A fresh and flavoursome spice mix makes this curry worth every bit of effort.






Skill level

Average: 4 (90 votes)


  • 1.5 kg lamb shoulder, bone in, cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 5 cm-piece galangal (see Note), grated
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 salam leaves (see note above)
  • 600 ml coconut milk
  • 400 ml coconut cream
  • fried Asian eschalots (see Note), lontong (compressed rice cakes) (see Note), or steamed white rice and shrimp crackers, to serve

Spice mix

  • 5 long red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 10 small Asian red eschalots, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5 candle nuts (see Note), chopped
  • 2 cm-piece ginger, chopped
  • 2 cm-piece turmeric, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (see Note) or palm sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place lamb in a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil. Drain, then rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

Place spice mix ingredients in a small food processor and process to a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add spice paste. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves and salam leaves, and cook for 7 minutes or until fragrant.

Increase heat to high, then add lamb and cook for 4 minutes or until well coated in the spice paste. Reduce heat to medium, add coconut milk and 750 ml water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1½ hours or until lamb is tender.

Increase heat to medium, add coconut cream and bring to the boil. Remove and discard cinnamon and lemongrass stalks

Scatter fried Asian eschalots over curry and serve with rice cakes, cooked according to packet directions, and shrimp crackers.


Galangal is available from Asian food shops and greengrocers.

Fried Asian eschalots and candle nuts are available from Asian food shops. Candle nuts must be cooked before eating.

Lontong (compressed rice cakes) are sold as uncooked rice in individual perforated plastic packets. They are available from Indonesian food shops.

Coconut sugar is available from selected health food shops and Asian food shops.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 14, pg75.

Photography by Armelle Habib