Last night we made this wonderfully fragrant Mutton Curry to round off National Curry Week. Mutton is a rather tough cut of meat, so it will need a nearly half a day’s worth of slow-cooking – it’s worth it though, the hours on the hob brings all the flavours in the pot harmoniously together leaving a beautifully spiced curry. All you need is fluffy basmati rice to soak up the gravy. We like our curries with a bit of heat, if you prefer it milder just omit the fresh red chillies.
1 leg of mutton (or 1kg mutton pieces)
250g natural yogurt
5 tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
4 onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 stick cinnamon
5 green cardamoms
2 red chillies (optional)
1 bay leaf
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups lamb stock
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp salt
Season the mutton leg (or pieces) with a little salt and marinate in the yogurt for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
First make the masala. Dry roast the cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms and bay leaf in a large cast iron pot over a medum-high flame for a minute, until lightly toasted. Add the oil and onions and fry until nicely browned.
Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and continue cooking until fragrant, make sure you stir continuously to avoid burning your ingredients. Add all remaining spices, water and half the stock, stir and let it simmer for 10 minutes (be careful not to let it burn). Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for another 15 minutes until they have broken down.
Add the mutton, remaining stock and water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat. Leave to gently simmer for 3-4 hours, adding water halfway if necessary.
When ready, remove the meat and set aside. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf from the curry and discard, then reduce as desired. If using leg of mutton, remove the meat from the bone, and roughly chop. Add mutton back into the curry and season to taste. Serve with basmati rice or naan, if preferred.