This quick and easy Lamb Jalfrezi recipe is packed with flavor. I use boneless lamb meat and pair it with bell peppers and onions in a spicy tomato based curry sauce. Make sure you serve it with a side of naan bread for mopping up the delicious lamb jalfrezi curry sauce. Instructions are also included for slow cooking and pressure cooker.
I love Indian cuisine and an ever-popular British Indian curry house favorite is a lamb jalfrezi. You will find a variation of this recipe in virtually all British Indian restaurants.
In authentic restaurant style jalfrezi recipes the ingredients are stir fried, but I have simplified this version so you can make it simply on weeknights, no matter how busy life gets.
I take a hands off approach to cooking my lamb jalfrezi curry sauce, and cook it low and slow in the oven. What you are left with is delicious, slow-cooked tender lamb and an intensely rich tomato curry sauce.
I've also included instructions on how to cook lamb jalfrezi in the slow cooker and instant pot.
Why You'll Love This Lamb Jalfrezi
- Homemade curries are healthy! There's no excess oil, salt or sugar added in this spicy sauce.
- This lamb jalfrezi recipe can be easily adapted. If there is a spice you don't like, leave it out.
- Containing no gluten, this recipe is ideal for celiac or anyone following a gluten free diet.
- Try some of my favorite curry recipes:
Lamb Jalfrezi Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe card below.
Lamb - use a boneless cut of lamb meat. Boneless lamb shoulder or leg meat work well. You could also used diced lamb braising meat.
Spices - I use a combination of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder as well as a garam masala spice blend. If there is a spice you don't like you can leave it out.
Tomatoes - I use canned tomatoes, along with tomato paste which adds real depth of flavor to the curry sauce. Ready chopped tomatoes make this dish even easier but you could use fresh tomatoes.
Peppers - orange and red provide a nice pop of color and green peppers are also traditional in this dish. I have added some green chilli peppers for heat at the end too.
How to Make Lamb Jalfrezi - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
TO OVEN COOK
Brown boneless lamb pieces in olive oil in a large oven proof pan over a medium heat. Work in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan. Set the browned lamb aside.
Cook sliced onions in the same pan until soft and brown then add the ground spices and give them a fragrant stir.
Add sliced bell and jalapeno peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes then add minced garlic cloves and grated ginger to the pan and sauté for a minute.
Add the browned lamb back to the pan along with the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then cover the pan.
Bake in the oven for around 1½ to 2 hours or until the lamb is fork tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Start checking at 90 minutes. If the lamb is not tender enough, allow it to bake for longer, checking after 30 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and thinly sliced jalapeno pepper for extra heat.
TO COOK IN SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT
Follow all the oven cooking steps including browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables and spices in a separate pan on the stove or using the sauté function on your crockpot.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker pot, giving everything a good stir to combine. Cover with a lid and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
For maximum flavour and if you have time, don't skip the step of searing the meat as it does make a difference to the flavor of the finished dish.
TO COOK IN AN INSTANT POT
Use the inner pot and sauté function in place of the pan to follow all of the oven cooking steps until all of the ingredients are added.
Close the lid and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes (I allow 20 minutes per pound of meat). Once it has finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then release the remaining pressure via manual release.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Jalfrezi mean?
Jalfrezi is a Bengali curry, the work "jal" in Bengali means spicy or hot, and "frezi" means to fry, so a "hot-fry" dish.
Is this Easy Lamb Jalfrezi recipe authentic?
This is my easy version of a lamb jalfrezi. Jalfrezi curries contain bell peppers and onions cooked in a tomato based sauce, along with a blend of spices like ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
However, while the ingredients are similar, an authentic jalfrezi is a quick stir fry dish, and I've chosen to cook my curry a little slower.
What cut of lamb is best for curry?
I like to use boneless lamb shoulder for a curry as it has great flavor and is ideal for a slow cook curry. You could also use boneless leg of lamb, or some diced braising lamb meat.
Variations & Substitutions for Lamb Jalfrezi
- I've used diced boneless lamb, but you could use whole lamb shanks, just adjust the cooking times.
