Kenyan coriander lamb

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

Much of kenyan cuisine is fairly simple, so it is a surprise to come across indian spices and arabian and portuguese influences in a curry. But the swahili cuisine of the kenyan coast is just such a vibrant fusion, using introduced and local ingredients to produce colourful and richly spiced dishes.


4 cloves, crushed garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger

2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz), diced lamb leg or shoulder

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 chopped tomatoes tomato paste

2 teaspoons (concentrated purée)

3 seeded, chopped long green chillies

1 handful, stalks and roots, coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped

3 tablespoons oil

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock

2 tablespoons plain yoghurt

1 large handful leaves, coriander (cilantro) finely chopped, to serve


1. Put the garlic, ginger, lemon juice and enough water to form a paste in a food processor, or in a mortar with a pestle, and process or pound to a smooth paste. Put the lamb into a nonmetallic bowl, add the garlic paste, and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Dry-fry the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a frying pan over medium- high heat for 2- 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Allow to cool. Using a mortar with a pestle, or a spice grinder, crush or grind to a powder.

3. Put the ground spices, tomato, tomato paste, chillies and coriander stalks and roots in a food processor, or in a mortar with a pestle, and process or pound to a smooth paste.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium- high heat. Brown the lamb in batches. When all the lamb is done, return to the pan with the tomato chilli paste, and the stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours, remove the lid, and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the lamb is very tender. While cooking, skim any oil that comes to the surface and discard.

5. Remove from the heat and gently stir through the yoghurt, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.