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Authentic Lamb Bhuna Recipe: A Flavorful Culinary Journey


If you’re a fan of rich and aromatic Indian curries, then the Authentic Lamb Bhuna recipe is a must-try. 

The term “bhuna” refers to a cooking technique where the meat is seared and then simmered in a tantalizing blend of spices, creating a dish that bursts with flavor. 

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps of creating an authentic Lamb Bhuna, explain the significance of each ingredient, and provide answers to frequently asked questions about this delectable dish.

The Essence of Lamb Bhuna

What is Lamb Bhuna?

At its core, Lamb Bhuna is a tantalizing Indian curry dish featuring tender chunks of lamb enveloped in a medley of spices, tomatoes, and onions. 

The dish showcases the bhuna technique, where the lamb is seared to perfection before being slowly cooked in a flavorful concoction.

The Magic Behind “Bhuna”

“Bhuna” isn’t just a name; it’s a culinary method that imparts depth to the dish. 

The lamb is first seared, sealing in its juices before being allowed to simmer with a symphony of spices. 

This technique ensures that the flavors marry harmoniously, resulting in a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Ingredients: A Symphony of Flavors

Each ingredient in the Lamb Bhuna recipe plays a vital role in creating its exceptional taste and texture:

Lamb: The Star of the Show

The heart of this dish is tender cuts of boneless lamb, such as shoulder or leg meat. 

Their succulent texture absorbs the spices, resulting in a delightful melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Spice Blend: The Aromatic Ensemble

A blend of ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder forms the foundation of the dish’s enchanting flavor profile. 

These spices work in unison, creating a symphony of aromas and tastes that dance on your palate.

Onions and Tomatoes:

The Flavor Enhancers! Onions provide a sweet and savory base, while tomatoes contribute a tangy note. 

Together, they form a robust foundation for the curry’s sauce.

Yogurt: The Secret to Tenderness

Yogurt serves a dual purpose in the recipe. It adds a creamy texture and tenderizes the lamb, infusing it with a subtle tanginess.

Whats the difference between lamb tikka masala and lamb bhuna

The primary difference between lamb tikka masala and lamb bhuna lies in their preparation methods, ingredients, and flavors:

Lamb Tikka Masala

  1. Preparation:

    • Lamb tikka masala involves marinating pieces of lamb in yogurt and spices before grilling or baking them. The grilled lamb is then cooked in a creamy, tomato-based sauce.
    • The marinade typically includes spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Ingredients:

    • Main components are lamb, yogurt, tomatoes, cream or coconut milk, and a blend of Indian spices.
    • The sauce is rich and creamy due to the use of cream or coconut milk.
  3. Flavors:

    • The dish is characterized by a smooth, creamy, and mildly spicy sauce with a tangy tomato base.
    • The grilled lamb adds a slightly smoky flavor.
  4. Texture:

    • The sauce is thick and creamy, coating the pieces of lamb.

Lamb Bhuna

  1. Preparation:

    • Lamb bhuna is made by cooking the lamb pieces with spices and vegetables over high heat until the meat is well-cooked and the sauce reduces and clings to the meat.
    • The process involves frying the spices to release their flavors before adding the lamb and cooking it down until the sauce thickens.
  2. Ingredients:

    • Main components are lamb, onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala.
    • It typically does not include cream or coconut milk, making it less creamy than tikka masala.
  3. Flavors:

    • The dish has a more intense and robust flavor due to the reduced sauce and the direct cooking method.
    • The spices are more pronounced, and the sauce is thicker and more concentrated.
  4. Texture:

    • The sauce is thick, but it’s not creamy, unlike tikka masala. The reduced sauce sticks to the lamb pieces, creating a more intense flavor.

Summary Table



Lamb Tikka Masala

Lamb Bhuna


Marinated and grilled, then simmered in a creamy tomato sauce

Cooked with spices until sauce reduces


Lamb, yogurt, tomatoes, cream/coconut milk, spices

Lamb, onions, tomatoes, spices


Smooth, creamy, mildly spicy, tangy

Intense, robust, spicy


Thick, creamy sauce

Thick, reduced sauce clinging to lamb

These differences result in distinct taste profiles and textures, making each dish unique and popular in its own right.

Authentic Lamb Bhuna Recipe

Recipe by Chris Cooper
4.7 from 3 votes
Course: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 1.5 lbs 1.5 boneless lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 2 large 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 3 medium 3 tomatoes, chopped

  • 3 tbs 3 vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 plain yogurt

  • 2 tsp 2 ginger paste

  • 2 tsp 2 garlic paste

  • 1 tsp 1 cumin powder

  • 1 tsp 1 coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp 1 garam masala

  • 1 tsp 1 chili powder (adjust to taste)

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh Cilantro leaves for garnishing


  • Marinate the Lamb:
    In a bowl, combine the yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, chili powder, and a pinch of salt.
    Add the lamb pieces to the marinade, ensuring they are coated well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Sear the Lamb:
    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
    Add the marinated lamb pieces and sear them until they are browned on all sides. Remove the lamb from the pan and set it aside.
  • Prepare the Spice Paste:
    In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
    Add the chopped onions and cook until they turn golden brown.
  • Add Tomatoes and Spices:
    Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they soften and release their juices.
    Stir in the cumin powder, coriander powder, and a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture until the oil starts to separate from the spices.
  • Simmer with Lamb:
    Return the seared lamb to the pan and mix it well with the spice mixture.
    Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the lamb simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  • Check and Adjust:
    Once the lamb is tender and the flavors have melded, taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt or chili powder if desired.
  • Garnish and Serve:
    Sprinkle fresh cilantro leaves over the Lamb Bhuna before serving.
    Serve hot with steamed basmati rice, naan, or your preferred bread.
  • Enjoy:
    Dive into the rich and aromatic flavors of your homemade Authentic Lamb Bhuna. Each bite is a delightful symphony of spices and tender lamb.


  • Remember, the key to a remarkable Lamb Bhuna lies in the patience of slow cooking and allowing the spices to work their magic. Whether you're an experienced cook or a curious beginner, this recipe is sure to impress and satisfy your taste buds.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does “Bhuna” mean in Lamb Bhuna?

“Bhuna” refers to a cooking technique where the meat is seared and slow-cooked with spices, resulting in a rich and intense flavor.

2. Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Absolutely! You can easily create a gluten-free version by using gluten-free flour and soy sauce alternatives.

3. Is there a vegan option for Lamb Bhuna?

Yes, a vegan adaptation can be achieved by substituting lamb with vegetables like mushrooms or tofu. Check out our Vegan Lamb Bhuna recipe for details.

4. What’s the ideal accompaniment to Lamb Bhuna?

Lamb Bhuna pairs splendidly with steamed basmati rice, naan, or roti.

5. How spicy is Lamb Bhuna?

You can adjust the spiciness by controlling the amount of chili powder and fresh chili peppers you use.

6. Can leftovers be frozen?

Absolutely! Lamb Bhuna freezes well, making it a convenient option for future meals.

7. What’s the purpose of yogurt in the recipe?

Yogurt not only tenderizes the lamb but also imparts creaminess and a touch of tanginess.

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