Lamb Bhuna

Lamb Bhuna Curry.  Lamb Curry on a plate with flatbreads on the side.

Lamb Bhuna

A gorgeous but easy lamb curry, full of flavour and medium heat. Bhuna is a style of curry from Northern India where it is cooked to the point of the sauce clinging to the meat, although I tend to leave quite a bit of sauce to mop up with our easy homemade flatbreads.   Add some vegetables to this curry to make it go a little further..  Potatoes work well (see separate recipe below) or add a couple of handfuls of spinach just before serving to add some green.  This easy curry recipe tastes even better made a day ahead if you can.  See below for more notes on alternative bhuna curry recipes and a bhuna recipe video so that you can see how easy it is to make. 

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 80 minutes
Method: Oven (or hob)
Heat scale: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

1-2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4cm piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
5 fat garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
10-15 curry leaves (optional)
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
10 tsps Bhuna Spice Pot
1kg lamb, chopped (neck fillet works very well) or use chicken, pork, beef, vegetables or a mixture
2 teaspoons salt
Spinach, added just before serving
Coriander, chopped for garnish


  1. Heat the oil then cook the onions until softened and translucent and starting to brown at the edges, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the curry leaves (if using) and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, dark paste.
  4. Add the Bhuna spices and cook for a minute, stirring.  
  5. Turn up the head, add the meat and salt and cook for 5 minutes. You want the meat to fry and brown.
  6. Add 250ml water and bring to a simmer.  
  7. Cover and cook gently on a low heat on the hob or on a low oven for about 80 minutes or until the meat is tender (reduce this time for chicken or vegetables).   This recipe also works so well in a slow cooker -  conversion cooking times here. 
  8. You may need to reduce the sauce - remove the lid, increasing heat to high and stir continuously until the sauce clings to the meat. 
  9. When cooked, remove from the heat then add the spinach and coriander.
  10. Delicious served with rice and our Mint and Coriander Raita and easy flatbreads.

Recipe Notes:

Make a day ahead if you can - it always tastes better on the 2nd day (see more notes below)! 

If you don't need such a large quantity, we still think it's easier just to make this big batch and freeze any leftovers for a mid week meal when time is short. 

We think this tastes best with lamb but we also have separate recipes for Chicken Bhuna, Bhuna Butter Chicken and Lamb and Potato curry (also called Aloo Ghost). Our recipes are the ideal (and easy) way to recreate your favourite Indian takeaway dishes at home. 

Lamb Slow Cooker Curry also works extremely well and this lamb recipe will take 8-10 hours on low, so best overnight. For more tips on using a slow cooker with our recipes, check out our blog post about slow cooker curry recipes.

Cooking your Lamb Curry the day before - our top tips

We suggest cooking your Bhuna curry the day before you would like to eat it.  This is not essential, but somehow the flavours have properly mingled and the depth of flavour is incredible.  There are a few top tips to cooking your lamb curry the day before:

Although we say that the meat should be very soft and tender in the method, if you are going to reheat the next day, you should make sure that it is JUST ready or even could do with a TINY bit more cooking.   Heating it up on the day you are going to eat it will finish off the cooking process completely.

Make sure there is enough liquid to cope with a reheat. If it's looking very dry when you go to reheat, perhaps add 100ml of stock to allow it to stay moist whilst cooking.  Or if you think it's too 'saucy', leave the lid off for some of the time to reduce the sauce.

Add any final touches to your curry after you have reheated on the day of eating - i.e if you are adding any additional greenery like spinach or garnishing with coriander.

Check your seasoning again before serving.


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