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Warli style Traditional Easy Indian lamb curry

Warli style Traditional Easy Indian lamb curry
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When one thinks about Indian food,  images of spicy, fiery red curries, complex flavours and intoxicating aromas comes to mind!! The most obvious of the dishes like tikka masala, rogan josh, madras, kormas are what most identify Indian food with. However little is known that Indian cuisine is perhaps one of the most vast and varied kind of  cuisine in the world using the most diverse range of ingredients, cooking styles, spices and flavours dependent on regional life style, weather, vegetation and culture.

Here, I am sharing with you a lamb curry recipe which although largely uses the similar Indian spices, its just the simplicity and the cooking method which makes it different than say your popular Lamb bhuna !!!

I have taken inspiration of the dish from a small tribal region of India called ‘Warli’ situated between the two large Indian states of Maharashtra ( Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra for the knowledge of our Urban dwellers) and Gujrat ( Perhaps the first Indians to migrate to the west, and most recently where the current PM hails from)

Warli or Vari tribe is an Ancient East Indian Tribe of India. Their livelihood is primarily geared towards farming, growing a single crop, usually paddy, for subsistence or gathering forest produce and dominating livestock. As a tribe they have immense respect and regards for nature and livestock , so truly Green global citizens so to say!! The Tribe is popularly know for their artistic talent with image such as the one below handsomely and proudly decorating the mud walls of their homes. The use of simple geometrical shapes and patterns has today inspired many national and international designers  for textiles and clothing, home furnishings and many more.Warli-Painting-Black-Mud-1024x457

A traditional Warli Painitng

Their food habits is also as simple as their live style. Rice, pulses, bulbs, roots, dried or fresh fish forms the basis of every day meals, while meat such as goat, pig and fowl are cooked for special occasions and festivities.

Normally the recipe uses tender cut of goat meat, but its hard to find the tropical climate goats in the Swiss mountains so I have used the obvious alternative that is lamb!! I cant take full credit for the dish as I saw it being cooked in an Indian Cookery show and I was so drawn to the way how effortless and easy this dish was. One does not need to stand over a pot stirring to ensure that masalas don’t catch the bottom of the pan or much cutting or chopping required. Although it takes roughly an hour to make it, it’s only to slow cook the lamb so that it becomes nice and tender. This is a dish that you can make in your slow cooker too! It uses simple yet powerful flavours which when mixed together with other ingredients holds it own essence. Now one thing I need to set point out is that given the regional influence of the dish, a good amount of red chilies is used in the original dish. However, I am not too keen on dishes which sets my mouth on fire and not being able to enjoy the delicacy of the ingredients so I have toned it down, but its completely up to you to adjust the potency to your  liking.

It’s exhilarating when you get inspired by recipes which forms a tradition and realise that the real good things in life is simplicity!!

Warli Style lamb curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 people

Warli Lamb Curry


    • Lamb – 1 kg ( you can also use beef if you prefer)
    • Onions 4 medium sized, cut into thin slices
    • Refined Oil
    • Fresh coriander for garnishing
For the Marinade:
    • Vegetable or Sunflower Oil – 1 tbsp. I used mustard oil
    • Turmeric Powder– 1 tbsp.
    • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp.
    • Yogurt (optional) – 3 tbsp. ( original recipe did not use it, but I used a bit as I like the sourness)
    • Salt as per taste
Dry Spice Mix to Grind :
Green Spice Mix to Paste:
  • Coriander leaves – a handful
  • Green Chillies – 2 (original recipes says 6)
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic – 8-9 pods ( reduce garlic quantity if you do not like too much of garlicky taste)
  • Any cooking oil 2 tbsp.
  • Salt as per taste


  1. Wash and clean the lamb pieces. You can use any cut of lamb you wish. I used the shoulder cut. Marinate the lamb with yogurt, red chilli powder,turmeric and oil. Keep it aside for about half an hour.Marinated-lamb-ed.-jpg
  2. While the mutton marinates, you can start preparing the other spices . In a pan dry roast all the dry spices mentioned for grinding, except garlic. You will need to roast it for about 4-5 mins only till it emits a nice aroma of the spices . Dry roasting spices brings out the depth of flavour in them.Dry-Masala
  3. Next, grind all of the spices in a grinder along with garlic. If you do not have a grinder that grinds dry spices then you can use a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder too ( remember to wash the coffee grinder well after grinding the spices to avoid a spiced coffee ???? ). Keep the spice mix aside ready to be used.Dry-masla-paste
  4. Next make a green paste with all the mentioned ingredients. You can either blend it in a hand blender, a normal blender or mortar and pestle into a course paste. Keep the paste aside.IMG_3008
  5. Its now time to start the cooking process. Heat oil and fry the sliced onions till they are transparent.Frying-Onions
  6. Now, add the dried ground spices and coriander paste. Stir for a minute to mix well and add water.Add-dry-masla-ed-1Adding-green-masla1
  7. Cook for about 6-7 mins until the oil starts to separate from the masala. Its now time to add the mutton pieces to the masala. stir well so that every piece is coated with the masala.Reducing-liquid-ed
  8. This takes us to the final step of cooking. Now simply add water about 2 and a half cup, salt to taste and cover. Cook for around 50 to 60 minutes until the lamb is tender.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with boiled rice, paranthas or chappati. Naans also go with it but its better served with the traditional breads.End-pic-ed1 (1)

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