Contrary to popular beliefs, Sup Kambing is actually a Singaporean dish. Invented by the Muslim Indian community there, this soup has no equivalent in the Indian sub-continent, although all the spices used and the style of cooking originate from the Tamil Nadu region. Even to this day, this dish is only sold by Muslim Indians, not other races nor religions.

Sup Kambing is a Malay name which means ‘mutton soup’. Mutton however does not refer to lamb meat, but to goat meat. I have used lamb because goat is not widely available here in Europe. Lamb has a milder smell compared to goat, so it is wise to use lamb if you are cooking for people who are not used to goat meat.

This version of sup kambing is popular in Singapore and Malaysia. The version in Indonesia is of Arab origin. It contains vegetables like tomatoes and carrots, and is a significant departure from this Muslim Indian version.

Serving: 4 persons


Spice paste:

  • 4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cummin seeds or powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 5cm fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 7 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 600g lamb/goat ribs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • 5 cardamon pods, bruised
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2l water or veal stock


  • 2 sprigs of coriander
  • Fried shallot flakes
  • French baguette


  1. First you need to make the spice paste. Use a mortar and pestle, grind your coriander, fennel and cummin seeds. Peel your ginger and garlic, add those in together with your tumeric powder and pound into a paste. Peel your onion and cut it into 8 pieces, and make sure that each layer is loose. Heat up a pan on medium heat, add in the oil and stir-fry your onion. Add in the spice paste and stir-fry until the fragrance is released. Be careful not to burn the paste otherwise it would be a charred, bitter taste. Once the onion is soft, pour the mixture into a bowl and leave it to cool for ten minutes.
  2. Wash your ribs, pat dry and put them in a bowl. Marinate with salt and black pepper. Add in your cooked spice mixture. Stir well, cover and let it marinate for two hours at room temperature.
  3. Bring your veal stock to boil in a pot. Add in your bruised cardamon pods, star anise and cinnamon stick. Add in your meat together with every drop of the spice mixture. Let it boil for 5 minutes then cover and leave the soup to simmer on low heat for at least two hours. You know the soup is ready when the meat is so soft that it easily slides off the bone.
  4. Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and fried shallot flakes. Sup kamnbing is normally eaten with French baguette, not rice. Enjoy!