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Railway Curry

This is an ambitious recipe for those who are custom to using a lot of spices, but do not be deterred! It’s a great recipe and after a try you’ll see how easy it is and well worth it! This recipe is from our chef Sumayya Usmani who lives in Scotland, but is originally from Pakistan. Enjoy!


Serves 6

500g lamb shoulder with bones, cut

into medium pieces

600ml water

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp ghee

2 red onions, cut into half moons,

skins reserved for stock

1 tsp each of garlic purée and

grated ginger

8–10 fresh curry leaves

salt, to taste

50g tamarind pulp or 50g of tomato purée

50g scant

¼ cup coconut milk

For the railway curry garam masala

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

2.5cm cinnamon stick

6–7 cloves

4–5 green cardamom pods

1 tsp black peppercorns

1–2 dried red chillies

To garnish

handful of fresh tender coriander

(cilantro) leaves with stems, chopped

1 green chilli, chopped


1. For the garam masala, grind all the spices in a spice grinder then set aside.

2. Put the meat into a large saucepan with the water and any onion or garlic skins and bring to the boil.

3. Cook until the meat is tender, then remove the pan from the heat and take the meat out the pan and reserve. Set the stock aside.

4. Heat the oil and ghee in a large wok-style pan with a lid over a medium heat.

5. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown.

6. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the raw garlic smell disappears.

7. Add the curry leaves and allow to splutter, then add 1 tablespoon of the ground masala and stir-fry until everything is combined.

8. Add a few splashes of the reserved stock if the spices start to burn. When the oil starts to rise, add the stock, meat and salt, then reduce the heat to low, partially cover with the lid and cook for 10–15 minutes until all the oil rises to the top of the curry.

9. Add the tamarind or tomato purée and stir until well combined.

10. Add the coconut milk and simmer over a very low heat for 5 minutes until hot.

11. Garnish with chopped green chillies and coriander and serve with naan, rice or even baked potato.


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