Mutton Curry with Saag Aloo, Homemade Chapati and Mint Raita

If a curry is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly! Making an authentic mutton curry can be quite time consuming with many different ingredients, but the rewards at the end are absolutely worth it.

Curry (literally meaning sauce or gravy) can be a complex mix of spices and ingredients which naturally take time to infuse and develop the depth of flavour which creates a rich and deliciously tasty dish.

Meat and vegetables take time to absorb the flavour of the many aromatic spices used, so the cooking method should ideally be low and slow, according to what type of dish or meat variety you are cooking.

For this recipe I am using mutton as opposed to lamb as I believe it is a very tasty, underrated variety which is ideal for slow cooking. You can of course use lamb or even goat which is a very popular meat for curries (perhaps more so than we realise!) as it has a rich flavour and becomes very tender.

This mutton curry recipe serves 4 and takes approx. 4 hours to cook with additional time for prep and also to marinate the meat beforehand (if you choose), which will allow the meat to take on even more flavour and add to the depth of the dish. You can of course use any meat, fish or vegetables for this dish, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Note: the mutton curry is medium spice heat – adjust chilli ingredients as necessary.

Mutton Curry with Saag Aloo, Homemade Chapati and Mint Raita – what you need:

Part 1. To marinate the mutton/lamb before cooking (min. 30 minutes up to 48 hours if meat is fresh):

1x kilo or approx. 2x lbs diced leg of mutton – be sure to keep the meat in large chunks approx. 4 to 5cm or 1.5 to 2 inch cubes/pieces as the meat will reduce when cooking.

2x teaspoons ground cumin.

2x teaspoons paprika.

1x teaspoon garam masala.

1x teaspoon ground coriander.

1x teaspoon smoked paprika.

1x teaspoon chilli powder.

1x teaspoon ground fenugreek.

1x teaspoon garlic powder/granules.

1x teaspoon ginger powder/dried ginger.

1x teaspoon fine sea salt.

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

1x tablespoon olive oil.

Medium sized bowl/mixing bowl.

Part 2. For the mutton curry sauce:

4x medium sized white onions – peeled and cut into 8th’s.

4x cloves of garlic.

Approx. 5cm or 2 inch cube/piece of fresh ginger – peeled and cut into smaller pieces.

1x large red chilli – finely chopped.

100g or approx. 4oz salted butter – cut into smaller pieces.

Olive oil.

1x teaspoon ground cumin.

1x teaspoon garam masala.

1x teaspoon chilli powder.

1x teaspoon ground coriander.

1x teaspoon ground turmeric.

4x whole cardamom pods – gently squashed to release aroma.

1/2 dried cinnamon stick – leave whole and remove once cooked.

2x tins chopped tomatoes.

1x teaspoon sea salt.

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

1x large red chilli – finely sliced – for the garnish.

1x large handful fresh coriander – roughly chopped – for the garnish.

Very large saucepan or frying pan.

Part 3. For the homemade Chapatis (makes approx. 8x medium sized chapatis):

330g or 2x U.S. cups Chapati flour.

180ml or 3/4 U.S. cup water.

1x teaspoon fine sea salt.

2x teaspoons olive oil.

Plain flour.

Mixing bowl.

Rolling pin.

Large non-stick frying pan or ideally chapati pan.

Tin foil.

Part 4. For the Mint Raita:

300g or approx. 10oz plain yoghurt.

Handful fresh mint leaves – finely chopped.

Approx. 1/4 of a cucumber – grated and strained to remove excess water.

Part 5. For the Saag Aloo:

6x medium white potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks to your preference. Note: If the chunks are too large they won’t take on all the flavour and will take longer to cook.

1x large bag fresh baby spinach leaves, finely chopped or 8x lumps frozen spinach.

1x teaspoon ground turmeric.

1x teaspoon garam masala.

1x teaspoon ground cumin.

1x teaspoon ground coriander.

50g or approx. 2oz salted butter.

Sea salt.

Large saucepan.

Mutton Curry with Saag Aloo, Homemade Chapati and Mint Raita – what you need to do:

1. Firstly mix all the spices in Part 1 above together in a bowl then add the diced mutton or lamb, olive oil and coat thoroughly. Cover and leave in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes up to 48 hours, if the meat is fresh. Once you are ready to cook, remove the marinated meat from the fridge and leave to one side.

2. From Part 2 above, take the onions, garlic and ginger and blend in food processor to create the sauce base – you can very finely chop if you don’t have a blender. Get your very large saucepan or very large frying pan onto a medium high heat and add 50g/2oz of butter plus a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the butter/oil starts to sizzle add the blended sauce base plus the chopped red chilli and cook for approx. 10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated, the sauce has browned and you get that lovely, familiar smell of cooked butter and onions! Be careful not to burn the butter or overcook the sauce – add more butter and oil if necessary.

Note: if your pan is large enough you should be able to cook the blended onions, garlic, ginger and chilli in one batch, however, if you have a smaller pan and find the mixture is just simmering in liquid rather than browning then you may have to cook in batches to ensure the sauce is browned and cooked. It could take a while for the liquid to evaporate so hang in there!

3. Once the base sauce has browned, add a further 50g/2oz butter followed by the marinated meat and stir for approx. 5 minutes until the meat starts to brown. Then add the spice ingredients from the rest of Part 2 above and stir, followed by the chopped tomatoes and salt/pepper. Stir thoroughly, cover and leave to simmer on very low heat or slow cooker for approx. 4 hours until ready to serve. Check, stir and taste periodically, adjusting seasoning if necessary.

4. Whilst the mutton curry is cooking, you can prepare the chapati dough. From Part 3 above, mix the chapati flour, water, salt and olive oil together in the mixing bowl to form smooth, pliable but not sticky dough. Add a little more flour or water if necessary. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until 30 mins before serving time.

5. Prepare the Mint Raita and refrigerate – Part 4 above.

6. Up to one hour before serving, you can make a start on the Saag Aloo. From Part 5 above, place the peeled, chopped potatoes into a saucepan of boiling water together with 1x teaspoon of sea salt and the ground turmeric. Simmer for approx. 5 minutes until the outer edges have started to soften and the potatoes have taken on the colour of the turmeric. Drain 3/4 of the water out the pan and then return to the heat, adding the spinach followed by the rest of the spices in Part 5 above. Stir thoroughly, cover and leave to simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked through. Once cooked remove from heat, stir the butter through, taste and season accordingly. Leave covered until ready to serve.

7. Whilst the saag aloo is cooking and approx. 30 minutes before serving, remove the chapati dough from the fridge and divide into 8x equal sized balls. Flatten each ball into a small, round disc shape, ready for rolling.

Start to heat your large non-stick frying pan or chapati pan to a medium-high heat then flour your surface and rolling pin well and roll one disc into your first chapati, as thin as you can get it without tearing or sticking to the surface!

Transfer the rolled chapati directly to the hot, dry pan and cook for approx. 1 minute until it starts to brown on the underside – check and flip over when ready.

The chapati should now start to puff up – simply fold a tea towel into a wad and gently press the air bubbles down. Check the underside and once cooked, remove and place in foil or between another tea towel to keep warm. Repeat the above for each chapati.

Note: Chapati making is an art form and you will find your own style I’m sure.

You are now ready to serve! Garnish with chopped coriander and sliced red chilli to add the finishing touches on the plates.

Enjoy this rich and luxurious curry dish with friends and family.

I hope you like this Mutton Curry with Saag Aloo, Homemade Chapati and Mint Raita recipe. As always, your feedback is most welcome so please comment below or get in touch at thefoodbeaver.com or through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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