Mutton is a wonderfully rich meat that can handle a lot of spices and chilli really well. This is the dish that I cooked in the final of MasterChef: I never thought that one of our family’s classic curries would be enough to secure me the title. It tastes even better the next day as all the spices harmonise and the flavours go deep into the meat.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 red bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
- 12 curry leaves
- 4 tbsp Mauritian curry powder
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 500g mutton shoulder, chopped into 2.5cm cubes
- 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
- 300ml water
- 3 tbsp freshly chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
- salt and freshly ground white pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until soft. Add the curry leaves, curry powder and fenugreek seeds and continue frying for 1 minute.
2. Add the mutton and cook for 15 minutes, turning frequently, until evenly browned on all sides, then add the tomatoes, water and coriander and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 2½–3 hours, or until the mutton is tender. Alternatively, make this dish in a pressure cooker and cook for 1½ hours.
3. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with more chopped coriander and serve.