Slow-Cooked Mutton Curry


The first two recipes I posted this month were both for baingan/eggplant (Baingan “Bharta” and Baingan-Zeera Masala). And there’s one more to come still. But let’s take a break this week and do the one non-eggplant recipe to crack this month’s poll. This is a recipe for mutton—as we Indians refer to goat meat. If you don’t have easy—or any—access to mutton/goat meat you can make it with lamb shanks or even with beef. You want to make it with enough bones in there though. I last made this with a hind leg from the goat friends and I split at the end of last year and there were quite a few marrow/shank bones in there. I cooked it not in the pressure cooker—as I often do with my mutton curries—but long and slow on the stovetop. It is basically a first cousin, twice removed of the classic Bengali mutton dish known as kosha mangsho. The first step is to marinate the mutton overnight in yogurt and a bunch of spices (you can watch a Reel of the process here). You then saute some whole garam masala and some onions, dump in the meat with all its marinade, add some tomato, cook it down till the oil separates, then add some water, cover and cook over low heat till the meat is almost done. Then you add some halved potatoes and cook till they and the meat are done. All that’s left do is garnish with some dhania and eat it with rice, chapatis or parathas.

Ingredients

  • 1 hind leg of goat, cut up with the marrow bones cut in 3-4″ lengths
  • For the marinade:
    • 4 tblspns full-fat plain yogurt
    • 1 tblspn freshly crushed garlic
    • 1 tblspn freshly crushed ginger
    • 3/4 tspn haldi/turmeric powder
    • The following ground together into a coarse powder: 1 tspn coriander seed, 3/4 tspn zeera/cumin seed, 3/4 tspn methi/fenugreek seed, 1/2 tspn black peppercorn, 1 2″ piece cinnamon/cassia bark, 3 dried hot red chillies, 1 Kashmiri chilli
    • Salt
  • The following whole garam masala: 2 pieces cinnamon/cassia bark, 5 green cardamom pods, 5 cloves, 2 tez patta/cassia leaves/dried bay leaves
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomato
  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 tspn jaggery/dark brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tspn garam masala powder
  • 2 cups water right off the boil
  • 4-6 tblspns mustard oil or neutral oil of choice
  • 1-2 tblspns chopped dhania/cilantro for garnish

Preparation

  1. Mix the cut-up meat thoroughly with the yogurt and all the marinade ingredients and marinate overnight or longer in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before you begin to make the curry.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan—enameled cast iron is best—heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. When the oil begins to smoke (if using mustard oil) or when it begins to shimmer (other neutral oil) add the whole garam masala.
  4. As soon as the tez patta darkens add the onion. Mix and saute, stirring often till it begins to soften and brown.
  5. Add the meat with all it marinade, mix thoroughly and saute, stirring often till you see the oil beginning to separate.
  6. Add the tomato, mix in and saute, stirring often till you see the oil beginning to separate.
  7. Add the water, mix in, bring to a simmer, cover and cook till the meat is almost done (when a fork begins to go in easily into a thick piece).
  8. Add the potatoes, mix in gently, cover again and cook till potatoes are done and the meat is tender.
  9. Add the jaggery (if using) and garam masala, mix in and simmer uncovered for another 2-3 minutes.
  10. Garnish with the dhania and serve.

Notes

  1. As you can see from the picture, the desired texture of this curry is very thick. You could make it a little thinner by adding more water as you go but do give it a try this way as well.
  2. The tricky bit here is timing the cooking of the potato. If the meat is not yet as tender as you would like once the potatoes are done, just remove them and let the meat cook covered until it’s done and add the cooked potatoes back in.
  3. If you want to make this hotter you could use only hot dried chillies. Alternatively you could add a few slit Thai chillies along with the hot water.
  4. This kind of a thick curry is very good with a pulao like this one but is even better mopped out of a wide bowl with hot chapatis or parathas.
  5. Yes, there’s a Reel of the cooking process as well.


 

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