Easy Lamb Coconut Milk Curry (Recipe)

Whenever I needed a dish I could really depend on, or maybe when I wasn’t feeling particularly creative when writing menus, a good simple lamb curry with coconut milk was always something I could rely on.
Lamb or Goat Curry with Rice, Yogurt, Nuts, Cilantro, and Habanero Jelly in a bowl.
Lamb curry garnished with yogurt, pepper jelly, rice and cilantro.

This simple lamb or goat curry (you could use a shoulder of either here, as well as shanks and stew meat) is essentially the exact same recipe I used to run at the restaurant, just in a smaller size. It’s built for eaters of all types, and is very mild as far as heat goes. If you like your curry spicy, you can adjust the heat to your taste.

Cuts of lamb or goat to use for curry

Preferably, you want a slow-cooking cut here. Lamb or goat shoulder, shank, or stew meat from the next is my first choice. Meat from a leg of lamb can work, but won’t be quite as good as the other cuts mentioned as it lacks intramuscular fat.

The part that everyone loves the most though, is the garnishes and finishing the lamb curry at the table. Curried lamb and warm rice are only the beginning of what becomes a sort of choose-your-own-adventure meal. Typically I serve it with at least 4 or 5 garnishes, usually revolving around the following:

What to serve with lamb curry

  • Thick yogurt is a perfect way to cut the heat and add a creaminess to the curry.
  • Habanero or another spicy jelly. I love my habanero crab apple jelly. At home we often add a sweet mango chutney to finish curries at the table, spicy-hot jelly is a great substitute and a fun way for guests to control their own heat level.
  • Toasted coconut is optional, but adds a great texture and compliments the coconut milk used in the curry.
  • Toasted nuts, pictured are black walnuts, but you can use just about anything. Cashews were always a hit.
  • Fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, tarragon, or basil.
  • Lime wedges or a splash of fresh lime juice.
  • Instead of rice, serve it with naan bread.
Lamb or Goat Curry ingredients: Rice, Yogurt, Nuts, Cilantro, and Habanero Jelly
The best part of the curry is serving it with a bunch of garnishes for guests to choose from.
Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef

This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com. 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Lamb or Goat Curry with Rice, Yogurt, Nuts, Cilantro, garnished with Habanero Jelly in a bowl.
Lamb curry with rice, cilantro, vegetables, pepper jelly and herbs.

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Lamb or Goat Curry with Rice, Yogurt, Nuts, Cilantro, and Habanero Jelly
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Easy Lamb Coconut Milk Curry

A simple lamb curry inspired by the most popular one Chef Alan Bergo used to serve at Lucia's restaurant in Minneapolis. It makes a mild curry you can adjust to your taste.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: lamb curry recipe, lamb curry with coconut milk
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 420kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 Dutch oven or braising pot or slow cooker



  • 1 lb lamb shoulder, shank, or stew meat, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons rendered lamb fat or cooking oil such as grapeseed for browning


  • 2 cans regular full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup water or unseasoned lamb stock
  • 2 inch piece 10 grams peeled ginger
  • 5 large cloves garlic, or 20 grams
  • 1 medium white onion or 5 oz chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider or orange juice Optional, you can use 2 cups of unseasoned lamb stock or water instead, but apple or orange juice adds a good flavor. Consider it an option.
  • 1/3 cup mild curry powder If you prefer spicy curry powder, use it
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange optional, for finishing
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass thinly sliced


  • Thick yogurt, such as Faye, highest fat available
  • Habenero jelly, to taste,
  • Toasted nuts or seeds
  • Toasted unsweetened coconut
  • Fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, mint or tarragon
  • Freshly cooked vegetables. Pictured are romanesco and carrots.
  • Freshly cooked rice, preferably basmati rice


  • Mix the lamb with the salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  • Add the coconut milk to a blender with the water, apple cider or orange juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, onion and lemongrass until smooth.
  • In a wide pan that can accommodate all of the ingredients, add the lamb in batches and brown on medium high heat.
  • When the lamb is browned, add it all back to the pan, add the coconut milk mixture, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 2 hours on low heat, or until the lamb is tender. From here the curry can be made in advance and reheated as needed. Add the orange zest after the lamb is tender.
  • In a slow cooker, you can cook the curry for 3 hours on high heat.
  • To serve, warm the curry up on medium heat and serve with rice, cooked vegetables, yogurt, fresh cilantro, toasted nuts and or toasted coconut, and sweet mango chutney, habanero jelly, or another spicy condiment if you like.



  • You can adapt and change the spices to your taste here. Adding a 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala can be nice.
  • You can make a rough approximation of Jamaican curry powder by adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice. 
  • Sometimes I serve this with cauliflower rice for my Keto friends. 


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 651mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg