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Quick 35 Minute Mutton Curry

35 Minute Durban Mutton Curry

I was running very late and needed to get this curry cooked in a hurry. I can normally get a curry out in about 60 – 90 mins, depending on what meat I am using.

Please note that I was cooking mutton and not lamb. As we know, mutton takes far longer to cook, than lamb. I also did not have curry leaves or even dhania. I did consider cooking a stew, but no ways, curry or nothing.

I also used less oil than I normally use, as the oil was finished as well. Because I used a pressure cooker, I soaked the cinnamon sticks and star anise in boiling water and added the water, as T was worried that they would break up in to lots of small little bits and be unpleasant to eat.

So here goes.

150ml sunflower oil
2 large onions, grated
6 Red Chillies, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
2 large cinnamon sticks
2 Star Anise
1 Tbsp fennel seeds, ground to a powder with pestle & mortar.
1 Tbsp Crown National Red Curry Powder
2 Tbsp Mother in law Masala
2 Tbsp Roasted Masala
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes, grated
1.5kg mutton pack, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp Salt
3 large potatoes, cubed.
Water that had been infused with cinnamon and star anise.


  • Heat oil
  • Add onion, chopped chillies & turmeric and fry for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to soften
  • Add the ginger & garlic and cook for another 1 minute
  • Add the curry powder / masala and let it start to cook together. 30 seconds
  • Note: Add a small bit of water if you see that the curry powder / masala wants to burn on the bottom of the pot. This must be avoided, as it ruins the taste.
  • Add your grated tomato and keep stirring slowly until all the ingredients in the pot become a slush. Add little bits of water if the slush is too dry or if it wants to start sticking on the bottom of the pot. This sludge becomes your curry base. 2 Minutes
  • Note: Turn down the heat and let it cook for another 2 minutes to develop a bit of flavour.
  • Add your meat and braise the meat in the curry base for 5 mins, making sure that nothing burns on the bottom of the pot.
  • Transfer to a pressure cooker and cook for about 15 minutes on three quarter heat. I counted that the pressure cooker released steam about 6 times. Not ideal to use a pressure cooker on such high heat, but I was in a rush.
  • Check your meat, it should be pretty soft. Not falling off the bone quite yet, but close.
  • Add salt, stir and let stand for a minute or 2
  • Add your potatoes, which you have pricked with a fork to suck in the gravy.
  • Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  • About 25 minutes or so should have passed by now.
  • Take your pressure cooker off the stove, release the steam and pour back into the original pot.
  • Give it all a good stir and allow to settle.
  • This is when you could add dhania etc but as I mentioned, I did not have any. Neither did I make sambals or anything.
  • Take a bow.
  • Serve with rice, roti, as a bunny chow or even just with a few thick slices of white bread.

Note: This is method is obviously a bit different to when I can take my time and cook a curry and use all my secrets – but this is just how I managed to get a very tasty mutton curry from raw to ready-to-eat in about 35 minutes.

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