- This same jalfrezi curry sauce recipe would work well with chicken, beef or a mixture of vegetables. Ensure you adjust the cooking times depending on what you are cooking.
- If you like your curries really hot and spicy, add some extra chili powder, or some red pepper flakes.
- Add extra vegetables to the curry sauce, or stir some leafy greens like kale, spinach or chard, through the sauce and allow to wilt.
Tips & Tricks For Making Lamb Jalfrezi Curry Sauce
- If you leave this overnight in the refrigerator it will taste even better next day.
- Lamb can be somewhat fatty. If the excess fat bothers you it will also solidify on the top of the curry whilst refrigerated and you can just remove it before re-heating.
- This dish freezes well, so is great for batch cooking. I like to make double the quantity, eat half and freeze the other half for a quick meal at a later date.
- A great way to 'refresh' reheated or frozen curry is to add fresh herbs. So remember to add some fresh cilantro to the curry when you re-heat it.
- If you're in a real hurry it's fine to use ready chopped onion and ready minced garlic and ginger (either fresh or frozen) to cut down even more on prep time.
How To Serve Jalfrezi Lamb
White or brown steamed basmati rice and naan bread are both classic accompaniments to this dish. I always like to serve bread which helps mop up the curry sauce.
For something a little different try my Coconut Rice with Lime. Cauliflower rice is a great light and low carb option.
I like to add a bowl of freshly sliced red chilies to the table, that way those who like their curry on the hotter side can add to taste.
How To Reheat Lamb Jalfrezi?
Curry is a great make ahead dish and is perfect for weekly meal prep. Prepare it the day before and leave to cool before storing in the fridge.
In fact curry always tastes better the second day as the flavors intensify when left to sit overnight. When ready to eat, just put the curry back on the stove and warm up gently until piping hot.
How to Freeze Lamb Jalfrezi?
As with most curries, this homemade curry can be easily frozen. Cook the curry then allow it to cool completely before placing in an airtight container with a tight fitting lid.
It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost thoroughly before heating gently until hot all the way through.
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More Easy Slow Cooked Dinner Recipe Ideas
Easy Lamb Jalfrezi
- 2 lb Boneless Lamb - cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil - or any vegetable oil
- 1 Onion - thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp Chili Powder - adjust according to your spice preference
- 2 Jalapeno Peppers - halved, seeds removed and chopped
- 2 Bell Peppers - any color, sliced
- 3 cloves Garlic - minced
- 1 inch Fresh Ginger - grated
- 14 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste - or tomato puree in UK
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper - to taste
- 1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) - chopped
- Jalapeno Peppers - thinky sliced
To Oven Cook
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF/150ºC
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or oven proof pan over a medium heat.
- Add the lamb pieces to the hot pan to brown them. Stir to turn until all sides are sautéed. You may need to do this in two batches so you don't over crowd the pan.
- Transfer the lamb to a plate once browned, cover and set aside.
- Add the sliced onions to the same pan and sauté until they soften and turn golden brown, around 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Add the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and chili powder. Stir until fragrant.
- Add the sliced bell and jalapeno peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan. Sauté for another minute.
- Add the browned lamb back to the pan along with the canned tomatoes, tomato puree and 1 cup of water.
- Bring to a boil and then cover the pan.
- Bake in the oven for around 1½ to 2 hours or until the lamb is fork tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Start checking at 90 minutes. If the lamb is not tender enough, allow it to bake for longer, checking after 30 minutes.
To Cook in Slow Cooker/Crockpot
- Follow all the oven cooking steps including browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables and spices in a separate pan on the stove or using the sauté function on your crockpot.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker pot, giving everything a good stir to combine. Cover with a lid and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours. Don't skip the step of searing the meat, as it does make a difference to the flavor of the finished dish.
To Cook in an Instant Pot
- Use the inner pot and sauté function in place of the pan to follow all of the oven cooking steps until all of the ingredients are added.
- Close the lid and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes (I allow 20 minute per pound of meat). Once it has finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then release the remaining pressure via manual release.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and thinly sliced jalapeno pepper for extra heat.