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Gulai Kambing - Indonesian Lamb Curry

Celebrate Idul Adha (Eid al-Adha) with this Indonesian lamb curry, a coconut-based curry with soft and tender lamb/mutton that goes perfectly with rice or flatbread.
Gulai Kambing - Indonesian Lamb Curry.

Gulai Kambing - Indonesian Lamb Curry.

Kambing (mutton) dishes are commonly served during Islamic festivals in Indonesia, especially to celebrate Idul Adha (Eid al-Adha), or the feast of the sacrifice.

One of the most popular Indonesian kambing dishes is probably gulai kambing, or lamb curry. This is a coconut-based curry dish with a long list of spices. The meat will be super soft and tender, and the umami-rich sauce goes perfectly with steamed white rice.

If rice is not your cup of tea, you can always serve it with your choice of flatbread. Naan or pita would go nicely with the curry.

Ingredients for gulai kambing (Indonesian lamb curry): lamb, coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, shallot, garlic, red chilies, candlenuts, ginger, galangal, coriander, turmeric, cumin, coconut palm sugar, salt, and white pepper.

Ingredients for gulai kambing (Indonesian lamb curry): lamb, coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, shallot, garlic, red chilies, candlenuts, ginger, galangal, coriander, turmeric, cumin, coconut palm sugar, salt, and white pepper.

Ingredients for Indonesian lamb curry

1. Lamb (or mutton)

Mutton is what we commonly use in Indonesia when making gulai kambing.

I use lamb since most grocery stores in the United States carry lamb, and only some specialty markets sell mutton. If you can procure mutton, feel free to replace the lamb with mutton.

2. Coconut milk

Almost all Indonesian curry recipes will need coconut milk, and this lamb curry is no exception.

I use canned coconut milk, which is thicker compared to boxed coconut milk in the US. If you live in Asia, like Indonesia or Malaysia, your boxed coconut milk should have the same thickness as US canned coconut milk.

3. Spices

Like any other Indonesian curries, this dish needs a lot of spices, which make it super delicious.

For the fresh spices, we need shallot, garlic, red chilies, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves.

For the dry spices, we need daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), cardamom, cinnamon, candlenuts, turmeric, coriander, cumin, coconut palm sugar, salt, and ground white pepper.

(1) Prepare spice paste. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Indonesian bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. (3) Add lamb. (4) Addcoconut milk, water/chicken stock, coconut palm sugar, salt, and pepper.

(1) Prepare spice paste. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Indonesian bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. (3) Add lamb. (4) Addcoconut milk, water/chicken stock, coconut palm sugar, salt, and pepper.

Cooking Indonesian gulai kambing

1. Prepare spice paste

Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind shallot, garlic, red chilies, candlenuts, ginger, galangal, coriander, turmeric, and cumin into a spice paste.

2. Fry spice paste

Heat cooking oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Indonesian bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

3.Add meat

Add the lamb/mutton meat and stir until no longer pink.

4. Add coconut milk and seasoning

Add the coconut milk, water/stock, coconut palm sugar, salt, and white pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced by half, about 1 12 to 2 hours.

5. Serve

Turn off heat and serve the lamb curry immediately with steamed white rice, naan or pita.

The curry is done when the lamb is soft and tender, and the sauce is reduced by half.

The curry is done when the lamb is soft and tender, and the sauce is reduced by half.

Other Indonesian curries to try

Indonesian cuisine has so many different curries. If you too are a curry lover, why not give some of these curry recipes a try?

Serve the lamb curry with white rice, naan, or pita.

Serve the lamb curry with white rice, naan, or pita.

Gulai Kambing - Indonesian Lamb Curry

5.0 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 450 gram (1 lb) lamb/mutton meat, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised and knotted
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
  • 1 cardamom pod (Indonesian: kapulaga), crushed to reveal the seeds
  • 1 inch (1/2 stick) cinnamon stick (Indonesian: kayu manis)
  • 1/2 can (200 ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cup (500 ml) water/chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 1-2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 5 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 5-10 red cayenne chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting) (Note 1)
  • 4 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1/2 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander (Indonesian: ketumbar)
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder) (Indonesian: kunyit)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (Indonesian: jinten)

Instructions

  1. Fry spice: Heat cooking oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Indonesian bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add meat: Add the lamb/mutton meat and stir until no longer pink.
  3. Add coconut milk and seasoning: Add the coconut milk, water/stock, coconut palm sugar, salt, and white pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced by half, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Serve: Turn off heat and serve the lamb curry immediately with steamed white rice.

Notes

  • (1) Use Fresno chilies for a milder curry, bird-eye chilies for a spicier curry. You can also use dried chilies.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • indugetscooking indugetscooking says:

    Love the color of the curry. It looks a lot like our Indian curries, but the ingredients are different. Totally yummy looking dish!

    • Anita Anita says:

      The long list of spices does resemble Indian curry, isn't it? Oh, and I love Indian curries, which reminds me that it has been ages since I made one :)

      • vishnu vishnu says:

        actually what color for Indonesian lamb curry yellow or brown

        • Anita Anita says:

          Hi Vishnu, ideally it should stay yellow, but if you overcook it slightly making the sauce reduced a bit much, it will became brown.

        • FM Wong FM Wong says:

          Indinesian lamb curry is green colour

  • Star Star says:

    Is it okay to omit the kaffir lime leaves? Or is there a substitute you would recommend?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Star, if you cannot find kaffir lime leaves, please use lime zest. I use a ratio of 1 kaffir lime leaf = 1 teaspoon lime zest.

  • Steven Steven says:

    I noticed this recipe calls for thin coconut milk (santan cair) while other recipes on your website call for thick coconut milk (santan kental). What is the difference?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Steven, for those who still prepare their own coconut milk from freshly grated coconut, we get our thick and thin coconut milk like this:

      (1) Mix freshly grated coconut flesh (using 1/2 a coconut) + 250 ml hot boiling water, mix, once the temperature cools until it is not too hot to handle with hands, press this mixture through a sieve to get about 250 ml of thick coconut milk. This is called 1st press.
      (2) Repeat step 1 from the same grated coconut flesh from step 1 to get another 250 ml of thick coconut milk. This is called 2nd press.
      (3) Repeat step 1 again from the same grated coconut flesh from step 2 to get 250 ml of thin coconut milk. This is the 3rd press.

      Some people will say only the 1st press yields thick coconut milk, but some considers the first two presses as thick, and only the last (3rd press) as thin.

      If you buy canned coconut milk, the regular one is to me not thin enough and not thick enough. For thin coconut milk, I add the same amount of water to the regular canned coconut milk, so for example, from a typical 400 ml canned coconut milk, I add another 400 ml water, and I get 800 ml thin coconut milk. For thick coconut milk, I usually opt to buy canned coconut cream. I hope this clarifies the difference between thick and thin coconut milk. :)

  • Jeannette Jeannette says:

    PHENOMENAL. I especially love curries that you can soak bread into, and this is one is just that! Those aromatics mixed with coconut milk are the perfect blend :D Thanks for sharing!

  • Emily Liao Emily Liao says:

    Wow, this lamb curry was so delicious and easy to make! A new dinner favorite.

  • Nathan Nathan says:

    I'm a huge fan of lamb as a protein, and it looks like all of these flavors go so perfectly together! Next time I have a craving for lamb, I'll be trying this recipe :)

  • Carrie Robinson Carrie Robinson says:

    I just love homemade Indonesian food! One of my favorite comfort foods. :)

  • Annissa Annissa says:

    What a wonderful meal! The spices are intoxicating. The colors make a lovely presentation.

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