Mar 29

Hyderabadi Mutton Curry



Hyderabadi Mutton Curry



A good many years ago in Melbourne I received an unexpected phone call from a friend. We had promised to meet up many times before but as usual we never got round to it. So that afternoon he was finally free and asked me round for some dinner; he’s cooking. He said he was cooking one of his mom’s recipes … a spicy Hyderabadi mutton curry … and that I should swing round early to see how it is put together. Very glad I took him up on that offer coz this dish has turned out to be quite the winner on several occasions. Hey, Johnny boy, if you be reading this … THANK YOUUUU from the bottom of my heart!!



I didn’t write anything down but when I actually get hands-on in the kitchen I tend to remember a good deal better. He assigned me the task of chopping up all the aromatics: onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, so I knew those were definitely in there. John got busy prepping the spices and the meat. We used lamb that day because I don’t think we knew where to find mutton. Everybody wants lamb, but I think using mutton would be a better option … tougher meat benefits from long slow cooking.



Some months later I hosted a dinner party at my humble apartment with Jules, my flatmate. I called the evening ‘A Taste of India’ and went out of my way to dress up the table accordingly. The star of the dinner table was this very dish and it received rave reviews. I believe that was the first time I made a curry without using a spice paste from a jar. It was daunting, to be sure but follow the recipe and all turns out well.





Hyderabadi Mutton Curry

  • 1 kg mutton (or lamb shoulder)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 inch ginger
  • 3 green chillies
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4 spring onions (white bits only)
  • fresh coriander stems
  • fresh mint
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 250 mls lamb stock or water




  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star anise





Okay, I know the list of ingredients looks scary but that’s the thing with Indian cooking. See why I never mastered curries? My cupboard is now overflowing with packets of spices since I got back from the Turkish shop today. Turkish shops here are a God-send … they sell all the spices you could ever want and they cost a fraction of the price at local supermarkets. Same goes for mutton and lamb.



Hyderabadi Mutton Curry




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Start off by cutting the mutton or lamb into chunks. Place them in a bowl, add salt and pepper then rub it all over. Then add the garam masala and rub that in as well. Leave the meat aside for thirty minutes while you get the other things ready.



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This part is easy coz you basically rough chop the spring onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander stems, mint leaves and red onions … then blitz everything in a food processor. Job done. The tomatoes are simply diced.



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The spices I measured out ahead of time and mixed them together in a bowl, which makes it easy to dump in later instead of fumbling with the packets of a dozen different spices.



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Now comes the cooking section. Fry off the meat in batches to brown on all sides. Be careful with heat here as the meat has now been coated with the garam masala spices. Too hot and you risk burning them and this would add a nasty flavour to your curry. Medium heat will do just fine. Once cooked, transfer the meat into a bowl.



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For the final cooking step I usually employ the use of my trusty pressure cooker. It is fast and locks in a lot of flavour … plus it is very economical on the gas bill. Add a little oil to the pre-heated pressure cooker pot, then gently sweat off the chopped aromatics: the garlic, ginger, chillies, onions, mint and coriander stems.


One they are soft dump in the spice mix and give everything a good stir. Again, be careful with heat here. Do not burn the spices!! Also add in all the chopped up tomatoes. Once these are cooked down to a mush you will never know they were in there.


Add water or lamb stock, add the bay leaves and stir … scrape any dark spots off the bottom of the pot with the back of your wooden spoon.


Now add in all the meat. Stir to mix with all the spices and liquid, then put on the lid and lock it in to place. Bring it up to the boil and once a jet of steam escapes the valve, turn down the fire to low and leave it to cook for 30 minutes.


If you do not have a pressure cooker then sadly you will have to simmer this on low heat for about 2 hours until the meat is fork tender and most of the liquid has dried off. Baking this dish in the oven using a heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven is another alternative … the heavy lid will ensure that there is good pressure buildup inside the pot and hopefully this may help cut down the cooking time.



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Once the meat is cooked, dish it out and garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve with rice or flat bread. I will be including a recipe I used for my flat breads in the next post. Yummy garlic and onion flat breads pair wonderfully with this dish. The boyfriend scoffed four in one sitting and then declared it was the “best dinner ever”. No need to pay for expensive takeaway anymore … hurrah! They charge a shocking € 1.50 for plain roti and € 2.50 for a garlic and butter one. All that goes into making flat bread is flour, warm water, yeast and salt. Anyway, more on that later in the following post.



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When the curry first comes out of the pot it will be quite runny but as it cools the gravy will thicken to a nice consistency … perfect for sopping up with bread. In fact, back home people frequently eat curry with regular sliced white bread. Omigaaaad, it is the best middle-of-the-night-post-night-club snack one can have … that and a giant plate of Maggi goreng with a bullseye fried egg on top. Haha.



Hyderabadi Mutton Curry




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Anyway, do try this out and knock your socks off. Remember, if you make a huge batch then you could potentially keep this for up the four days in the fridge … and curry always tastes a gazillion times better a few days later. Freeze portions and that way you can simply defrost one on those days when you don’t feel like cooking. Do whatever you want to it … but I urge you to take that step and cook this for yourself. You seriously won’t be disappointed. Right now tho, I am off to nibble on one more flat bread.




~ Enjoy! ~







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