Lamb’s Liver in Tomato and Onion Sauce (Masala Liver)

Serves 4


  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2.5cm/1in cube of root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped (de-seeded if wished)
  • 4 tbsps rapeseed or light olive oil
  • 450g/1lb lamb’s liver, cut into 5cm/2” cubes
  • ½-1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 115g/4oz chopped canned tomatoes with the juice 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 90ml/3 fl oz single cream
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsps coriander leaves, chopped

The Muslims in India excel themselves in cooking liver with spices. Here, cubed lamb’s liver is sautéed first in chilli-turmeric flavoured oil then simmered in a rich tomato and onion sauce. Undoubtedly a dish to die for!


In a blender, puree the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli, adding a little water if necessary. Set aside.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over a medium-high heat and add the liver and ¼ tsp each of the chilli powder and turmeric.

Fry until the juices run clear, stirring frequently (5-6 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the liver to another dish. Wipe clean the pan and heat the remaining oil over a medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add the pureed ingredients, cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining chilli powder and turmeric, coriander and cumin. Continue to cook for 4-5 minute, stirring frequently, splashing a little water if the mixture gets too dry.

Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 50 ml/2 fl oz water and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Add the sautéed liver, salt and 200ml/7 fl oz hot water. Mix well, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the liver is tender.

Add the cream and garam masala, simmer, uncovered for 4-5 minutes and stir in the coriander leaves.

Remove from the heat and serve with an Indian bread or boiled basmati rice.