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Railway Mutton Curry

Introduction & method

I've been a fan of Dan Toombs - The Curry Guy - for a few years now, and we've been trying to get this collaboration together for about a year. So, it finally happened, and Dan came and showed me how to cook a few things. This is his recipe for Railway Mutton Curry - the story goes this is a curry that was served on railways during the Raj, toned down for British tastes.

Railway Mutton Curry Recipe

Pre-cook the Mutton and Potatoes

The mutton, or lamb, needs to be chopped into bite-sized chunks. The flavour will be much better with the bone in, although obviously it's a bit more fiddly to eat. Throw the meat into a big pot, cover with water, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, put a lid on and simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes. Keep refrigerated until needed. Peel the potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks. Place in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are just tender.

You don't have to pre-cook these things, it just makes the final assembly of the curry go faster. If you choose to cook the meat in the sauce, add the meat cooking time to the overall time for the curry.

Make the Curry

Heat the mustard oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. If you can't get mustard oil, rapeseed oil is fine. Add the cinnamon stick, dried red chillies, crushed cardamom pods and cloves. Stir well and cook for a minute or two, then add the finely-chopped red onion, stir and cook gently for 5 minutes. Try not to brown the onions. Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for about a minute, then add the chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander and ground cumin. Stir well, add the tomatoes and finely chopped bird's eye chillies.

Now add the broth that the lamb was cooked in. If your lamb is cold and the broth has set like jelly, just warm it gently until it melts. If you're cooking the meat in the sauce from raw, add 1 or 2 cups of water. Add the meat and the drained potatoes. Stir well, then add the tamarind, coconut milk and yoghurt. cook gently for 5 minutes, then add a pinch of salt, finely chopped coriander, and the dried methi crumbled between your fingers. Serve with rice, naan, the usual suspects.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Railway Mutton Curry on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 1 kilo mutton or lamb
 2 medium red onions
 400 grams canned tomatoes
 3-4 medium potatoes
 3 tbsp mustard oil
 1 cinnamon stick
 3 dried red chillies
 5 cardomom pods
 5 cloves
 20 curry leaves
 2 tbsp garlic & ginger paste
 half a tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
 half a tsp turmeric
 1 tbsp ground coriander
 1 tbsp ground cumin
 3 green birds eye chillies
 2 tsp tamarind paste
 2 tbsp coconut milk
 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
 small handful fresh coriander / cilantro
 a pinch of salt
 1 tsp fenugreek (methi) leaves

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 6 
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes.