When looking at a mutton curry recipe for the first time, it can seem like a lot of work. Some have found it hard to work with due to its toughness and game-like smell. However, mutton recipes lead to some of the best meals. This article shows you how to get this every time you step into the kitchen from preparation to serving in short, simple steps.
It is easy to put your own spin on a mutton curry recipe if you know what to do. This article will show you the best mutton curry recipe ever with some common ingredients and simplified steps. It will follow how to execute the best curry recipes by starting from making you more familiar with the meat.
What is mutton?
It is the meat that comes from goats or sheep. It is not to be confused with lamb, which is the meat that comes from young goats and sheep. It is the same difference that lies between beef and veal. While you cannot make lamb curry from this, you can get some great mutton karahi and Cape Malay mutton recipe ideas from it. This article will focus on the famous Durban mutton curry recipe.
How long does mutton take to cook?
Try to aim for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes of cooking time so it does not come out tough and chewy.
How do you soften mutton when cooking?
As stated, mutton comes from grown sheep and goats. The older the animal, the tougher the meat. This is almost guaranteed from those older than 18 months. There are some easy ways to get it to a tender state:
1. Cutting against the grain
Find the direction of the muscle fibers and slice the meat in the opposite direction. You should be running your knife across the fibers rather than along them. This reduces their length and thus makes them easier to chew.
Salt the meat and let it sit for an hour or so. This breaks down the muscle fibers and works for quick fixes. Before you start cooking, rinse off the meat.
If you are not constrained for time, you can leave the meat to marinate for some hours or overnight. Your choice of marinade could be acid-based (e.g. plain yogurt, lemon juice, buttermilk, vinegar) or enzyme-based (usually pureed fruit e.g. papaya, pineapple, kiwi). Be careful not to leave it in too long. Aim for a maximum of 7 hours.
4. Slow cooking
Cooking or braising it over low heat for a long time breaks down the tough fibers, leaving you with more tender meat. Do this in a covered dish with a liquid such as broth.
5. Tenderizing by pounding
Using a meat tenderizer or simply beating the meat with a mallet or other heavy object (such as a bottle of wine, roll of aluminum foil, etc.) under a plastic wrap works wonders. Be careful not to pound it too much as this means it will end up mushy. Consider using a meat tenderizer as it is more adapted to the task with its fine needle points.
6. Using meat tenderizing powders
There are special powders that are made and sold for the express purpose of tenderizing meat.
How do you get rid of mutton smell?
Mutton is known to have a strong smell that is similar to game meat and it often turns a lot of people off from it. The smell comes from myoglobin and fat. Myoglobin is the red liquid that most people confuse for blood. Luckily, this smell can be eliminated with relative ease:
1. Trim away the fat
Remove as much of the fat from the rest of the meat as possible before you start cooking it.
Salt the meat before cooking in order to draw out the myoglobin, or rinse it off before cooking. Another method is to dissolve some kosher salt in cold water and soak the meat in the solution.
Do this for a couple of hours or overnight if possible. Consider leaving it in one of the acidic marinades listed above to tenderize it in the process. Milk also works if you place the meat in it.
4. Using spices
Spices are a great tool for masking the smell that comes from the meat by suppressing it with their own distinct aroma.
How to make mutton curry
Now that the meat is ready, here is the Durban curry recipe.
- 500g chopped mutton
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 grated medium tomato (medium, grated)
- 1 onion (large, chopped)
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon ground elachi
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 100 ml cooking oil
- 2 cloves
- 2 teaspoons salt to taste
- 3 cinnamon sticks (small)
- 3 sprigs fresh dhania/coriander (chopped)
- 4 tablespoons masala
- 6 soft potatoes (medium, cut into 4 pieces)
- Garlic and ginger paste (2 teaspoons)
- Tomato paste (1 tablespoon)
- In a large and roomy pot, heat oil on a low to medium temperature.
- Add the onions, turmeric, elachi, and the other spices.
- Watch the onions fry until soft and golden brown.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste along with masala and cook for a couple of seconds ensuring the masala does not burn.
- Add tomato and tomato paste.
- When these are almost cooked, add in the meat and stir it, allowing it to sauté.
- Reduce the heat and cover the pot.
- Let it cook until the meat starts frying up.
- Add in the leaves, salt to taste, and water if necessary.
- When the meat becomes softer, add in the potatoes.
- Let the pot come to a boil before reducing the heat.
- Allow it to cook until the potatoes are soft and the meat is tender enough.
- Let it simmer.
- When you are ready to serve, garnish with coriander/dhania.
Apart from the usual serving options (rice, chapatti, etc.), this easy mutton curry recipe can be used to make bunny chow. To do this, get an unsliced quarter of bread, scoop out its inside, and fill it with the mutton curry.
That concludes our article on the easy mutton curry recipe you can try out today. If you have any more cooking secrets for mutton that have not been covered in the article, feel free to drop them off in the comments section below.