base Curry Sauce: This is the secret ingredient behind curry house curries. It is super easy to make. Once made, you can cook everything from the mildest kormas to the spiciest phalls with it. Here is my recipe.
Make this lamb achari recipe your own…
As I mentioned above, you could substitute other main ingredients for the lamb. That is only one way of making this achari sauce your own though.
Making delicious Indian food is all about tasting as you go. Try the sauce. Would you like it spicier/less spicy? Is there enough garlic for you? How about the sour flavour? Feel free to play with the recipe and you will make a curry that is suited exactly to your personal preferences.
You might know that curries get better after a day in the fridge. The flavours develop as they get to know each other. This lamb achari curry can be made one or two days ahead of serving.
Then all you need to do is heat it up to serve.
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1/2 tbsp panch poran
- 2 Kashmiri dried red chillies
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 - 2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
- 70mll (¼ cup) tomato purée
- 1 tbsp mixed powder
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 300ml (1 ¼ cups) base curry sauce
- 1 tbsp lime pickle
- 1 – 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
- ½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori
- ½ tsp garam masala
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt, to taste
- finely chopped coriander
- (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium–high heat. When
the oil is visibly hot, add the panch poran and Kashmiri chillies. The panch poran will begin to crackle as the spices release their flavour into the oil.
- Toss in the sliced onion and fry until soft and translucent. A sprinkle of salt will help release moisture from the onion and cool down the pan.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste and bird’s eye chillies and
fry for a further 30 seconds while stirring continuously.
- Pour in the tomato purée followed by the mixed powder, ground coriander, chilli powder and 250ml (1 cup) of the base curry sauce. 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 caramelized sauce from the side of the pan into the sauce for additional
- This is a good time to add the main ingredient of your choice. Or, you could just continue on with the recipe and add a main ingredient when you heat it back up.
- Stir in the lime pickle and mango chutney (if using), then add the yoghurt 1 tablespoon at
a time. You need to stir continuously so that the yoghurt doesn’t curdle.
- Swirl in the dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) and
garam masala and season with salt. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and garnish with the coriander (cilantro) to serve.