Medanese Lamb – Mutton Curry

Origin: Medan, North Sumatra


  • 1 kg lamb or lamb leg
  • 1 pc cinnamon stick (replace with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon if not available)
  • 2 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, cut in two, bruished
  • 2 cm galangale, bruished
  • 4 gloves garlic
  • 2 pc star anise
  • 3 pc seeds cardamoms, bruished
  • 1 pc nutmeg, cracked or replace with 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg if not available
  • ½ tsp tamarind pulp soak in 3 tbsp water
  • 20 pc fresh or dry curry leaves
  • 5 pc kaffir-lime leaves, discard the ribs of the leaves
  • 250 ml very thick coconut milk
  • 1 l thin coconut milk
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar to taste
  • oil to stir-fry the paste

Spice for the paste

  • 5 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 8 pc shallots, chopped
  • 5 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • 4 cm fresh turmeric or 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander or 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground anis
  • ½ tsp pepper or 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Medanese Lamb – Mutton Curry

This is a very popular dish in Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra Province: Kari Kambing. Served usually in many restaurants and street vendors around Medan city.
Other than many Indonesian main dishes which usually eaten with rice, this dish commonly served with "Roti Jala/Lacy Pancake".
Honestly I am not a big fans of curry dishes, but this one is incredibly delicious 😉


  • Cut the mutton into cubes, wash it in running water, drain it. Do not soak in the water (to prevent the strong lamb's odor)
  • Prepare all the ingredients for the paste, peel off and cut in smaller pieces if necessary.
  • Put all the ingredients for the paste into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little bit oil if necessary to help the blending process.
  • Blend ingredients until smooth.
  • Cut the lemon grass into 2 or 3 pieces, crack/break the nutmeg seed & bruish the cardamoms seeds.
  • Heat 2 tbsp used oil in a wok or shallow pan. (Don't add oil if already added during a blending process). Stir-fry the paste, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves & galangal over medium heat until well cooked & fragrant. Stir all the time to prevent burn. (approx. 3 to 5 minutes)
  • Until well cooked and fragrant.
  • Add the meat and bones (if used) and stir to mix.
  • Cook until the meat becomes harder and it's colour turns to white.
  • Transfer all to a big saucepan before continue to the next step. Add the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, star anise, cardammoms and cloves.
  • Add thin coconut milk and stir to mix.
  • Add the tamarind water. stir to mix.
  • Cover the pan, cook over low & medium heat (scale 5 of 9) for one hour until the meat is getting tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Uncover, add curry leaves & thick coconut milk.
  • Adding thick coconut milk.
  • Continue to simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes and stirring frequently prevent the coconut milk from separating. Adjust the seasoning, add the salt and sugar to taste if necessary.
  • Serve hot with Roti Jala
Keyword coconut milk, curry, Indonesia, lamb, mutton

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