Jamaica The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking

Jamaican Lamb Curry

This straightforward, no-nonsense Jamaican curry is an excellent, hearty addition to any Jamaican dinner party.

Curry is a staple throughout the islands. Lamb, ox-tail, goat; whatever meat is used, these curries are always fan favorites. I paired this one with Ortiz’s Mango Chutney and Green Pawpaw Chutney to delicious effect. The tart, bright acidity and sweetness of the chutneys created a perfect counter-point to the earthy, savoury coconut curry base.

Now, I am no expert in the realm of curry powders. Elizabeth Ortiz makes no special requests as to what variety of curry powder to use either…however, if you are so inclined, I would recommend sourcing a specifically Caribbean curry powder. Or, you might even make one yourself, spice blend recipes are easily available online. From what I have gathered, there are slight distinguishing factors that differentiate the flavour profiles of Indian vs Chinese vs Caribbean curry powders. I myself, tend not to worry too much about these nuances as I doubt home chefs in Mid-Century America were too fussed either. But, since the curry powder is really the star of this show, if you wanted to super-charge the Caribbean-ness of the dish, that would be the way to do it. Ortiz’s addition of allspice into the mix is clearly a Jamaican specialty. For a little pop, you can top this dish with minced coriander, as well.


  1. 2 tbsp lard
  2. 3 lbs lamb, cubed
  3. 2 onions, finely chopped
  4. 3 tbsp curry powder
  5. 1 red hot pepper, chopped
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  8. 1 cup coconut milk
  9. Beef or Chicken stock
  10. 1 lime


  1. Brown meat in lard and transfer to large casserole.
  2. Sauté onions in lard and add curry powder and chopped hot pepper.
  3. Add onions to lamb along with bay leaf, allspice, coconut milk.
  4. Add enough stock to just cover the meat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Add lime juice and cook for 2 minutes before serving.