Mangalorean mutton curry

Mangalorean mutton curry

I Love Curry
6, can be halved
Jonathan Gregson

This is an absolutely delicious, robust curry and the flavours are deep and complex. I like to use mutton in this dish, but lamb also works well. Ideally try and find leg of mutton or lamb with the bone in (halal shops cut meat in this way, but ask your local butcher). This is not a quick and easy curry - it is one that you commit to with love - but it is so fabulous that you’ll find it is one of those dishes you always turn to when you have friends coming around. Serve with rice or Paratha.


Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 rounded tablespoon white poppy seeds
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
20g fresh coriander leaves and stalks
1-3 green chillies, stalks removed, or to taste
10g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
6 fat garlic cloves
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
salt, to taste
600g bone-in mutton or lamb, in large cubes
1/2-3/4 teaspoon tamarind paste, or to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala


  1. Place the coconut in a small pan and dry roast for a minute or two, until golden. Grind with the cumin and poppy seeds until fine; I use a spice grinder.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan and fry the onion until well browned, then tip into a blender along with the fresh coriander, chillies, ginger and garlic and a small splash of water. Whizz to a fine paste. Return to the pan and sauté for six to eight minutes. Add the tomato and all the powdered and ground spices except the garam masala, salt and around 100ml water. Sauté for seven or eight minutes, until the tomatoes have become pulpy.
  3. Add the meat and sauté in the paste for four or five minutes. The paste should have completely reduced and be clinging to the meat, while the oil should be coming out of the masala. Add enough water to come three-quarters of the way up the lamb, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for around 45-55 minutes, or until done, stirring occasionally. Remember that mutton will take considerably longer; allow 90 minutes if using that, just in case.
  4. Uncover, stir in the tamarind and garam masala. The sauce should be lovely, creamy and homogenous by now; if necessary boil off excess water or add a little extra from the kettle, until the consistency is as you prefer. Taste and adjust the seasoning and tamarind to your taste.
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