This is my mother’s recipe for an amazing lamb/mutton curry. She’s been making this for ages, probably once every week and my entire family is yet to tire of it. The aroma is so exhilarating that all the time, I would stop by the kitchen and inhale deeply, to let it seep into my lungs and veins. It would leave my mouth-watering and make me really impatient for dinner time, that just when it’s about ready, you’ll catch me dipping a piece of bread in the hot steaming curry and eating it. Impatient and greedy me.
Kerala Mutton Curry
- Mutton leg/shoulder pieces – 1 kg
- Onions – 6-7, sliced (close to a kilo)
- Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon (fresh is better)
- Tomato – 1 chopped
- Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tablespoons
- Coriander powder – 3 tablespoons
- Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
- Garam Masala – 1 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Curry leaves
- Coriander Leaves
Heat oil in a pan or wok and splutter mustard seeds. Then add the thinly sliced onions to it and saute well till the onions are a golden brown. This could take about 10 minutes. The taste improves when you let the onions turn golden on a low-medium flame.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute again for 2 minutes. To this add your chopped tomatoes and stir for another 5- 10 minutes till the tomatoes have becomes soft and mushy.
Meanwhile, in another pan, on a low flame, heat the powders a little (chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and coriander powder) just to get rid of the raw smell and taste of the powders. But make sure the powders don’t get burnt. So maybe you just need to stir it on a low flame for less than a minute. Then transfer the powders into the grinder, and grind it using a little water.
Pour this spice mixture into the onions and tomato mix. Stir for about 2 minutes.
Add the cleaned mutton pieces and saute it well in this masala mix for another few minutes so that the meat is getting marinated. Add salt.
Now. you can either transfer this to a pressure cooker and cook (that’s if you are running short of time). Or else transfer it to a bigger vessel or a slow pot cooker.
If it’s a pressure cooker : transfer everything to the cooker, add enough water to cover the mutton pieces. Let the water boil. Once it does, cover the cooker and let it be on high flame for 3 whistles. Then reduce the flame to minimum and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Once the pressure has been totally released, open it and you can add boiled cubed potatoes and coriander leaves and cook for another 2 minutes. (sometimes, the meat is a little tough and therefore you might find the meat needs to be cooked for some more time. In such a case, I normally don’t boil the potatoes separately, I just add it at this stage and let the meat and potato cook together for another 5 minutes).
If you are using a kadai/wok: transfer all the contents from the pan and add a little water to this. Put the flame on low and keep stirring once in a while. Not much water is needed at the moment because water from the meat will get released. And probably after about half an hour, add more water and let it cook. It can take about 2 hours for it cook, depending on the tenderness of the meat. When the meat’s almost ready, you can add cubed potatoes. Add a few sprigs of coriander leaves when it’s ready and cook for another 2 minutes.
In both cases, garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with Bread, Appam, Chapathi, Kerala Paratha or even rice. Also, a raita or fresh salad can be served as an accompaniment to balance the spiciness.