Hundred-Year-Old Lamb Curry with Rice Recipe

When browsing through hundred-year-old magazines, I’m sometimes surprised by the recipes I find. This is one of those times. I was amazed to find a recipe for Lamb Curry with Rice (East Indian) in the April, 1917 issue of Good Housekeeping that had been submitted by a reader.

Source: Good Housekeeping (April, 1917)

This recipe makes a very credible Lamb Curry. I’m not an expert on Indian foods (and feel free to disagree), but to me, it tasted similar to some of the milder lamb curries that I’ve eaten in restaurants over the years. Which led me to wonder, who was the woman who submitted this recipe to the magazine? Did she have friends from India? Had she visited India?

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Lamb Curry with Rice

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 pounds stewing lamb

water

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

2 tablespoons shredded coconut

juice from 1 small lemon

cooked rice

Place the lamb in a dutch oven or large saucepan and cover with water; add salt. Cover, and bring to a boil using high heat; reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender. Remove from heat. Cut the lamb into small pieces, removing any fat, bones, or gristle, then set aside. Reserve 2 cups of broth, and skim excess fat from the top of the broth. (The broth may be chilled to make it easier to remove the fat.)

Melt the butter in a skillet using medium heat, and stir in the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic are soft; then add the cooked lamb.  Stir in the flour, pepper, curry powder, cloves, and allspice. Slowly add the lamb broth while stirring constantly; bring to a boil.  Add the coconut and lemon juice. Then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce has a thick gravy-like consistency. Remove from heat and serve with rice.