Lamb curry with coconut milk – tender, juicy lamb chunks infused with aromatic spices in a rich curry sauce, and topped with spinach and bell peppers. Sooo finger-licking good!
If you’ve ever eaten curry dishes before, you’ll understand what the rave is all about. If you haven’t, well let me introduce you to a new favorite dish. This lamb curry with coconut milk is so moist and tender, you’ll find yourself making it very often. It is incredibly delicious and the flavors just blend together in perfect harmony in your mouth. It’s like eating a restaurant-quality meal at home!
What does lamb meat taste like?
Because lamb is from a sheep that is less than a year old, the meat is tender and milder in flavor, than from an older sheep. Some have described the taste as more earthy or “gamey” in nature. It can taste differently depending on how it is prepared. That’s what makes this recipe so great; the lamb is extremely rich and juicy because it has time to simmer and absorb the sauce and spices, making it one super tasty dish.
Lamb meat is very nutrient-dense and 100g contains zero carbs and 25g of protein. It also contains healthy fats that really help you feel full on a low carb diet. It has higher omega-3 content than most meat and is also very rich in iron.
What lamb cut should I use for curry?
There are many different lamb cuts like the neck, legs, ribs, loins, and shoulder. Some are more tender than others and some are quite pricey. The best part of a lamb to use for stewing and braising is the shoulder. Not only is this part more affordable than the others, but it becomes very moist and tender after stewing and soaks up all the rich and wonderful flavors.
Ingredients for making lamb curry
Stew lamb: By far the best cut for stewing or curry dishes. My local grocery store carries stew lamb but another option might be a butcher or meat market near you.
Vegetables used: I use just a bit of red and yellow bell peppers, onions, spinach, and garlic.
Spices: curry powder, smoked paprika, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon powder, bouillon powder, and salt. Most of these spices shouldn’t be substituted because they each give a unique flavor that when combined, present a powerful rich blend that curries are known for. Bouillon powder and cayenne pepper are the only two that can be substituted or left out entirely depending on your preference. Any other spicy pepper will work in place of cayenne pepper or you can leave it out if you don’t want it spicy.
Olive oil: Just a bit to saute the onions, garlic, ginger, and lamb meat.
Coconut milk and water: Use full-fat coconut milk and read the label to be sure there is no added sugar. A good quality unsweetened coconut milk makes all the difference. I love the Thai Kitchen brand of unsweetened coconut milk.
There is just something about making dishes in the instant pot. I like to be able to set it and walk away without having to constantly monitor the lamb to keep it from getting burned. Cooking with a pressure cooker, like the instant pot is the best way to infuse the flavors into the lamb meat and make it perfectly tender and rich in flavor.
How to prepare lamb curry with coconut milk
If the lamb meat is not already cut, cut into medium-sized chunks, wash and rinse. Chop the bell peppers, onions and garlic, and grate/crush the ginger. Turn the instant pot on and set to sauté mode. Add the olive oil and after it gets hot, add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir for about a minute, then add the lamb. Stir the lamb till it begins to brown. Add the curry powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cinnamon powder, bouillon powder, and salt. Keeps stirring till the lamb is thoroughly coated. Add the coconut milk and water and give it one more stir.
Place the instant pot lid back on and switch to manual mode. Set to 20 minutes on high pressure. Remember it will take 10 minutes to come to pressure. When done, don’t be in a hurry to quick release the pressure. Let it naturally release for at least 10 minutes so the lamb really absorbs the spices and flavors. You can quick release after 10 minutes.
Turn the instant pot back to saute mode. The lamb curry will keep simmering and getting more concentrated as the lamb continues cooking but on lower heat.
Add the bell peppers and adjust the salt if needed. I like it spicier, so I add about ½ tsp more of cayenne pepper. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes or till the bell pepper begins to soften. Add the spinach and turn off the instant pot. It’s still hot enough to continue to cook the spinach but you don’t want it to get too wilted. Allowing the curry to sit for a few more minutes will cause it to begin to thicken naturally and continue to infuse the lamb with its bold flavors.
Garnish with more spinach and red pepper flakes, if you wish, and it’s time to eat!
This recipe serves 2 and contains 7g net carbs per serving. It can be frozen and keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Alternative ways of making lamb curry
If you don’t have an instant pot, you can also make lamb curry on a stovetop or slow cooker.
Stovetop: Follow directions as above, except the lamb simmers in the sauce for 40-45 minutes. You have to keep an eye on it and stir it every 10 minutes to prevent burning. Don’t add the coconut milk till the halfway mark.
Slow cooker/crockpot: Follow the same directions as above, except that the lamb should simmer in the crockpot on low heat for 5 hours. Don’t add the coconut milk until 20 minutes to the end of the cooking time.
What can I eat lamb curry with?
The very best way to eat lamb curry on a low carb diet is to eat it with cauliflower rice. It is unbelievably delicious and it just blends perfectly.
It also goes great with roasted or grilled veggies for a delicious variety.
Expert tips on making lamb curry with coconut milk
It is very important, that you let the instant pot naturally release for at least 10 minutes. I have made it both ways, with natural release and with the quick release and there is no comparison. There is an extra dimension of flavor when the pressure is released naturally.
If you think it looks a bit watery after cooking, give it a few minutes. It will begin to thicken on its own as it cools so no need to add any thickeners.
Do not stray too far from the spices listed. You can substitute or leave out bouillon powder and cayenne pepper but the others should not be changed as they are essential to the curry taste.
Also, be careful adding extra spices not listed. The spices are very bold and strong and adding too many extra spices that don’t blend well will make it become really overpowering.
Lamb curry with coconut milk
- 1 lb stew lamb
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup onions
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ginger crushed
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp bouillon powder
- 1/2 tsp salt to taste
- Chop onions, garlic, and grate or crush ginger.
- Wash and drain the lamb. Cut into cubes if not already cut.
- Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add the olive oil.
- When it gets hot, add the onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Stir for about a minute, then add the lamb.
- Stir until it begins to brown.
- Add the curry powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cinnamon powder, bouillon powder, and salt.
- Stir for a few more minutes to thoroughly coat the lamb.
- Add the coconut milk and water and stir.
- Place the instant pot lid back on and switch to manual mode.
- Set to 20 minutes on high pressure.
- When done let natural release for at least 10 minutes and quick release the rest.
- Add bell peppers and adjust salt if needed.
- When bell peppers begin to soften, add spinach.
- Turn off the instant pot and let the curry sit for a few minutes to thicken.
- Garnish with red pepper flakes and more spinach, if you wish.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Always let the instant pot naturally release for at least 10 minutes. This gives an extra dimension of flavor to the curry.
- If you think it looks a bit watery after cooking, give it a few minutes. It will begin to thicken on its own as it cools so no need to add any thickeners.
- Do not stray too far from the spices listed. You can substitute or leave out bouillon powder and cayenne pepper but the others should not be changed as they are essential to the curry taste.
- Also, be careful adding extra spices not listed. The spices are very bold and strong and adding too many extra spices that don’t blend well will make it become really overpowering.