Slow-cooked lamb curry with a rich and delicately spiced coconut curry sauce. Minimal effort with loads of flavour.
The perfect belly-warming slow-cooked curry for when the cold weather starts drawing in.

Slow cooked lamb curry in a blue bowl with rice.

I often make curries using chopped up beef or chicken, but this one is made using a whole lamb shoulder.

What is the best cut of lamb for a curry?

I recommend using Lamb that is on the bone. Using Lamb on the bone gives the curry such a wonderful flavour and, after slow cooking, you get that amazing tender fall apart meat.

Cooking the curry slowly with the meat on the bone, means you get SO MUCH flavour in the sauce.

I’m using a lamb shoulder for this recipe but you could also use a half shoulder of lamb (for a small curry), a leg of lamb or lamb shanks.

How to Make this Slow Cooker Curry

We start by searing the lamb with a little oil. If your slow cooker has a searing function like my crockpot (<– affiliate link), you can do it right in the slow cooker. If not, you can do this bit in a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. Once it’s seared on all sides, add a diced onion around the sides of the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.

Add in garlic, ginger, salt, garam masala, curry powder, paprika and cinnamon and stir together. Then add in chicken stock or lamb stock and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

6 image collage of the initial steps to make slow cooker lamb curry

Next in goes tomato puree and a little sugar, then a tin of coconut milk and 6 cardamom pods (check out the video to see my tip on sewing the cardamom pods together for easy retrieval later). Stir it all up and cook on high for about 5 hours, or low for about 8 hours.

After that time, remove the lamb and pull all the meat of the bone. Shred it with two forks. Remove the cardamom pods too.

I like to remove some of the fat from the slow cooker, and then stir in a little cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce slightly. Add the lamb back in and stir it all together.

8 image collage showing how to make slow cooker lamb curry

Serve it over boiled rice with a sprinkling of fresh coriander (cilantro) and some homemade chapatis!

Slow cooked lamb curry on top of white rice in a blue bowl

BTW, If you love this slow cooked lamb, try my slow-cooked Lamb Barbacoa carnitas.

The very first time I made this curry (about 4 years ago), I remember how quickly it was gobbled up. And when I say gobbled up, I mean practically inhaled.  Chris and I actually had to have a word with the kids about their shocking lack of table manners (both kids and table covered in curry sauce!!).

We threatened to send Gracey to finishing school – which, instead of a punishment, she found really exciting. Then we had to break it to her that she wouldn’t be going to finishing school. 

Don’t you just hate it when punishment threats backfire? Like when you threaten them with no telly, and you regret that hour of peace later on when they’re covering every carpet in the house with toys whilst yelling at each other?

She was so gutted that we ended up creating our own finishing school at home. Cue two children walking around with books on their heads and sticking their little fingers out whilst drinking pretend tea.

Slow cooked lamb curry being spooned over a bowl of rice

I thought that was going to be the end of it, until Gracey requested a ‘proper posh meal with lots of knives and forks’.  I’m such a sucker for that kind of thing, I actually agreed!

So that resulted in us making a 7-course dinner with us all dressed up to the nines, drinking wine (ok, ginger ale) and enjoying the entertainment (Lewis’ robot dancing).

Great fun, but a million times more effort than this crockpot curry.  I’ve since been much happier to put up with two grubby children and a table cloth covered in orange-coloured-sauce spots when I make it…..

The Lamb Curry Video:

YouTube video

Love a low-and-slow cooked curry?

Try these Slow Cooker Curries:

Or these hob or oven-cooked low and slow curries:

Serving Suggestions

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4.77 from 13 votes

Slow Cooked Lamb Curry Recipe

Slow cooked lamb curry with a rich and delicately spiced coconut curry sauce. Minimal effort with loads of flavour.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 People
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British, Indian


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lamb shoulder weighing approx 1.5kg (3 1/3 pounds)
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock water plus a stock cube or bouillon for gluten-free is fine
  • 400 ml tin (14 oz) of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree paste for US
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 400 ml (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 6 cardamom pods sew them together with a piece of string so you can easily fish them out later
  • 3 tbsp cornflour(cornstarch) mixed with 6 tbsp cold water

To Serve:

  • handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • boiled rice


  • Preheat your slow cooker to high.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan (or your slow cooker pot if it can be used on the hob), add in the lamb and sear until lightly browned on all sides (about 6-8 minutes).
    1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 lamb shoulder
  • Add in the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes until the onions have softened.
    1 large onion
  • Add in the garlic, ginger, salt, garam masala, curry powder, paprika, and cinnamon. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
    4 cloves garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp garam masala, 2 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Add in the stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, coconut milk, and cardamom pods.
    250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock, 400 ml tin (14 oz) of chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tsp sugar, 400 ml (14 oz) coconut milk, 6 cardamom pods
  • Stir then pour into your slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the lamb and place it on a chopping board.
  • Spoon off some of the excess fat that has risen to the top (it's a good idea to leave a bit, as it enhances the flavour of the curry). Remove the cardamon and discard.
  • If want to thicken the sauce a little, slowly pour in the cornstarch and water mixture whilst stirring – until the sauce is thick enough.
    3 tbsp cornflour(cornstarch)
  • Shred the lamb with two forks and place the meat back in the slow cooker. Give it a stir to cover in the sauce.
  • Serve over boiled rice sprinkled with some coriander (cilantro).
    handful of chopped coriander (cilantro), boiled rice


YouTube video


Can I make this curry ahead?
Yes! you can make this curry, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan until piping hot throughout.
Can I freeze this curry?
Yes – make the curry, then cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in a pan until piping hot throughout.
What cut of meat is best for lamb curry?
I’m using a lamb shoulder for this recipe as you can get so much more flavour by cooking the meat on the bone.
You could also use a half shoulder of lamb (for a small curry), a leg of lamb or lamb shanks.
Nutritional Information is per serving, without serving suggestion of rice.


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This post was first published in August 2015. Updated in September 2019 with new photos, video, tips and a couple of recipe improvements. Updated in Oct 2020 with extra info and for housekeeping reasons.

More Delicious Curry Recipes

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  1. 5 stars
    Greetings from South Australia! I came looking for a lamb recipe because I bought boneless lamb shanks marked down at the shops. I was not disappointed! I dusted the meat with flour before browning, and I think this meant the sauce was just the right consistency at the end (no cornflour slurry needed). Also, the lamb shanks were remarkably lean, so there was no need to skim any fat off the top of the sauce. I added potatoes, carrots (and peas right at the end) to bulk it out and include veggies in this amazing sauce. Thank you Nicky for a fantastic recipe!!!

  2. 3 stars
    Ok so i followed the recipe to the letter other than i used leg of lamb instead of shoulder cause its all i could get and the smell was amazing , but the taste was underwhelming , i added some balti paste and it was better but i don’t know where i went wrong , i was so gutted

  3. Can this recipe be scaled down? If I use a half leg of lamb do I use the same amount of ingredients for the sauce? Thanks