Posts Tagged ‘lamb’

Indian Lamb Soup ‘Sup Kambing’ 印度羊肉湯

Indian Lamb Soup ‘Sup Kambing’ 印度羊肉湯

In my hometown Muar, Malaysia, there is a famous Indian lamb soup restaurant. All these times I went back to Muar I actually didn’t get to taste the delicious soup because the weather was too hot to have this rich heaty nourishing soup. After all, I didn’t want to take the chance of a bleeding nose after taking lamb soup. This soup to Indian people is just like chicken soup to Americans when someone in the family gets sick.

But here in U.S., this soup is perfect for a cold rainy winter day. For those of you who are hesitated to taste lamb because of its smell, it has all kinds of spices that you can barely taste the ‘lamb-y’ flavor.

A side note– Malaysian lamb soup is different from Singapore lamb soup. While I searched online for recipes I found Singapore version uses more turmeric powder and soup has a more yellowish color. I tried Singapore version before but it was overpowering in certain flavors but lacked other spice… just not quite the taste I remember from that soup place in my hometown…

Indian Lamb Soup ‘Sup Kambing’ (serves 8-10 people)


To grind (using coffee bean grinder):
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds

To blender (using blender, adding just enough water to facilitate blending):
3 cloves garlic
3 serrano peppers
1 lemon grass– se only whitish part, chopped before blending
1 inch galangal– cut into small pieces before blending
1 inch ginger– cut into small pieces before blending

3 bay leaves
4 star anises
3 cinnamon sticks
12 green cardamoms
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 large onions– slice
1 boneless leg of lamb– trim off excess fat, cut into pieces
2 lamb shanks– see note below
enough water to cover the meat
salt to taste

Cilantro leaves


  1. Grind dried spices until very fine. Blend fresh spices. Cut lamb into pieces (except lamb shanks), then rinse under the water several times. Drain the meat.
  2. Heat a stock pot on medium heat, add in 2 tbsp of oil. Add ground dried spices, bay leaves, star anises, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and turmeric powder. Stir until aromatic (add a little more oil if needed).
  3. Add in blended fresh spices, stir until the flavor comes out. Add sliced onions, cook until onions are soft.
  4. Add meat to the pot. Stir to mix well. Add water– water level should be 2 inches above the meat. Cover, and turn heat to medium high.
  5. When it boils again, skim off the impurities floating on the top. Continue boiling for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 2 hours. At this point the meat should be tender and falls apart from the bones. Add salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve hot with fresh baguette.

Regina’s Note:

  • Lamb shanks: I used lamb shanks mainly for its bones because it’s the bones that gives the richness of the soup base. You can use other lamb parts as long as it contains bones.

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In Malaysia, this soup is called Sup Kambing. It is a very popular Indian hawker food in Malaysia. I had this soup in Malaysia only once– few years back my brother bought some sup kambing for me to try. At first I was skeptical but it turned out REALLY delicious. Ever since then I have been wanting to make this soup at home when I was back to U.S.

Making this soup requires a very good timing, as we Chinese believe lamb is a heaty– best for super cold winter days and when everyone in the household is healthy. I finally found the perfect weather for the soup, but didn’t know Richard was a little under the weather– so the next day Richard was sick with a flu with more severe symptoms. I didn’t not take too much of this soup, and drank plenty of water afterwards too.

Anyhow, back to the soup– Even though the soup doesn’t taste like the one I had in Malaysia, the flavor was wonderful with all that spices going into the soup. But I think I over cooked the lamb too long as they turned out dry. Well, there’s always next time (but in a long long while)…


Malaysia Indian Style Lamb Soup (makes 6 servings):


1 leg of lamb (partially bone in, about 3.5 lbs)– trim off excess fat, cut into bite size cubes, keep the bone
1 carrot– cut into bite size cubes
1 tomato– cut into bite size
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 quarts water

Blend with enough water to form a paste:
1 medium onion
8 shallots
6 garlic
1 inch fresh ginger

Toasted spices (toast before grinding together. If powder is used, toast briefly in a dry wok to bring out the flavor):
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
10 cardamon (green)
6 cloves
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)

salt to taste
2 tbsp flour


  1. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a deep pot, fry blended onion paste several minutes until aromatic. Add in all the spices. Fry for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add in lamb pieces, keep frying until outside of the meat is cooked. Add in carrots, tomato, cilantro and water. Cook the soup, covered, on high heat for 15 minutes, then lower heat to medium low and cook for 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender. Do not cook the lamb too long or it will taste dry. Add salt to taste and sprinkle flour (while stirring) to thicken the soup. Serve the soup hot with fresh crusty bread.

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