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Cariema Isaacs’ Mutton Curry

Cariema Isaacs’ Mutton Curry

Succulent mutton infused in a deep, rich curry sauce, with soft potatoes. From Cariem Isaacs' book My Cape Malay Kitchen 

  • Serves: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Prep time:
  • Cooking time:
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    1 large onion, chopped
    5 m (1 tsp) peeled and finely grated ginger
    5 ml (1 tsp) crushed garlic
    1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
    6 fresh curry leaves
    15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil or ghee
    5 ml (1 tsp) roasted masala or leaf masala
    5 ml (1 tsp) kokhni masala
    5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
    5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
    2 cardamom pods
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 kg mutton or lamb pieces
    5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice
    5 ml (1 tsp) salt
    750 ml (3 cups) water
    1 large ripe tomato, skinned and grated
    ½ x 410 g can whole or chopped tomatoes
    3 medium to large potatoes, peeled and quartered
    15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
    ¼ bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped



    1. Place the onion, ginger, garlic, chilli and curry leaves into a blender and blend until you have fairly smooth, paste-like consistency.
    2. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over a medium heat and add the blended ingredients. Cook for 2 -3 minutes and add all the dry spices, including the cardamom and stick cinnamon. Cook for at least 5 minutes in order for all the flavours of the spices to be released.
    3. Add the meat, lemon juice and salt and mix well. Cook, covered, over a high heat for 2 minutes and stir regularly.
    4. Add 2 cups of the water to the pot and cook for 10 -15 minutes over a medium/high heat.
    5. In the same blender (no need to wash or rinse), blend the fresh and canned tomatoes until smooth.
    6. Add the potatoes and puréed tomatoes to the cooked meat and stir.
    7. Add the remaining 1 cup water and cook, covered, on high for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar and simmer for a further 30 minutes until the meat and potatoes are soft and tender.
    8. Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve while still hot with Spekko India Gate Basmati Rice and or Cape Malay Rotis.
    9. Chicken Curry variation: Substitute the mutton for 1 kg chicken pieces and reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes. If you’re intending to make chicken salomies, then add 2 -3 extra portions chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized portions and just increase all of the spices by ½ tsp (2.5 ml).
    10. If you find canned tomatoes too pungent, then substitute them with ripe, fresh tomatoes – using at least 3 -4 medium tomatoes for this curry. Ensure that you do a taste test before serving, especially for salt and sugar.
    11. Add a ½ – 1 tsp (2.5 – 5 ml) red chilli paste for a spicier curry.
    12. Add 4 – 6 strands of saffron soaked in a ¼ cup (warm water (soak for at least 15 minutes) for a vibrant pop of colour and a floral, earthy flavour.

    Extracted from My Cape Malay Kitchen by Cariema Isaacs (Struik Lifestyle)

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