This recipe was updated on 14 March 2020. Mince Curry with Potatoes was often cooked by my mum when I still lived at home, all of my mum’s lamb dishes were out of this world, delicious. My kids always rave about her cooking and insist that I cook lamb dishes exactly like “Ma”.
Most South African curries are cooked in a similar way to this Mince Curry with Potatoes. My Durban Lamb Curry is one of them. Although most curries are cooked the same way it’s always about getting the balance of spices right to make an amazing curry. I sometimes mix my own Homemade Masala , however there are times when I use a store bought one, for the convenience.
Always remember the key to a good curry is “low and slow”. Your heat must be low and you have to allow all the spices to really infuse so you need time. A good curry can never be rushed.
I must also admit living in Johannesburg is not the same as Durban where you have a spice shop around every corner. Sometimes it is a challenge when you run out of spices. However, even store bought masala can ruin your curry if it’s not a great tasting one. Over the years I’ve tried many different brands and although I try and stick to the one’s I love, I’ve had my fair share of disappointments with this too. So you will find that you may need to change your brand from time to time.
Often I try and stick to a medium strength masala. I find the extremely hot ones really does ruin the flavors in a curry. I love hot but not so hot that all you can taste is chilli. It’s not that difficult to make your own masala but it is time consuming as I do love roasting and grinding my own fresh spices. I use Kashmiri Chilli Powder more for the bright color it adds to my curries, it’s a South African thing, your curry has to look the right color. Anything but a bright red color is unacceptable by South African Indian standards.
This Mince Curry with Potatoes is spicy, with just the right amount of heat, and mouthwatering. My favorite way to eat it is with fresh, crusty bread and sambals. You can also have an Indian version of a sloppy joe using this cooked mince.
Mince Curry with Potatoes
- 500 gram lamb mince or mince of your choice
- 3 tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 star aniseed
- 1 black elachie/cardamom
- 2 tspn ginger/garlic paste
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tbsp masala
- 1/2 tspn ground soomph/fennel seeds
- 1/2 tspn turmeric
- 1 tspn garam masala
- 2 roma tomatoes blanched and grated
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- 2 small potatoes cut into medium sized cubes
- 1/4 cup water only if required
- Heat oil in a flat pot on medium heat and add cinnamon, bay leaf, star aniseed and black cardamom.
- Once it becomes fragrant add curry leaf and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.
- Add ginger/garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add chilli powder, masala, turmeric, fennel, garam masala and cook until it forms a paste, about 2 minutes. Add a few drops of water to prevent scorching.
- Add mince meat and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Add potatoes and mix well. Season with salt. Turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes
- Add grated tomatoes and allow it to simmer until potatoes are soft. During the cooking time you can add a 1/4 cup of water or a little more if you feel the curry is drying out. I don’t usually require too much water.
- If you do not have access to masala you can use Kashmiri or any chilli powder, however reduce or increase the amount according to your preference. Some chilli powder is hotter than others