Cape Malay-style mutton curry

Cape Malay-style mutton curry

Good Better Green

South African cuisine is a wonderful mishmash of cultural influences and the ready access to tasty fresh produce in most parts of the country is a cook’s dream. A personal highlight is the Cape Malay heritage with its richly flavoured and Indonesian-inspired dishes. If you are vegetarian, replace the meat with chickpeas and roasted pumpkin or butternut squash. This recipe does make quite a lot, but it seems a waste to make a smaller portion if you are going to go to all the effort. Any leftovers can be frozen.


Quantity Ingredient
3 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1-2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
10 cardamom pods, seeds only
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
grapeseed or coconut oil, for frying
1.2kg mutton neck pieces, bone in
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
or 3 teaspoons freshly grated root
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
200-250g baby leaf spinach
1 small pineapple, flesh cut into small cubes

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
turmeric rice
2 ripe but firm medium bananas, sliced
desiccated coconut


  1. Grind the fennel and coriander seeds, chilli akes, peppercorns, cardamom and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle (or use a spice grinder) until nely ground.
  2. Heat some oil in a shallow pan, large enough to t all the pieces of meat, and brown the meat on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, sweat the onion until soft and translucent. Add the ginger and cook for another few minutes. Add the ground spices, turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaves, and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the spinach and pineapple, and tuck the pieces of meat into the sauce.
  4. Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender, gently turning over the pieces of meat once or twice during cooking.
  5. When the meat is close to falling o„ the bone, skim o„ excess fat, carefully transfer the meat to a serving dish and check the sauce for any small bones that may have fallen o„ during cooking. Stir the spinach and pineapple into the sauce and simmer, covered, for a further 10 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and the pineapple is cooked.
  6. Serve the meat on turmeric rice with the sauce, topped with banana slices and desiccated coconut.


  • The curry’s avours develop over time, so leave it in the fridge for a day or two before serving, if you can, and enjoy the thought of having another meal ready for later that same week.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again