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

Lamb Kalya with Yogurt and Cream in a silver pot

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

Lamb Kalya with yogurt and cream

Aromatic and delicious slow-cooked lamb in a rich yogurt and cream sauce
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 tspn salt
  • pinch of egg yellow food colouring
  • 3 roma tomatoes skin removed and chopped
  • Handful of mint leaves chopped

Cooking the Kalya

  • 2 tbsp solid butter ghee
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 star aniseed
  • 1 black cardamom/elachie
  • 4 green cardamom/elachie
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream


  • Marinate the lamb with all the spices, salt, yogurt, mint, tomatoes, ginger/garlic paste overnight or for an hour. Refrigerate
  • In a large pot heat the butter ghee. Add the whole spices, cinnamon stick, bay leaf. star aniseed, black cardamom and green cardamom. Fry until fragrant
  • Add the curry leaf and onion and fry until onion is golden brown
  • Add the marinated meat and bring to a boil
  • Lower the heat, cover and simmer. After 45 minutes add the fresh cream 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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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. crystal

    Hi Lorraine,
    Thank you for the Dhall Roti recipe and for the Kalya recipe. I have my Mom’s recipes but they don’t have exact quantities and the method is missing some steps. really wanted to make this for Christmas dinner this year. I have been going through tons of You Tube videos tearing my hair out because the stuff did not look like my Mum’s at all. My mum passed away and I regret not getting details from her. its always too late or too early to call home. I live in the US now. I will make a chicken Kalya with fried potatoes of course!
    So thanks again
    will let you how they turned out. Have a wonderful holiday season! Crystal

  2. Lorraine

    Hi Crystal!
    Sorry to hear about your mum. Don’t mums always make the best food. Pity you never got your mums recipes. I am glad that I could help with a recipe and I do hope it is as good as your mums. If you need any help following the recipe you are welcome to message me. Good luck with the cooking. Please do let me know how it turns out. Happy Holidays 🙂

  3. roanne

    Your recipes are so simple and so easy to follow. Your food looks delicious and i am sure i am going to attempt a few of them

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Roanne:-)

  4. Jayshree

    Hi Lorraine.. I with like to say.. I cooked ur recipe yesterday for Eid.. And it came out perfect.. My family loved it. Thy just couldn’t stop talking about ur recipe. We had it with garlic naan. It was really finger licking good.. Thank you once again..

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Jayshree! Thank you so much, so glad the recipe turned out well and your family loved it. Hope you had a lovely Eid. Take Care:-)

  5. Zarina

    Hi Lorraine.

    Your food looks absolutely delicious! Thank you ! Want to attemp the lamb kalya today. Just a quick question if you don’t mind? What is “ medium masala”? I do know of garam masala but am a tad confused wrt “ medium masala”? Really want to follow your recipe exactly, so appreciate your feedback. Thank you once again!

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Zarina! Thank you so much. Medium masala, was just referring to the strength/heat of the masala. I think I should change that so I don’t confuse people anu further. Good luck with the recipe and hope to hear how it turns out. Have a lovely day:-)

  6. Zarina

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

    1. Lorraine

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

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