Lamb and cashew nut curry

Curries make a good dinner party choice as they can be cooked ahead, leaving you to enjoy the company.


4 cm piece of fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
½ cup cashews
1/3 cup water
4 cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon white poppy seeds
50 g butter
2 onions, diced
1 kilogram lean lamb, cubed
300 ml plain yoghurt
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (optional)


  1. Put the ginger, garlic, chillies, cashew nuts and half the water in a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste. Add the cloves, cardamom, coriander and poppy seeds and enough of the remaining water to make a smooth paste.

  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and fry, stirring, until golden brown. Stir in the spice puree and fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. In a separate pan cook the lamb cubes in batches in a little vegetable oil for a few moments until evenly browned. Add to spice mixture and stir well.

  3. Beat the yoghurt with the saffron and salt, then stir into lamb and spice mixture. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about an hour. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander (if using) and simmer for another 20 – 30 minutes, until the lamb is cooked through and tender. Serve garnished with lemon slices. Serves 4 – 6.


Serve with home-made chappatis or crispy pappadums (or both), saffron rice cooked and happily warming in the rice cooker, and accompaniments such as cucumber raita (cucumber and yoghurt salad), tomato and onion salad and mango chutney.