Indian Bhuna Curry Recipes

All about bhunas

These curries are a medium hot curry, and they get their name from the Indian for " browning" . The spices for this Indian dish are dry fried and ground. The curry is cooked until the spices and sauce adhere to the meat. The most popular meats for bhunas are chicken, beef and lamb, although all meats are suitable for this Indian cuisine.

These curries are perfect for dinner parties as they taste amazing. The secret lies in its rich blend of spices and the slow cooking method. The toasting and grinding of the  medley of aromatic seeds for the curry base makes this dish extra special. The slow cooking of the meat makes it juicy and succulent and allows the flavours to meld together Additional flavour is added by the the fresh garlic, ginger, and chilli and the onions and fresh tomatoes which for the basis of the sauce  Finally, the dish is finished with a couple of shots of freshness from the fresh coriander that garnishes the curry the cool, creamy raita. This curry is ideally served with Indian breads or rice

Traditional Ingredients for bhunas


Bhuna curries embrace a variety of meats such as lamb, beef, or chicken. Since the recipe requires longer to cook, it's essential to select meats suitable for stewing, such as stewing beef or lamb shoulder, and chicken thighs.

Vegetables and herbs 

The two main vegetables used for this dish are onions and fresh tomatoes, The vegetables are chopped and added to the curry for flavour and texture. If the tomatoes are lacking in flavour then add a little tomato puree.

Fresh coriander is the only herb added to this dish, it is chopped and added to the sauce as well as sprinkled on the finished dish as a garnish.


A bhuna is a hot curry which has a fresh spice base of green chilli, garlic and ginger. The heat of the dish can be controlled by increasing and decreasing the fresh chilli. The dried spices are a mixture of chilli flakes or chilli powder, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves. The seeds are toasted in a frying pan and then ground into a curry powder. The spices need toasting on a low light as it is essential they do not burn as this will give a bitter taste to the final dish

How to make authentic bhuna curries

The delicious blend of spices are toasted and ground together. The meat is sealed quickly in a hot pan for a couple of minutes cooking till golden brown before being combined with chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chilli. Next the chopped tomatoes are added along with the ground spices, curry leaves and freshly chopped coriander, the sauce is stirred well adding any water if necessary.  Reduce the heat and simmer allowing the flavours to infuse. The dish is slow-cooked on the stove top to allow the flavours to meld and some of the liquid to evaporate, it should be stirred occasionally. It is finished in the oven until the meat is tender, and a thick sauce has formed that sticks to the meat or vegetable creating a dry curry or bhuna gosht 

Making this curry ahead of time

This dish is ideal to make ahead of time and allow the flavours to mature in the fridge overnight before reheating the next day, making it an excellent dish for a dinner party or family get together. The dish can also be frozen and eaten at a later date so is a good meal prep dish to batch cook.

Serving suggestions for bhuna curries

This thick curry is ideal to be served with basmati rice or Indian breads such as naan bread or chapatis. The curry can be served with a cool cucumber raita to cool sown the heat of the dish and add extra freshness to the dish.

When to eat this curry 

This dish is great to eat any time of year but is probably eaten more in the autumn or winter. It can be eaten as a main course for dinner served with rice and or naan or can be wrapped in an Indian bread as a lunch time snack. Its great for meals with friends and curry nights as it can be made in advance and  reheats well. 

Bhuna Recipes 

Chicken bhuna recipe


This chicken bhuna curry is not as rich as the beef and lamb variations, and also cooks quickly in comparison. We typically serve this bhuna chicken curry with rice rather than Indian breads as the bhuna sauce tends not to be as thick as the other curries. It is ideal for a family meal, just reduce the amount of chilli powder and fresh chilli and serve with the raita for those kids or people who like a cooler curry

Beef bhuna recipe

This beef curry is a strong flavoured dish and can take extra spice as well as extra cooking. If you like a strong hot curry this is your best choice. It produces a thick sauce so is ideal to serve with Indian bread, a garlic naan is a good choice or a chapati works well too. Again serve with a cucumber raita to lighten the meal and add extra freshness

lamb bhuna recipe

This lamb bhuna recipe is a tantalizing dish perfect for dinner parties, the bhuna can be made with lamb shoulder diced, the dish can be made the day before and left in the fridge for the flavours to develop. For a lovely meal with friends serve with a choice of rice or naan and a fresh homemade raita

Veggie Curry Wraps

For something a little different we have made a chickpea and potato bhuna and used it to fill a tortilla wrap that is baked in the oven till crisp. This dish is perfect in the summer as it is served with a crunchy Indian coleslaw, flavoured with bhuna spice mix. Make extra filling and freeze it so you have a quick healthy meal available in minutes  

Aubergine bhuna curry

Aubergines make delicious curries and are excellent for a dry curry as the sauce sticks really well to this vegetable due to its texture. This veggie curry is delicious served with any Indian bread and is ideal for vegetarians. It makes a delicious lunch time or evening meal

Get more delicious recipes and dinner ideas

What's Going On

Latest Blogs

All about bhunas These curries are a medium hot curry, and they get their name from the Indian for " browning" . The spices for this Indian dish are d...

Chicken dinner party ideas Chicken makes the perfect dinner party main course or starter. We have a delicious selection of recipes and dinner party id...

Chicken pan fry recipes perfect for dinner We have selected our top ten chicken pan fry recipes, which are ideal for a quick dinner after a busy day...

A delicious selection of dinner ideas for new parents Your evening meal can suffer when you first have a baby as you are so tired and exhausted by d...