Curry forms the foundation for Indian cuisine and is typically synonymous with aromatic flavours and spices paired with a rich and wholesome gravy-like sauce.
India is comprised of an array of traditions, cultures and religions, but a staple among all these diverse sectors of a vibrant country is curry.
With a number of curries celebrated around the world, mutton curry has to be within the top five because its melt-in-your-mouth finish and earthy flavours that are guaranteed to soothe your soul.
According to reports, this wholesome dish originated in Bangladesh and can also be referred to as kosha mangsho. Since its creation, mutton curry has taken on a range of flavours with various Indian cultures giving their own spin on this much-loved dish.
Here are four must-know tips for creating the best mutton curry
Food24 reached out to local Indian food bloggers to gather some must-know tips for creating a delicious mutton curry.
1. Meat cuts and marination
Mutton meat forms the basis of this dish and it is best to opt for meatier cuts that include bones. This could be part of the front leg or back leg of mutton meat cuts. Marinating is essential to ensure a depth of flavour on the meat cuts and will assist in creating the melt-off-the-bone feature of this dish.
“Use meat on the bone. The bone adds an earthy flavour and gives the gravy a wonderful depth. Marinate the meat in mint, garlic and yoghurt/buttermilk for 30 minutes prior to cooking. This little but very important step will help tenderise the meat,” explains Keshree Chundriah.
2. Let the spices do their work
Mutton curry features a range of spices such as cardamom, masala, garam masala and turmeric, and it is essential to let these spices cook thoroughly but carefully to ensure that they do not burn.
One of the most common mistakes made when preparing curry is not allowing the base of spices to cook thoroughly. Cooking thoroughly will avoid the creation of a grainy aftertaste and allow the spices to work in harmony.
“Ginger and garlic are a staple in Indian cuisine. Together they add a gorgeous depth and complexity to curries,” adds Landi Govender.
3. A foundation is important
The ingredient that forms the foundation of many traditional Indian curries is onions. It is important to ensure that the onions are allowed to cook thoroughly to add a sweet and caramelised flavour to the dish. Although subtle, this addition of sweetness to the curry base provides a balance of flavour.
“Cook out the onion, garlic and ginger, and allow them to reach the caramelisation point. Caramelising the onion creates a deep flavour base for the curry,” adds Keshree.
Keshree also says that it is best to opt for a large shallow pot when cooking mutton curry.
“A wide base and shallow sloped sides allows for even heat distribution and moisture retention, which are exactly what you need when cooking lamb or mutton.”
4. Patience is key
Any curry dish requires patience, but mutton curry is notoriously known for its slow-cook method to ensure that the meat and added veggies or potatoes soak in the flavours of the curry base.
“Patience. Like I always tell my family, don’t cook a curry when you’re hungry! Like many delicious dishes, a tasty curry takes time to cook; it cannot be rushed. You must allow plenty of cooking time for the flavours to develop and meat to brown,” adds Landi.
Serve this wholesome dish with white rice and voila – you’ll be rewarded with a delicious family meal!
Brought to you by Lamb & Mutton SA. Supported by the Red Meat Industry of SA.