Bihari Mutton Curry

Lamb Saag Curry 

“Deep, hot and spiced…a bit like Javier Bardem”, it’s how the Maharani described this dish, which was inspired by the large state of Bihar, North East India, just below Nepal. It’s a mutton curry which uses some firepower, tempered with silky yoghurt and takes on added depth with earthy spinach leaves reduced to the role of a backing singer. This dish was probably best described by some recent dinner guests, they didn’t use words, rather the sounds were more akin to a feline purr. If you’re looking for a regional Indian dish which hasn’t been exhausted by the local ‘curry house’ then this one’s for you. Good news, you can make this dish in advance i.e. the night before eating it, keeping it refrigerated and then heated in time to perfume your kitchen and wow your guests.

Serves 6

For the Marinade

  • 1.5 kg Mutton, cubed into 1inch pieces
  • 4 tbs Greek yoghurt
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp Garam masala
  • 2 tbs Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Black pepper freshly crushed

For the Curry

  • 6 Medium onions, sliced
  • 4 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 500g Fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Dried red chillies whole
  • 2 Finger green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500ml water
  • Handful or coriander leaves for garnish
Bihari Lamb Curry

How To Make Bihari Lamb 

  1. Marinade the mutton pieces with all the marinade ingredients and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for really tender meat. Ensure the meat is at room temperature when you are ready to cook.
  2. In a large pan, add the rapeseed oil. After 30 seconds add the dry spices – bay leaf, dried chilies and stir for 30 seconds in low heat to perfume the oil with the spices
  3. Now, add the onion slices and sweat them out till they are tender, now add the salt and chilles.
  4. Add the marinated mutton. Over a high heat brown the meat for 5 minutes to seal in the flavour.
  5. Reduce the heat to a low temperature and cook the meat with the lid on for 3 hours, stirring periodically. Incrementally add the water throughout the cooking process to make sure the meat doesn’t dry out.
  6. Take the lid off and add the spinach and garam masala. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the spinach has broken down in the pan and lends the dish an earthy depth of flavour.
  7. The curry will also start to leave spice oil around the edges, that’s when you know its cooked. Test the meat before taking it off the heat, it should be tender and succulent…if not cook it for another 15 minutes or so with the lid off.

Garnish with coriander and serve the delicious mutton curry with Bangalorean Lemon Rice.

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