This slow cooked mutton curry is a Sunday favourite. Delicious and wonderfully flavourful, this mutton curry is deceptively easy to make; all it really requires are patience and time and it yields the most succulent mutton enrobed in wonderfully perfumed sauce elevating any ordinary weekend meal to something very special. Fit for celebrations and special occasions, this mutton curry pairs wonderfully with steamed rice, pulao, naan, rotis etc. In fact, during Durga Puja, this mutton curry is often served with soft fluffy puris making this combination one of my absolute favourites 🙂
Ingredients (serves 4-6; good for 8 if your are serving as a part of a thaali):
Lamb and marinade:
- 900 grams to 1 kg of bone-in mutton cut into 3 square inch pieces
- 150 grams of full-fat yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 50-60 grams of onion
- 20 grams of garlic
- 20 grams of ginger
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Upto 1/2 tsp of chilli powder; adjust to taste
- 1 tbsp of oil; mustard oil is traditionally used and preferred but use any other variety that is available
- 3 tbsp of oil; mustard oil is traditionally used and preferred but use any other variety that is available
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 2-4 bay leaves, torn in halves
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, coarsely ground
- 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds, coarsely ground
- 1-2 green chillis
- 300 grams of onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 30 grams of garlic, grated or ground into a paste
- 15-20 grams of ginger, grated or ground into a paste
- 1 tomato, finely minced
- 1 medium potato cut into large chunks (about 3 sq inch pieces); optional
- 450-500 ml (about 2 cups) of recently boiled water
- About 2 green chillis, halved (optional)
- 3 pods of cardamom, ground
- 2 cloves, ground
- 1 small stick of cinnamon stick, ground
- Half a tsp of ghee (clarified butter)
- To make the marinade, add the yoghurt, 1/2 tsp of salt, garlic, ginger, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala and a tbsp of mustard oil into a blender and grind into a fine marinade.
- Pour marinade over the mutton and mix well to combine; this dish truly benefits from marinating overnight in the refrigerator but about 6 hours does a good job as well..
- Place a wide and deep pan over medium-high heat and pour in about 1 tbsp of oil.
- Add in the pieces of potato, brown all sides and set aside.
- Add in the rest of the oil and once it’s hot, add the sugar into the pan and stir until melted and caramelised.
- Add in the bay leaves, crushed fennel seeds and cumin seeds and sauté on medium low heat for a minute until golden.
- Add in the green chillis and sauté for 15-20 seconds until blistered.
- Add the sliced onions, sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook over medium low heat with the lid on for about 20-30 minutes stirring every few minutes until the onions are soft and caramelised and the oil starts to separate.
- Add in the grated or ground ginger and garlic and cook over medium low heat with the lid on stirring every few minutes until no longer raw.
- Add in the minced tomato and sauté until the tomato disintegrates.
- Add in the mutton along with the marinade and stir to combine in medium heat.
- Simmer gently with the lid on stirring in the fond occasionally until all of the liquid evaporates and the oil starts to separate; it should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the pieces.
- Add in the pieces of potato and stir well to coat in the sauce..
- Add in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of recently boiled water at a time, stirring well to combine and simmering with the lid on until the water evaporates and the gravy starts caramelising at the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the fond gently gently and repeat the process of adding more water and simmering until you have used up 1.5 cups of water; feel free to add a bit more water if needed.
- Add the remaining .5 cup of water to simmer on medium heat until thick to your liking; by now, the mutton should be fork tender; cooking along with water should take you approximately another 1-1.5 hours (usually, you would slow cook the mutton from start to finish for a total of about 2-3 hours depending on the size of the pieces)
- Meanwhile, grind the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon using a mortar and pestle and reserve for later; if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can add the spices whole at the start or for add them to the blender while making the marinade.
- While the mutton curry is almost ready and thick to your liking, add the ground cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, split chillis and drizzle half a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter), stir to combine.
- Turn off the heat and place the lid on until you are ready to eat.
- Serve with pulao, rotis or with beautifully fluffy luchis for a truly celebratory meal.