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baking, sauteeing Indian
Fragrant Lamb Curry with Barley Recipe-8826

Photo by: Colin Erricson
Comments: 0


Make this delicious curry any time you have a craving for something lusciously different. It’s a great Sunday night dinner and is perfect for a potluck or on a buffet.

Yield: Makes 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb (500 g) trimmed stewing lamb
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger root
  • 1 to 2 long red or green chile peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 2 black cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole (hulled) barley, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (500 mL) reduced-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) plain yogurt (minimum 4% M.F.)
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)

1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add lamb, in batches, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil to pan. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile peppers, paprika, turmeric, salt, peppercorns, cayenne, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add barley and toss until coated with mixture. Stir in stock and bring to a boil.

3. Return lamb and any accumulated juices to pan and stir well. Transfer to 13-by 9-inch (3 L) baking dish and stir in yogurt. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven until barley and lamb are tender, about 1 hour. Garnish with cilantro.


Spicy Beef Curry with Barley: Substitute an equal quantity of stewing beef for the lamb.


It pays to know your barley. Although most varieties of whole-grain barley cook in about 1 hour, which is fine for this recipe, I have encountered some that take up to 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook. If the variety you are using is longer-cooking, before starting the recipe, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan, add barley and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add it to the recipe in Step 2 when the chicken stock is called for.

© 2008 Judith Finlayson

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

362kcal (18%)
110mg (11%)
26mg (43%)
38mcg RAE (1%)
65mg (22%)
591mg (25%)
4g (19%)
12g (19%)
3mg (17%)

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