Monday, 2 February 2015

Meat and Potato Curry

I am really not a Monday person. Last night, I was trying to make the most of the final hours of the weekend and curled up on my bed with my iPad. At some point however, I must have zonked out fully dressed, contacts lenses in and lights still switched on. I awakened some time later with a jolt and with a furtive glance at the clock was seized with the panic that I was late for work. I flew out of my bed then and ran to the bathroom and attempted to brush my teeth and shower in lightening fast time. Then I returned to my room in a manner befitting only a headless chicken and glanced at the clock again to check how I was doing for time... only to find it reading 12.40am. You see, in my haste I had totally mixed up the big hand and the little hand. It was a real groan out loud moment, I won't lie. So yeah, I'm really, really, really not a Monday person at all.

But embarrassing stories aside, let's move on to today's blog post! This is my standard recipe to use when cooking any kind of meat curry or bhuna. Like my simple chicken curry recipe, it can easily be adapted and you can substitute the potato for other vegetables. 

I have used mutton for this recipe which is the go to meat in our family for traditional cooking rather than lamb. For dishes like curry which involve a lot of stewing, mutton is an ideal choice and actually has a lot more flavour than lamb. This is probably my favourite curry to make, namely because you can actually throw everything into one pot and leave it alone to simmer away.

This a very traditional and homely dish that you would find in a lot of Bangladeshi homes over the week. The meat is juicy with a rich gravy and is contrasted well with the softness of the potato. 

Like all curries, the story starts with onion, garlic and ginger which form the base of the sauce. As this dish stews away for a bit longer, you can dice up the onion into quite big chunks so it means less prepping time.

My go to combination of spices for everyday curries is turmeric, chilli powder, curry powder and cumin.

Once you've fried off the garlic until it's golden, you can throw in your ginger, onions, whole spices and meat altogether. Only turmeric is added to the meat straight away whilst the other ground spices are added later. Don't ask me why this is the case. It's just the way we all do it in my family though I am unsure if there is any real reason for it.

Once you've added the meat and turmeric, you can just cover it and leave it to simmer one a medium heat for about 15-25 minutes until the onions soften and any water from the meat disappear. If the meat catches or seems like it's burning, you can add 1/2 - 1 cup of water to help the meat cook. The longer it stews away, the more tender the meat will be.

After about another 10 minutes,  you can add the remaining ground spices. Allow the spices to cook off and again, add water 1/2 a cup at a time if the meat catches or seems like it is burning. Add your potatoes and stir to coat in the sauce. Then you need to add enough water to cover the curry and turn up the heat to allow it to simmer to a boil.  

The timing of when you add the potatoes all depends on the type. If they are quite floury potatoes, you want to wait as long as you can before adding them otherwise they will break apart. However, if they are a bit firmer like new potatoes, you will need to add them a little earlier to allow them to cook through properly.  

And that's it! All you need to do is season with salt to taste and garnish with a handful of chopped coriander.

Meat and Potato Curry

Serves 6-10

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes

by Abida at The Red Lychee


1 kg of mutton/lamb diced into chunks
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
One and half medium onions
4 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
1 inch piece of ginger, minced/grated
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick/cassia bark snapped into pieces
3 cardamoms
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 medium potatoes cut into large chunks
Handful of Coriander
Salt to season


1) In a large pot, add oil. Allow to heat up, then add garlic. Allow garlic to turn golden then add garlic, onion, cardamom, bay leaf. and cinnamon. Add salt and stir. Then add the meat and the turmeric. Cover and leave to simmer on a medium to high heat. Check every 3-5 minutes. If the meat is catching the pan, add a little bit of water.

2) After about 20 minutes, once the onions have softened to a much and the meat has shrunk in size, add the remaining ground spices. Cover again and leave to simmer on a medium heat so the spices cook out. Check every now and then, and add water 1/2 a cup at a time if the meat seems like it is burning.

3) After another 15-20 minutes, add the potatoes and coat in the sauce, Leave to cook for about 5 minutes, and then pour in enough water to cover the meat and potatoes. For me, that is usually about a cup and a half of water (I use a normal coffee mug). Turn up the heat to medium-high and allow the curry to simmer to a boil.

4) Once potatoes have softened, and the meat is tender to your liking, season with salt to your taste. Add coriander and remove from heat. Serve with plain rice or flat bread.


  1. Allahumma Baarik another dish i wanna dive right into! I never have been keen on mutton due to it's strong flavour but then again i've never had it in curry before and i'm guessing the spices really stand upto it and make a good match.

  2. Jazakillahu khairan! You should definitely try it for curries, it's cheaper and stews so well. I think it's what they use in a lot of the Indian restaurants as well.