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Lamb Bhuna from Scratch

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Lamb bhuna from scratch that tastes just like those at the best curry houses!

I recently posted two other red meat curry house curries on my blog where the meat was cooked differently to this lamb bhuna from scratch. Those were rogan josh and also beef Madras. The way I cooked the meat in those recipes is great for this recipe too. Here I just wanted to show you another option. Choose which is most convenient for you.

You will also find links to popular side dishes for lamb bhuna.

Lamb Bhuna from Scratch

The thick sauced Lamb bhuna is perfect for mopping up with naans or chapattis.

What do you serve lamb bhuna with?

If you’d like to make this curry into a feast, you’ve come to the right place. You could just go for a side of Basmati rice or mushroom fried rice.

If you’d like to make naans, why not try one of these?  Instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans.

Want to start your lamb bhuna meal off with a bang? How about fried shop bought poppadoms or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own poppadoms from scratch and serve them with coriander chutney, red onion chutney, and/or tamarind chutney.

Which cut of meat?

You could use lamb shoulder or leg. Shoulder takes longer to cook until tender but you will achieve a richer stock.

I use lamb leg as it cooks much faster. 

Do I have to use lamb?

No! You can use the protein of your choice with this bhuna recipe. Just be aware that cooking times will vary.


Beef and chicken are both really good. You could also make this vegetarian by adding more vegetables and/or paneer. 

Step by step photographs…

Ingredients for lamb bhuna

Get all your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier in the long run.

Frying onions in frying pan

Fry one of the onions over medium high heat in 2 tbsp ghee or oil until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and ginger paste and fry 30 seconds.

Adding tomatoes to the pan

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir them in. Bring to a simmer with 125ml (1/2 cup) water or beef/lamb stock

Simmering sauce

Stir in 125ml (1/2 cup) water or unsalted beef/lamb stock. Bring to a simmer and then take off the heat to cool some.

Blending chicken tikka masala sauce

Blend the sauce until smooth. Set aside.

Adding cinnamon stick and chopped onion to pan

Wipe your pan clean and add the remaining ghee. Stir in the cinnamon stick and very finely chopped onion.

Adding meat to the pan

Fry the onion until it is beginning to turn golden brown and then add the meat.

Adding coriander and chillies to the browned meat.

Brown the meat for a couple of minutes and then stir in the chillies and chopped coriander (cilantro) stems.

Adding bell pepper, spices and water to pan

Stir in the tomato puree and red bell peppers along with the ground spices. Top with just enough water to almost cover.

Cooking the meat in the stock

Let this cook down, adding water if needed until the meat is tender. This is a dry curry so not too much water!

Adding smooth sauce to the pan.

Stir in about half of the smooth sauce mixture and continue cooking the sauce down.

Cooking the sauce down to thicken

Continue cooking until you have a really thick sauce.

Adding the remaining smooth sauce

When really thick add the remaining smooth sauce and continue cooking the sauce down.

Adding tamarind and kasoori methi to pan

Add the lemon juice and tamarind sauce. Then add the Kasoori methi by rubbing it between your fingers.

Finished lamb bhuna from scratch

When the sauce has thickened, season with salt to taste.

Lamb bhuna from scratch

Dig in!

If you like this lamb bhuna recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Chicken Tikka Masala from Scratch
Chicken Dopiaza from Scratch
Beef Madras from Scratch
Chicken Vindaloo from Scratch
Rogan Josh from Scratch
Chicken Korma from Scratch
Chicken Chilli Garlic Curry From Scratch

Yield: 4

Lamb Bhuna from Scratch

Lamb Bhuna from Scratch
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4 tbsp ghee or rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 200g tinned (canned) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 green bird's eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander (cilantro) stems, finely chopped
  • 700g (1 3/4 lbs) lamb, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 2 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp each of paprika, cumin and ground coriander
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree or passata
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chillies, sliced to garnish.


  1. Heat half of the ghee/oil in a large frying pan. When visibly hot stir in the chopped onion and fry until soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
  2. Now add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds before adding the chopped tomatoes and 125ml (1/2 cup) water or unsalted beef/lamb stock. Bring to a simmer and then take off the heat to cool some.
  3. Blend the cooled sauce until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Wipe your pan clean. No need to make it spotless! Add the remaining ghee/oil and add the cinnamon stock and the very finely chopped onion. Fry for about 7 minutes or until the onion is turning a golden brown.
  5. Add the lamb and brown it with the onion for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomato puree, chopped chillies and coriander (cilantro) along with the ground spices.
  6. Pour in just enough water to cover and simmer until the water has almost evaporated. Check the meat. If it is still tough, add a little more water and continue cooking until tender. This is a dry curry so be careful not to add too much water. Just enough!!
  7. Pour in have of the blended sauce and stir it in. Simmer a little longer until the stock is really thick and clinging to the meat. Add the remaining smooth stock and continue cooking until you are happy with the consistency.
  8. Stir in the tamarind concentrate and lemon juice. Add the kasoori methi by rubbing it between your fingers.
  9. Season with salt to taste and top with sliced red chillies to serve.

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