Afghani-style Mutton Curry Recipe

60 minutes


  • mutton, 6–8 chops (depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp of coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp of black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp of ghee
  • 1 tsp garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated, plus 1 thumb-sized piece julienned
  • 8 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tbsp of dried crushed chillis
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp of chopped coriander, to garnish
  • juice of half a lemon, to serve
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped, to garnish (optional)


Begin by boiling the mutton chops for 15–20 minutes in a pan of water. Take the chops out and reserve the cooking liquid
In a dry pan, add the cumin, coriander and peppercorns and gently toast over a medium heat until the spices are aromatic. Grind the spices together in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar (this will make more than needed for this recipe, but the spice mix can be stored for 1 month in a airtight container)
Heat the ghee in a wok or similar large pan (which has a lid), add the chops and allow to seal on all sides, then set aside. In the same ghee, add the grated ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Be careful not to let it burn, if starting to catch, add a few splashes of the reserved mutton chop water
Add the tomatoes, red chilli flakes, 1 heaped tbsp of the ground spice mix, salt and stir through. Add about 25ml of the reserved mutton water, then return the chops to the pan
Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat until the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat slightly and cook until the mixture becomes thick and dry, with the oil rising to the top
Serve hot with naan or rice, garnished with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, the chopped coriander and julienned ginger, and some finely chopped green chilli for extra heat, if liked