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Lamb and Cabbage Curry

Lamb and Cabbage Curry

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This recipe definitely brings back memories of home. My mum really is the expert at cooking lamb dishes. She always cooked us a Mutton and Cabbage curry, only I turned it into a Lamb and Cabbage Curry.

Lamb and Cabbage Curry

Lamb and Cabbage Curry in a white bowl

As you should know by now I don’t eat red meat but I still cook it for my boys. The little one was not too chuffed about the cabbage but he ate it. 

This was one of my favorite things to eat, when I did eat lamb. I love the flavors in a lamb curry with the tender pieces of lamb falling off the bone. 

You will note that this Lamb and Cabbage Curry is cooked very similar to my Durban Lamb Curry. The only real difference is the addition of the cabbage.

For this dish you do need some meat on the bone, it’s where you get the best flavors. My mum always used the ribs together with other pieces.

If I was cooking it for myself I would prefer meat on the bone. It was cooked for fussy kids so I didn’t add too much meat on the bone.

I added just a few pieces for the sake of flavor. At least that went down well.

How to cook Lamb and Cabbage Curry

Firstly, we live at high altitude so everything here takes a lot longer to cook. I did cook the lamb for an hour before I added the cabbage. 

The curry was then cooked for an additional 15 minutes. If I added potatoes it would have probably taken much longer.

With any curry always remember low and slow. A good curry can never be rushed. Sometimes I take shortcuts but I know it’s not going to be the best.

Like all curries you start with a base of oil and onion. In this instance I added some whole spice. You then cook out your ginger and garlic paste.

Nothing worse than having the raw taste of ginger and garlic in your food. The spices must be cooked for a bit and when adding your protein to the spices you also cook it for a while.

This way you are guaranteed to have the flavors infuse into the meat. Only once it has cooked with the spices for a few minutes you then add your tomatoes and whatever else.

Sometimes I don’t care if I have curry leaf in my fridge or not. But this is one time I don’t make the exception. I think any good lamb curry needs the curry leaf.

Maybe I am being crazy but I want my kitchen to smell like I am cooking a lamb curry and only the curry leaf tells me that…haha!

It is always best to roast your spices and grind them yourself. It makes a huge difference to the taste of your Indian food. 

I often get asked what is a Masala and Garam Masala. I will explain again. Masala is a South African blend of spices. For the convenience most Indian homes have their favorite Masala.

Masala starts with a base of Chilli Powder, followed by adding other ground spices. Therefore you may not require other spices in your curry if you have a good masala.

Garam Masala is also a blend of spices, minus the chilli powder. It is a warming spice that’s usually added at the end of cooking, for that extra burst of flavor.

Here in South Africa we add it at the beginning of our cooking process, with all the other spices. Especially if we are cooking the South African way.

If you do not have masala you can increase the amount of chilli powder and add a teaspoon of cumin and coriander to your curry.

If you’re not into curries why not try this Lamb and Cabbage Stew by Emeril Lagasse.

This recipe is totally delicious and I hope you love it. Please drop me a comment and a star rating if you do try the recipe. It is always appreciated.

More Durban Recipes to try:

Spicy Durban Chicken Curry

Lamb Biryani

Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney

Lamb and Cabbage Curry

A South African Indian dish that's become a favorite
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword lamb and cabbage curry, mutton and cabbage curry, south african indian curries
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 700 gram lamb
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 star aniseed
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 2 sprigs curry leaf
  • 3 roma tomatoes skin removed and blended
  • 2 tbsp masala
  • 2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • salt


  • Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and star aniseed to the oil and fry until fragrant
  • Add the onion and saute until golden brown. Add the curry leaf and ginger/garlic paste and saute for a minute
  • Add the masala, chilli powder, turmeric, fennel and garam masala. Cook the spices for 2 minutes, add a few drops of water if required
  • Add the lamb and allow it to cook with the spices for 5 minutes, on low heat. Do not cover the pot
  • Add the pureed tomatoes, season with salt. Cover and simmer for an hour or until the lamb is tender. If the lamb needs further cooking add another quarter cup of water and cook further
  • Add the cabbage and cook for about 10-15 minutes
  • Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rice or roti


  1. If you do not have masala you can increase the amount of kashmiri chilli powder and add a teaspoon of cumin and coriander
  2. The lamb ribs works best for this curry, however you can choose to use whatever you prefer
  3. If you are not living at high altitude your curry may take a shorter amount of time to cook
  4. You can also add potatoes to the curry if you wish
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Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Another recipe success

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