Indian Lamb Chili from Firsthand Foods

Indian Lamb Chili

Written by ,

Here’s the origin story for this delicious Indian Lamb Chili. When Firsthand Foods started offering ground lamb, I immediately knew there was a chili recipe ready to spring forth from my brain, but I wasn’t sure of the twist that I would put on it. There is always a twist! One evening, at a local Indian restaurant, I had a moment of inspiration.  My son ordered his favorite, Rogan Josh with lamb, which is actually a Persian or Kashmiri dish.  I ordered one of my favorites, Chana Masala. This lovely dish of stewed chickpeas is so flavorful (and packed with fiber and protein from the chickpeas). It wasn’t exactly a bolt of lightning moment, but as I sat there enjoying both dishes, I wondered what it would be like to mix them. This is where my Indian Lamb Chili recipe was born. 

As with most recipes, quality ingredients make all of the difference in the final dish. Firsthand Foods lamb has a great flavor which makes it the perfect meat for a chili that has more vegetables and beans than meat. Feel free to change this recipe to suit your own palate or to match the contents of your pantry. India has a diverse, flavorful cuisine that uses spices to complement ingredients. You can add your favorite Indian spice mixes from local global grocery stores or local spice shops. The ones I have included here are some of my pantry favorites–especially the fenugreek, garam masala, and tumeric. If you like lentils more than chickpeas, switch it up. You can do a half-and-half mixture of both or replace the chickpeas completely with lentils. I have also been known to kick up the heat in this chili from time to time by adding not only orange bell pepper but also minced habanero or serrano pepper. A dollop of yogurt on top will help turn down that heat for those who don’t like it as spicy. 

Firsthand Foods ground lamb is an excellent product to play with in your recipes.  Replace the ground beef or pork in your favorite recipes to create something new. The flavors that best compliment lamb are: garlic, rosemary, mint, Indian spices, Greek seasonings, cumin, and cinnamon. You can also combine ground lamb with ground beef for delicious meatballs, burgers, chilis, and more. 

Thank you to the American Lamb Board for their generous support of our lamb marketing program.


1 lb. package Firsthand Foods Ground Lamb
1 cup diced onion
2 Tbs. diced jalapeno peppers – seeds removed
½ cup diced orange bell pepper
2 Tbs. minced ginger
5 cloves garlic – minced
3 Tbs. ghee
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. Garam Masala spices
½ tsp. ground fenugreek 
½ tsp. ground tumeric
4 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
medium sweet potato– peeled & cubed
2 cans garbanzo beans
½ cup lentils 


  1. Brown the ground lamb in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through and crumbly.  Drain and set aside. 
  2. Melt ghee in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  
  3. Add onion, jalapeno peppers, and orange bell peppers.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion begins to soften.  
  4. Turn heat down to medium.  Add ginger and garlic.  Sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Add spices and stir to coat vegetables.  Sauté for 1 minute.   
  6. Add sweet potato, lamb, and crushed tomatoes.  Stir to combine 
  7. Add garbanzo beans, lentils, and vegetable stock.  Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. 
  8. Simmer covered for 25 minutes.  Uncover and continue to simmer for 5-10 more minutes or until lentils are soft. 
  9. Garnish with shopped cilantro and serve with garlic naan