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Lamb Kalya with yogurt and cream

Lamb Kalya with yogurt and cream

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It was an early start with this Lamb Kalya with Yogurt and Cream. Both my boys are now home for the holidays, that means loads of cooking and eating.

Lamb Kalya with Yogurt and Cream

My middle son already messaged to ask what I was cooking before I had breakfast. As soon as he entered home this morning, he says “I’m starving”.

You would think they are never fed. It is a cool day in JHB so I thought a curry would be a good choice.

I haven’t made this Lamb Kalya with yogurt and cream in a while and I thought he would appreciate a good curry.

Cooking the Lamb Kalya with Yogurt and Cream

Lamb Kalya with yogurt and cream is a rich, spicy and creamy dish. Whenever I cook it my kids absolutely devour it. It is so full of flavour with succulent, tender lamb pieces.

It does require a lot of spices but it is one of the simplest dishes to cook. For the Lamb Kalya you marinate the lamb with all the spices.

You have to allow it to simmer on a low heat for a long time until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. It really isn’t one of those dishes to fuss over.

I love cooking it. I prefer using cubes of lamb leg because it has minimal bone and my kids prefer the little chunky pieces of lamb in this dish.

The yogurt and cream gives the gravy that added richness and makes this dish all the more tantalising. It is best served with Naan Bread or Rice.

I think this dish could work great cooked in a slow cooker as well. Especially if you are working, you can pop it all in  the slow cooker and let it cook for a few hours.

As always I recommend freshly roasted and ground spices. If you wish you can also fry you onion beforehand and add it to the marinated meat.

More of my Lamb Recipes:

Lamb Pilaf

Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney (South African Recipe)

Lamb Pasta Bake

Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Lamb Kalya with yogurt and cream

Aromatic and delicious slow-cooked lamb in a rich yogurt and cream sauce
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword iindian curry, lamb curry, lamb in yogurt and cream, lamb kalya
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4


Marinating the Lamb

  • 1 kg lamb pieces preferably the leg
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 2 tspn kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp masala
  • 2 tspn ground cumin/jeera
  • 1/2 tspn ground soomph/fennel
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • 1 tspn ground coriander/dhania
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 50 gram tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Handful of mint leaves chopped

Cooking the Kalya

  • 2 tbsp butter ghee
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 black cardamom/elachie
  • 4 green cardamom/elachie
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream (optional)


  • Marinate the lamb with all the spices, salt, yogurt, mint, ginger/garlic, tomato paste, lemon juice and mint. Refrigerate overnight or for an hour.
  • In a large pot heat the butter ghee. Add the fennel seeds and once it splutters add the whole spices, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, black cardamom and green cardamom. Fry until fragrant
  • Add the curry leaf, onion, thyme and green chillies. Fry until onion is golden brown
  • Add the marinated meat. Season with salt and bring to a boil
  • Lower the heat, cover and simmer. After 45 minutes add the fresh cream (if using) and simmer further until meat is tender and gravy thickens.
  • In between cooking you can add a little water if you prefer for more gravy
  • Serve with rice or naan bread


  1. You can fry some potatoes and add it to the curry if you prefer
  2. You can also add boiled eggs
  3. If you are short on time you don't have to marinate your meat for a long time, however marinating overnight does allow all the flavours to really get into the meat
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Saturday 14th of May 2022

Hi there please can you give me quantity of spices for lamb kalya for R600 worth of lamb .I did not check the kg your help will be really appreciated


Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

Hi Lorraine

You share the best recipes ever. I am trying this recipe today and know it will be devine:)


Thursday 3rd of February 2022

Hello there Lorraine:

Tried this recipe and it was delicious. I have also tried many other recipes and I'm never ever disappointed. Thank you for this site and sharing your recipes. It's a real delight.



Friday 4th of March 2022

Thank you so much for the kind feedback Barbara. I am so glad you're enjoying the recipes:-)


Monday 16th of August 2021

I prepared lamb kalia this weekend. it wa amazing. my family loved. Thank you Loraine.


Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Thank you so much Shakila. Happy to hear it was a success:-)


Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Hi Lorraine. Everyone loved the dish! Thank you so much once again!


Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Thank you so much for the feedback Zarina, much appreciated:-)

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