This Moroccan-inspired Braised Lamb Curry may end up being one of my favorite recipes we’ve shared on Well Seasoned ever. It is total comfort food, will make your home smell amazing, and is insanely delicious! I still can’t get over the flavors in this dish.
Here’s why we love it so much:
- Tender braised lamb shoulder! We’re talking melt in your mouth, tastes like it’s been cooking for hours and hours braised lamb. So unbelievably tender!
- Warm, fragrant spices! Curry powder and ground cardamom are the stars of this lamb curry recipe. Coupled with familiar aromatics like garlic and onions, they transform this easy-to-make curry into something otherworldly.
- Sweet and savory! This is perhaps its greatest feature: this curry is both sweet and savory, with just the right amount of spice. The sweetness comes from prunes and golden raisins, which soak up the braising liquid.
Speaking from personal experience, it’s hard to stop after one helping. It’s hearty enough to enjoy on its own, but can also be served over white or basmati rice if preferred. A winter time staple in our house!
This recipe is inspired by Moroccan lamb stew (not an Indian curry with tomatoes, cumin, and coriander) and has sweet and savory components. Here’s what you’ll need to make it at home:
- Olive oil: To sauté the aromatics. Can use a light, neutral oil if you prefer.
- Onions and garlic: Sautéed until softened, then flavored with warm spices.
- Ground spices: curry powder and ground cardamom (which stems from the ginger family). The curry powder is the base flavor profile in our lamb curry, with just a hint of cardamom throughout.
- Boneless lamb shoulder: This cooks up to be incredibly tender. If you can only find it bone-in, simply cut off and remove the bones. Alternatively, you can use leg of lamb sliced thinly or cubed into bite-size pieces.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: To season everything!
- Mint and cilantro: These fresh herbs add so much brightness to the dish!
- Dried fruit: we’re using prunes and golden raisins, but dried apricots work well too.
- Yukon gold potatoes: We love the creamy texture that Yukon golds have, while also maintaining their shape.
We recommend a large Dutch oven to make the braised lamb curry in, but any large pan with deep sides and a tight fitting lid will be fine.
Easy, One Pot Lamb Curry
There’s a lot of hands off cook time in this lamb curry recipe, so be sure to read through the timing in advance.
- Sauté the aromatics in warm spices. That’s the onion and garlic, which cook in curry powder and ground cardamom.
- Brown the lamb shoulder. Add lamb, then season with salt and pepper. Saute and brown on all sides.
- Add remaining ingredients. Next, add liquid (either stock or water), fresh herbs (chopped mint and cilantro leaves), and the various dried fruits. Bring the mixture to a boil, then scatter the potatoes on top. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the potatoes (this will help everything steam!), then secure a lid and cook until tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
What you’re left with is fork-tender pieces of lamb, cubes of potato that have soaked up all the delicious flavor and juices from the meat and spices, and enough food to feed a small army.
If you can find lamb stew meat at your local store, that will work great! It’ll be either lamb shoulder or leg of lamb, cut into bite-size pieces. We prefer shoulder for this recipe (and go out of our way to find it), but leg of lamb is another great option for stews. As pictured above, we buy a whole, boneless lamb shoulder, then cut it ourselves.
We haven’t tested it and wouldn’t know the exact cook time to share. You’d be better off looking for a specific lamb curry recipe that’s written for a pressure cooker or slow cooker.
This isn’t a traditional Indian curry. Those can often feature spices like garam masala, cumin, turmeric, amongst others. This is inspired by a hearty Moroccan lamb stew. The curry powder has a dominant flavor throughout.
How To Serve Lamb Curry
- Like a bit more acidity? You can finish the tender lamb with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving!
- Don’t have cardamom? Consider substituting with a similar spice, such as allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon.
- No golden raisins? Use apricots or dried currants.
- Can’t find prunes? Chopped dates will add a similar sweetness.
If you love cooking sweet and savory dishes with prunes as much as we do, be sure to check out our flanken ribs recipe!
This is truly one of the best recipes we’ve posted, and we cannot wait for you to discover how tender and flavorful lamb shoulder can be. Ugh, it’s just so good!
If you make this easy Lamb Curry recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More lamb recipes to try!Juicy Grilled Lamb Shawarma with Onions Slow Roast Leg Of Lamb (For Passover or Easter) Loaded Greek Fries with Ground Lamb and Feta Juicy Smoked Leg of Lamb Recipe Tender, Juicy Sous Vide Lamb Chops
Tender Braised Moroccan Lamb Curry
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or light neutral oil
- 2 large sweet onions finely chopped
- 5 medium garlic cloves thinly sliced, about 2-3 Tbsp
- 3 Tbsp curry powder
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 3-4 lbs boneless lamb shoulder cut thinly ¼-½" thick slices, see note below
- 2 tsp Kosher salt divided
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp mint finely chopped,plus more for serving
- 2 Tbsp cilantro finely chopped, plus more for serving, optional
- 1 cup prunes
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 – 1½ lbs Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled, quartered or cut into bite-size pieces
- Sauté the aromatics. Heat a large Dutch oven (or other large pan) over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, then stir in 2 chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes. Add 5 cloves thinly sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add 3 Tbsp curry powder and ½ tsp ground cardamom, then stir until thoroughly mixed. Continue cooking an additional 5-7 minutes.
- Add the lamb meat. Place the cubed lamb meat into the pot, then season with 1½ tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Cook undisturbed for the first 3-5 minutes, then stir and continue cooking an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients. Pour in 1 cup of water, then add 2 Tbsp chopped mint, 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 cup prunes, and ¼ cup golden raisins. Stir well. Scatter the cubed potatoes on top, then bring to a boil.
- Braise the lamb. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then place a piece of aluminum foil directly on top of the ingredients. Secure with a tight fitting lid, then cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the lamb is fork-tender and the potatoes and soft.
- Garnish, then serve. Give the curry a good stir, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed, using the remaining salt if desired. Serve immediately with additional mint and/or cilantro on top!
- Nutrition facts do not include rice.
- Lamb: If you can only find bone-in lamb shoulder, simply cut, remove, and discard the bones. Alternatively, you can use lamb leg sliced thinly or cubed into bite-size pieces about ¾-1″ in size . Both lamb shoulder and leg of lamb are sometimes sold already cubed and labeled as “lamb stew meat.”
- Leftovers: will keep in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: allow curry to cool completely to room temperature, then transfer to a large Ziplock bag or other freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: From a fridge, reheat leftovers in a microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring once halfway through or reheat on a stovetop in a saucepan over medium heat. From frozen, either defrost overnight in a refrigerator, then reheat in a microwave or on a stovetop, or place frozen in a small saucepan and reheat over medium heat, stirring as needed, until defrosted and warm.
Recipe inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.